Hattie Lloyd 06/03/18
Spice & Rye | Inside Glenmorangie’s Hidden, Whisky Laced Speakeasy
Not so long ago, we wrote about a mysterious, transient, under-the-radar pop up bar hidden behind an old spice shop on Percy Street, Fitzrovia.
Of course, by bringing it above-the-radar, it promptly sold out.
Which means, by the laws of probability, it’s entirely likely that you weren’t able to go. But as part of our devoted mission to bringing you the best parts of London’s evolving food and drink scene – even if you can’t physically be there to enjoy it in person – we’re going to take you behind the curtain and show you exactly what you missed. So you can totally fool your friends you sweet-talked your way in past the crowds, sipped on incredible cocktails, and danced on the tables to the live jazz band.
In an impressive display of knowledge that could surely only come from someone who had visited the bar itself, you’ll start by regaling your friends with the vision behind it. See, it was all designed to celebrate the new Spìos whisky from Glenmorangie; the Highland Single Malt Whisky that has been distilling for over 175 years. Coming up with something new after all that time can’t have been easy; but their latest limited addition (named after the Scots Gaelic word for ‘spice’) is proof that they can do new tricks. Spìos is crafted by aging Glenmorangie base spirit in American ex-rye whiskey casks, creating fiery cinnamon, nutmeg and buttery vanilla notes alongside a drier finish than the original. And so to celebrate the great American whiskey and its heritage, they set up this gorgeously clandestine bar in homage to the great 1920s speakeasy, complete with raucous live jazz band, sharply-dressed barkeeps and art deco touches around the moodily-lit bar.
Being a speakeasy, actually entering the bar was an experience in itself. Having tracked down an old apothecary’s store that had unexpectedly sprung up on a modern street, you would have had to sneak a knowing wink at the apothecary in order to find the latch to spring open one of the spice cabinets, behind which you’d find a dark, winding tunnel, push back a heavy curtain at the end, and find a jumping, whisky-laced den of iniquity awaiting you.
Sure, you could just look up the menu and memorise a few of the cocktail names to tell your friends. But if you want to add some ballast to your account, you can recall the delicate flavours of the bar’s bespoke concoctions – like how the Chapel St. Sour brought out the textures of the Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or with peach liqueur, lemon and toasted coriander seeds. Or perhaps, how the Bloodstone brought out the bitterness of the coffee-infused Glenmorangie single malt with vermouth and Cocchi Torino. And finally, of course, you’ll relate how you were treated to dram flights of some of the finest Glenmorangie rare and special bottlings…
They were especially neat.
Glenmorangie’s pop up has sadly now closed. But if you’d like to find out more about Spìos, simply head right HERE…
14 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, Central London, W1T 1DR
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