I took a trip back to my old stomping ground of Fleet Street to sample the delights of Merchant House of Fleet Street presents the Cocktail Book Club. In a nutshell, this was an evening of decadent cocktails inspired by The Savoy Cocktail Book. Merchant House is a hidden treat of a bar, tucked neatly away off Fleet Street. So good is the ambience, the decor – think the natural world inside with plants and quirky touches – the staff and of course so enticing are the drinks that once you have found it; you are unlikely to want to leave.
This was exactly how I spent a balmy summer’s evening with cocktails on offer with names such as Blood Hound, Seventh Heaven, Corpse Reviver No.1, Monkey Gland and Marguerite. Frankly, it would have been somewhat rude not to have settled in for the night and imbibe. We were perched on a plush velvet stool facing the bar and could watch the magic happening as drinks were poured, shaken and stirred. Merchant House has a distinctive flair and is on a mission to reclaim the Irish and Scottish coastlines as the true homeland of whiskey. Home to over 500 whiskies, they let the whiskies speak for themselves; no preconceptions just the contents of the bottle highlighted and emphasised with a true respect for the product.
I’m never one to miss an opportunity for a brief history lesson; The Savoy Cocktail Book for the cocktail connoisseurs amongst you was released in 1930; having been complied by Mr Henry Craddock. The Savoy Cocktail book is the epitome of bartender manuals and is worth a gander if you feel you need to shake up your cocktail making skills. The book came out from behind the bar and I took a glance; packed to the rafters with recognisable gems of cocktails and less well-known options. We tried a white lady – it was a first for me and absolutely delicious. I shall be putting it on my wish list of coffee table books.
Since university, I’ve found myself working in and around Chancery Lane/Fleet Street, like a homing pigeon. Here now is a fantastic new reason to head back to the area to sample further delights on and off the innovative drinks menu. Merchant House with its relaxed vibe and super friendly staff; is a modern contemporary space. Whether you are grabbing a seat at the bar or at one of the marble topped tables you are sure to be settling in for a knowledgeable and fun drinking experience as you are guided through the option. I’ll be back as Merchant House has certainly brought the glory of ‘Liquid Sunshine’ to the city.
Merchant House of Fleet Street
8 Bride Court