29 January 2014

Vinegar Infused Cocktail Tasting at Bart's


Being invited to test out cocktails is probably one of the best things anyone could ask me to do. The thing I find so compelling about cocktails is how there are so many different combinations of spirits, juices, syrups, spices, herbs, cordials and seasonal fruits that you never really know what you're going to get. Of course some venues do it better than others and one of the things I like to do on this blog is seek out the ones at the top of their game.

Bart's is a little speakeasy hideaway cocktail bar by the same people who brought us Mr Foggs and Disco. You'll find it, as the websites states, "somewhere on Sloane Avenue". But I'm sure they won't mind me saying it's inside the Chelsea Cloisters apartment building (well I don't want you wandering around lost in this never-ending rain, do I?).


Once you've located the black door with the lantern, ring the bell and wait to be met by a pair of eyes though the little hatch. The owner of these eyes will hopefully let you in (perhaps book ahead to be sure). It's very quirky inside; dimly lit - so apologies for the below-par photographs - with Prohibition style knick-knacks decorating every wall.

I was here to try their new drinks range called Uncle Bart's Gets Pickled - a menu of vinegar infused cocktails.

"Vinegar?!" I hear you cry "Surely that won't work at all!". Au contraire, my fellow cocktail lovers! The trend has spread from New York where cocktail bars use vinegars as a replacement for acidic ingredients such as lemon and lime juice producing something distinctive and delightful. Having posted a vinegar-based recipe myself last year, I was well aware of how this combination can work.


We tried three great tipples:

The Queen of Tarts - a tangy Martini made with Belvedere vodka, strawberries, home-made balsamic jam, lemon juice and sugar. Garnished with a caramelized strawberry and balsamic glaze. 


The Twelve Years - made with Woodford Reserve, infused with cooked apple and balsamic vinegar then mixed with a cube of sugar and home-made apple bitters. 


Lastly, the Mon Cheri (in homage to the famous Ferrero chocolate) - made with chocolate and cherry infused apple vinegar, stirred with Grand Marnier and Pampero AƱejo. Garnished with a chocolate sprig.



And damn, they were good. The flavours worked so well together and despite the gentle sourness of the acidic flavours, they're a lot sweeter than one would expect. Both Laura and I fell in love with the fruity Queen of Tarts. Fresh strawberries, jam and sugar? There really was nothing not to love! You have to try these vinegar cocktails yourself to appreciate why they're so popular across the pond. And with me, of course!

If you look on their jolly website, you may notice that the cocktail menu isn't there - it's top secret after all. However, I have to mention to you the fabulous Basil Fawlty Martinis made with basil, pineapple, Russian Standard vodka, lemon and sugar. They were so tasty and refreshing.


We visited Bart's on a Sunday evening which is when they have their delightful house jazz band somehow squeeze into one of the corners and entertain the punters. Laura and I had a fantastic time and the staff were so friendly. This little bar makes some of the most inventive cocktails I've experienced.

And before I sign off, another of their secret cocktails that I must tell you about is the Pickled Ploughman. Made with blue stilton (yes, really) muddled with gin, Chambord, grapes, honey and grenadine, it sounds absolutely fascinating. I didn't get round to trying this time but I think it's one for our next visit! 


You can follow Bart's on Twitter to keep up with all their goings on!

16 comments:

  1. Sounds like the recipe for the perfect evening!
    I love when I discover new flavours to love in cocktails, so much fun.
    You two look amazing =)

    {Teffy's Perks} X

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    1. Thank you Teffy, it was so much fun! But there are so many more on their menu that I want to try! :)

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  2. Oh wow these look absolutely delicious! Vinegar sounds strange at first, but when you properly think about it, it makes a lot of sense as a swap for lemon and things. Looks like you had a lovely evening :)

    B xx

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  3. I do love Barts...and yes it really is London worst kept secret bar!
    I'm intrigued to hear more about how vinegar works - what a neat idea
    x x x
    {The Lobster & Me}

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  4. So yeah, completely want to dive into those drinks.

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  5. I LOVE all the serious cocktail drinking faces in this post!! Those 2 guys sitting underneath the mona lisa look like they're concentrating sooo hard!!

    Rosie xx

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    1. Oh yes, it's a very serious business! Haha!

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  6. Hello you! I've been abit a miss from the blogging world of late! Love the new design on your blog, it looks fab and those cocktails look delicious! xxx

    Thiswomansstyle.com

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    1. Hello! I wondered where you had gone but I've seen you been posting more recently. Lovely to have you back!
      xx

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  7. I love the lighting in the photo with the Mona Lisa art - it's so vivid!

    High five to you for finding a place with what sounds like pretty fantastic cocktails! I almost never order cocktails when we're out because I'm too afraid of being disappointed. :o/ Wine is always a safer bet...

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  8. The photo of Laura with a cocktail in each hand made me laugh out loud. That's a balanced diet right there if you ask me! This place sounds awesome. I'll definitely try it and hope the eyes let me in! Your dress is gorgeous - may I ask where it's from?

    Katie <3

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    1. Haha! I know, I love that picture too! She was comparing the cocktails - turned out they were exactly the same!

      It's actually a top and I got it from Burberry yonks ago. It's one of those tops that just goes with anything!

      xx

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  9. Vinegar in cocktails makes some sort of sense that I can appreciate...cheese, on the other hand, sounds like a step too far even for me! Although I shouldn't judge until I've tried it - the sense of adventure and curiosity might be enough to drag me to Bart's, just to see if that can possibly work!

    Hannah's Haven

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  10. Hello Caroline,

    Love this post - just came upon your blog. I've always been rather partial to cocktails both made at home and enjoyed in fabulous bars - this has made me decide to try out a recipe I've been eye-ing up (hope it's okay to post a link - it's not to my blog) - http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-a-shrub-syrup-174072 something about the happiness and enthusiasm that comes through in this post is infectious and it's convinced me of the powers of vinegar!

    I'm with the previous commenter though - not convinced by the blue cheese idea, have seen it mentioned a few times now and it just doesn't tickle my fancy.

    Thanks
    Susie

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    1. Oooh that recipe looks delicious! I might have to give it a try!

      Thank you, I'm so glad you liked this post and my blog. Come back soon! x

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