A bar might seem like the perfect place to get wasted.
But nothing gets wasted at Scout.
Coming to you from cocktail guru Matt Whiley (Peg + Patriot, Purl, Worship St Whistling Shop, etc.) and Rich Woods (a.k.a. The Cocktail Guy, who opened the bars at Sushisamba and Duck & Waffle), the place has a sustainability-focussed, zero-waste philosophy – going so far as to ferment leftover cocktail ingredients for up to fourteen weeks to create their delicious, piquant ‘wasted wines’.
Scout originally made its home in Shoreditch, but, after a successful first year (winning it a comfortable #28 in the World’s 50 Best Bars), it relocated to its current spot right by Hackney Central station. And because they were so clearly onto a good thing, they’ve recreated the same Scandi-chic interior, with minimalist wooden bench seating, pale sage green walls, and the occasional piece of graffiti-style artwork. Dominating the space is the smooth, stone-topped bar, down-lit by simple strip lighting and backing onto a wall of house-bottled distillates, ferments and infusions that the team have been tinkering with in their cocktail lab.
The cocktail menu is split into four categories, like “Towns/Cities” and “Grasslands”, honouring the provenance of the drinks’ components. See, they make around 60% of their ingredients in-house, using the foraged harvests of John the Poacher, who heads out weekly to the Hackney Marshes and brings them back kilos of wild Mirabelle plums, bark shavings, and berries. On their latest menu, you’ll find numbers like the S’More Ramos, with Scotch whisky, caramelised cream, waffle cone cacao, cherry bark and sparkling wine; the Sweet Potato Highball, with pineapple weed, sweet potato, tequila, Norfolk heather honey and soda; and the Scrimsaw, with gin, algae dry vermouth, Fino sherry, razor clam, sea lettuce and Scout’s own ‘sea essence’, topped with a sprig of samphire.
In the move they’ve found space for a kitchen – so there’s a couple of bar snacks on the menu, too. They include sourdough with coffee butter; a platter of English cheeses made by Wildes in Tottenham, served with Scout’s tomato chutney; and a plate of house pickles, with beetroot, radish, mushrooms, and curls of carrot dotted with an umami-rich, yeast dipping sauce. In short…
…it’s worth scouting out.
NOTE: Scout is open Weds-Thurs 6pm-12am, and Fri/Sat 5pm-12am. You can make a booking, and find out more, right HERE.
Scout | 224 Graham Road, E8 1BP
Main image: Lateef Okunnu
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