Being asked if I'd like to come taste a new range of cocktails has to be my dream day. Well dream no more, as the ping of my inbox alerted me to the news that Barts had just launched a new range of cocktails and did I want to come try? Let me think about that one...
Pulling up "Somewhere on Sloane Avenue" as the website says, I thought maybe I'd feel confused after the cocktails, not before. Barts is a little secret speakeasy bar, where the test is to actually find it, however I'm going to give you a clue it's inside the Chelsea Cloisters apartment building- well they do have the reputation as London's worst kept secret, so I think its OK to help you.
Look out for the little plack by the lantern, and ring the door bell.
Be prepared to be met by a pair of judging eyes- just maybe less scary than this crazy one!
Once in, welcome to a world of prohibition style oddity. Leave your stiff up lip at the door please.
There is something about cocktails that I find so enticing, so glam, so sophisticated. The creativity behind the measures, the combinations and sheer art that goes into a master cocktail. So I was seriously intrigued by the proposal to put balsamic vinegar into cocktails. Vinegar? In cocktails? I looked over at my partner in crime with raised eyebrows. "Fear not ye of little faith", apparently, its a the trend of the moment in New York. Well if the big apple darlings are doing it, then here's to Uncle Bart's Gets Pickled menu. Bottoms up!
There are 3 signature cocktails on the menu.
We started with the Mon Cheri, a chocolate, cherry and apple vinegar, with Grand Marnier and Pampero Añejo. A sweet but rich flavour, it was rather unusual really, something very different to the standard fruit based cocktails.
Then we tried the Twelve Years, made from Woodford Reserve, infused with cooked apple and balsamic vinegar before dropping in a cube of sugar and some Bart's special apple bitters. This was quite a strong drink, and without sounding sexist, it was quite manly. Well I'll openly admit I'm a girly drinker.
Finally with The Queen of Tarts - a tart Belvedere vodka Martini, muddled with strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and that home-made balsamic vinegar jam. I honestly died and went to heaven drinking this, it was incredibly juicy, refreshing, with a tart under-layer. I may have had a couple of those...
I may have been sceptical at first about balsamic in my drink, but I've certainly been converted. New York, I salute you!
Of course, already in cocktail tasting mode, me and Caroline decided to move onto their regular menu with the fabulously named Basil Fawlty Martinis, a basil, pineapple, Russian Standard vodka sensation!
This cocktail tasting business is thirsty work.
Who know's maybe I'll change career- professional cocktail taster. Well there certainly are worst jobs out there.
Secret location aka
87 Sloane Ave