Jason Allen 15/03/23
Equal Parts | East London Cocktail Bar By The Team Behind Sager + Wilde
There’s something pretty special – these days, particularly – about entering a venue that’s clearly a labour of love.
You know, the type of restaurant or bar that doesn’t feel like it’s been designed by a committee, and that hasn’t been opened purely to prove its own concept before rolling out replicas across the city. The sort of place that’s been created by people who love what they do, and very simply wanted to open somewhere special that they’d like to visit.
And Equal Parts is that bar.
The passion in this passion project has been provided by one Michael Sager, who’s been planning/dreaming about Equal Parts for a decade now. He’s the booze-slinging luminary behind Sager + Wilde, which is indisputably one of London’s best wine bars, and here, he’s taking a stab at cocktails. And – spoiler alert- it looks like he’s pretty good at that, too.
So what makes this place so special? Well, in many ways the point is that it doesn’t do anything particularly flashy or showy. Its peach-coloured limewashed walls wear a skirt of dark palm-green paint, and wrap around chestnut-brown hardwood furnishings, making it almost feel like you’re in Havana. The Venetian blinds let in neatly cut slices of light that get washed away the moment the sun hits the huge glass wall at the back. When the evening sets in, the curved, ’30s style bar lights up, and the record player crackles into action, driving the atmosphere with whatever vinyl the bartender deigns to pull from the shelves – anything from salsa, to ’60s Italian crooners, to Colombian folk music, to Otis Redding. There isn’t much more it could do to make you feel like you’ve been plucked out of space and time, in your own cocktail-filled bubble.
Which brings us to the cocktails. There are some that err on the side of simple, well-executed classics, like their eminently refreshing trio of wine coolers (Red, White, and Orange) that all come served in tall glasses with a monolithic cube of ice. But they also dip into experimental territory too, with originals like the Flor (which blends olive oil vodka with Fino sherry & tomato to amazing effect) or the Ramazotti (blackcurrant eau de vie, lemon, cream & soda) which honestly tastes like a deliciously boozy berry milkshake.
Even the section of the menu marked ‘classics’ manages to push the boat out a little. The plan is to pick a new British ingredient with each new season, and integrate it into the drinks in inventive ways. They’re opening proceedings with the humble Jerusalem artichoke, which they’ve managed to sneak into an Americano, Negroni, and Sbagliato by using house-infused artichoke Campari, making the drinks both familiar and intriguing…
…in equal parts.
NOTE: Equal Parts is open now, seven days a week. You can find out more at their Insta, or make a booking right here.
Equal Parts | 245 Hackney Road, E2 8NA
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245 Hackney Road, Haggerston, E2 8NA
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9.0 | Amazing
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