I have a thing for quirky bars. It’s not just the cocktails, but the charade, the bells & whistles that come along with it.
Being the history geek that I am Cahoots was also going to be a must-visit bar for me. It’s been around for a while so it’s surprising that it’s taken me this long to visit. It was high time I scoped the place out myself.
The experience starts right at the door. Ask to see ‘the captain’ to the man at the front and you’re led down old-fashioned wooden escalators reminiscent of the Tube in those bygone years. my companion and I arrived at ‘the ticket office’ where ‘a conductor’ led us to our table.
If you’re going to theme a bar around something, particularly if it’s bringing back the good times of bygone eras, attention to details matter and Cahoots deliver. Vintage 1940’s memorabilia and trinkets surrounded me, adorning the walls including an old telephone box, sandbags, maps of the London Tube dating back to the 1940’s, there’s even a vintage Tube carriage complete with vintage posters. 1940’s swing music facilitate a smooth party atmosphere.
Scanning the menu which has taken the form of a newspaper, my eyes were instinctively drawn to, the reckless idiot that I am, the most alcoholic sounding drink I could find. Judge me if you will.
The Drambuster caught my attention. A deadly sounding concoction of Tullamore Original Irish Whiskey, Laphroaig 10-year-old Scotch whiskey, Punt E Mes vermouth, and vanilla & cassis syrup was my tipple of choice.
Once upon a time, whiskey and I weren’t on the best of terms. I don’t know if it is an age thing, but I’ve grown to appreciate it. While my younger self would have chosen something sweet and fruity, my older and wiser (debatable) self is inclined to the harder stuff.
As expected, the Drambuster is indeed strong but with a surprisingly sweet and rather pleasant after taste. As the menu suggested, this a drink for every Tomies & Dickies in London.
It’s all too easy to drink a cocktail easily with its sweet notes masking the poison underneath it. Perhaps conscious of the price, I was keen to make my cocktail last simply by taking small sips each time, allowing the liquid to touch every taste bud on my palette. But doing so, I inadvertently, I might have discovered the best way to drink cocktails. I appreciated it more. It’s definitely an age thing.
Whatever the occasion, whether it’s a birthday (there were two renditions of ‘happy birthday on my visit), a date, or a simple catch up with mates, Cahoots promises a roaring good time. Naturally, this place is popular so booking ahead in advance would be a very good idea.
As far as quirky bars go, Cahoots is a triumph. Would I recommend it? Yes. One of my favourite bars? Yes indeed. Expect to see me sipping on another Drambuster in the future.