In this season of inky evenings and woolly jumpers, the Serious Drinking can begin. It calls for a rich, complex cocktails, that emphasise the taste of the alcohol rather than mask it with syrupy mixers. It's best enjoyed in a secluded spot, with low, warm lighting and hidden corners.
Behind This Wall ticks all our boxes -- and gets bonus points for a secretive, logo-less underground location and absence of twee hygge. In keeping with the Hackney postcode, this is an unashamedly hip drinking den, with clean angular lines and a commendable commitment to avoiding additives and artificial sweetness.
The new autumn menu, a medley of mists and fruitfulness, is an apt ode to our favourite season. The emphasis is on seasonal berries and smokey spirits, with a slight oriental twist.
The Pondicherry Sling has none of the saccharin stickiness of its Singaporean namesake. Instead the mellow, full fruity flavour of cherry heering is balance with lemongrass tonic.
Vieux over Manhattan infuses the classic cocktail with herbal liqueur and cold apple cedar smoke and it honestly tastes like bonfire night in a glass. The Uncle Buck is another nostalgia trip, with a caramelly kick of molasses that's like coca-cola for grown-ups.
We were tempted to venture beyond cocktails by the Orange Wine (the new Rose, dontcha know). It's lighter than red, but full enough for cold nights and cheerily autumnal in colour.
A carefully curated selection of oysters, poke bowls and snacks has just the right mix of light and satisfyingly savoury to cut through the booze. We recommend arriving in time for happy hour (6-7pm), when you can indulge in Oysters delivered fresh from Cornwall each day, with a citrus sea foam and a side of pickle back. And the lime-pickled onions on rye are our new favourite bar snack (just make sure to follow up with a mint before whispering sweet nothings to your drinking companion).
|What||Behind This Wall, Hackney|
|Where||Behind This Wall, 411 Mare Street, London, E8 1HY | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Hackney Central (overground)|
01 Sep 16 – 30 Nov 17, Tuesday - Sunday, 5 - 11pm
|Website||To find out more click here|