Reviewed by Sam Portillo-Corodeanu
Genuine is the first word that comes to mind when asked to describe the experience that awaits you on your visit to Liquorette. A 5-minute walk from Tottenham Court Road station takes you to this New York bodega-inspired bar at the heart of Central London.
Upon entering, you’ll instantly get a retro and trendy vibe. The walls are filled with collages of popular stars of the 70s and there are neon signs everywhere.
Liquorette breaks all cocktail culture norms as it blurs the line between guest and bartender through their self-service offering. At the cocktail deli, guests can customise their cocktails. With bottled cocktails on ice as you enter the bar, all you need to do is select your favourite, collect your glass, and pour over ice. Or you could grab a beer from the fridge. Everything is made accessible.
They even offer BYOB (Be Your Own Bartender) master classes, where the talented team will guide you towards becoming a bartending hotshot. The best part is, you can customise your cocktails online at liquorette.co.uk and have them at home, or order from Deliveroo. No queuing. No first come, first served policy. Only good drinks and good times.
Since we were there to celebrate the 1st birthday party of Liquorette, we were warmly welcomed at the entrance and led to the second floor, where the cocktail bar was. The atmosphere was festive, with balloons and party hats all over.
Upon taking our seats in a table in front of the bar and a few metres away from the DJ, we were immediately given a welcome drink. It was in a shot glass, yet tasted like it had a prosecco base and some fruity notes. We were off to a good start.
As we were marvelling at the lovely ambience, enjoying the DJ’s steady beats and sipping our welcome drink, Ellie, who was hosting that night’s party, gave us a rundown of the myriad of drinks and dining choices we can choose from. Props to Ellie for being an absolute star.
We ended up ordering three rounds of drinks and two pizzas. For our first round, we ordered one Signature cocktail each: the Blue Lagoon (£10), which was a mix of Absolut Pears, Blue Curacao, Yuzu Sake, Lime and Soda and Cape Town Iced Tea (£10), which was a mix of Absolut, Altos Blanco, Beef Eater, Havana 3, Cointreau, Rooibus, Lemon and Eggwhite. Both arrived quickly, hit the spot and gave us a slight buzz.
For our second round, we decided to have some Cha-Chunker cocktails, made with the bar’s Cha-Chunker machine, which was used to punch a hole on a canned fizzy drink to make room for a bottle of booze to infuse the base with a kick.
We had the Pornstar (£10), which is a blend of Absolut Vanilla, Rio Tropical and Lemon, and the Tom Collins (£10), which was a concoction of Plymouth Gin, Karma Cola, Lemoney Lemonade and Grapefruit. The Pornstar was a nice twist on the classic Pornstar Martini. It was sweet and mellow. The Tom Collins was a bit stronger, but was balanced by its citrus infusions.
We had these drinks with the Hot and Bothered Pizza (£11), which was a combination of tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami, chili and honey. This star-shaped pizza was a winner. The sweetness of the honey perfectly complemented the zing from the chili. Unconventional as it may sound, this is one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.
For our third round of drinks, we had our picks from Liquorette’s 1st Birthday Menu. We had the Chivas Highball Cha-Chunker (£8), which was a mix of Chivas 12, Rhubarb, Rose Vermouth, Orange and Soda,and the Rose All Day (£8), which was a mix of Chivas 12, Lime, Rose, Watermelon and Coconut Water. The Chivas Highball Cha-Chunker was strong and fizzy, and the Rose All Day was subtle and smooth. We really enjoyed both drinks, and at this point, we were properly buzzed.
To take the edge off, we ordered another star-shaped pizza. We chose the best selling Shrooms (£13), which had Stracciatella, Chanterelle and shavings of Summer Black Truffles. It didn’t just sound indulgent. It truly was. As soon as it arrived, the sumptuous aroma of fresh truffles and melted cheese filled the air. Every bite was a treat. Needless to say, we managed to finish it within minutes.
Then came the cake-cutting part of the event, led by Ellie. The candle was lit, party crackers were brought out and everyone joined in the fun. All attendees got a slice of birthday cake too. It was made of caramelised milk chocolate, Chivas scotch buttercream and roulard chocolate sponge – a delectable creation of Harry Broomfield, Pastry Sous Chef from The London Edition Hotel.
In a nutshell, Liquorette ticks all the boxes. It sets the bar high in terms of experience, since it allows guests to either be their own bartender or stick to timeless favourites. The ambience is cosy and evocative. The staff are attentive and welcoming. The pizzas are nothing less than stellar. It’s definitely a go-to if you’re looking for a great time.
Liquorette, 6 Rathbone Pl, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1HJ | 020 3319 6306