Hattie Lloyd 17/04/23
Coupette | Cocktails That Raise The Bar
Coupette serves some of the best cocktails in London.
That’s it. That’s really all you need to know. But if you insist on us elaborating…
…it’s a gorgeously cosy, copper-lit cocktail bar on Bethnal Green Road that combines award-winning creativity with warm service and live music most nights a week. The quality of the drinks are on a par with some of the world’s unmissable, bucket list bars – but the prices mean it could easily become a regular haunt.
A love of calvados inspired Coupette’s Parisian aesthetic when it opened back in 2017: rugged brick walls are offset by vintage Tiffany glass lamps, and the long bar – the focus in the narrow, sleeve-shaped space – is topped with glimmering 10 Franc coins. That said, a typical, low-key bar it ain’t: there are also bold prints on the walls, a nostalgic soundtrack of noughties indie rock, and welcome drinks of boozy slushies.
The current, limited edition ‘Barely Legal’ menu is inspired by Banksy’s 2006 exhibition of the same name. It’s beautifully illustrated by original artwork created in response to the drinks, which themselves were inspired by street art. And you won’t want to miss out on them – try the unusual Lost Path, mingling nettle, spruce soda and Douglas Fir with blackcurrant sorbet and Champagne; or the zippy Blossom Martini, with lavender vodka, umeshu and cherry blossom vermouth. For those after something smooth and sweet, the milk punch-styled Crème Brûlée Old Fashioned adds double vanilla, custard whey cordial and burnt sugar essence to creamy bourbon. And then there’s the dark and enigmatic ombre, a moody twist on a Boulevardier with toasted black sesame, carob, cacao, tonka and balsamic – given a striking black hue thanks to a drop of squid ink.
Fans of the original menu will be glad to know that some of the classics are still on offer, like the Apples (calvados and carbonated pressed apples, voted Best Drink in the UK at the CLASS Awards 2019) and the Champagne Pina Colada (exactly what it sounds like, and voted best Drink in the UK at the CLASS Awards 2018). You can spot a theme here, and the theme is that these cocktails are insanely good. Yet at Coupette, there are no puffs of smoke or quirky vessels. Instead, the quality comes down to the hours of preparation beforehand, which you can taste through every complex, shifting layer of the drink.
On top of all this, there’s also a live pianist and singer from Monday to Thursday evenings (with a discounted drinks menu), and on Sundays the team roll out four brand new concoctions that are currently in development.
You should go. In the name of science.
NOTE: Coupette is open daily, 5pm-late. You can find out more, and make a booking, at their website right HERE.
Coupette | 423 Bethnal Green Road, E2 0AN
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423 Bethnal Green Road, Bethnal Green, East London, E2 0AN
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8.4 | Great
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