#ELLECocktailTrail2015 - The Verdict

The Elle Team's Big Night Out

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So our third #ELLECocktailTrail turned into a fun night, with 20 of us armed (literally) with our #LCW15 wristbands. Get yours (£10 from the #LDNCocktailWeek hub at  51 Poland St, London W1F 7LZ, so you can get £5 LCW signature cocktails in each of the 275 participating bars. Sadly, we didn't have time for all of them – but these were are top picks in Spitalfields.

Why not follow our route and tell us know how you get on?  @elleuk,  @LDNCocktailweek,  #LCW15,  #ElleCocktailTrail, instagram @DrinkUpLDN

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Scores are all averaged out from everyone's votes and are out of 10, and verdicts are a mixed selection from the group 

Hawsksmoor,  157a, Commercial Street, E1 6BJ

COCKTAIL: Chargrilled Pineapple Buck - Ginger ale, whiskey, chargrilled pineapple

AMBIENCE: 7.6  As we were such a big group, we were  given a long, oval  table in a cave-like snug; very cosy, if a bit of a squeeze.

SERVICE: 8.4   really friendly. 

MUSIC: 80s upbeat. Good background tunes, not music you take notice of, but is upbeat and puts you in a good party mood. 

VERDICTS: 'A surprisingly refreshing drink. I don't normally go for whiskey but I really enjoyed this. '

'The service was second to none.' 

'The bar staff were so lovely and accommodating.' 

'Nice, chilled bar, good vibe, bit claustrophobic with so many of us but would maybe with a smaller group.'

'Refreshing, citrus cocktail with a tropical twist.'

'Very refreshing as the first drink after finishing work. Would recommend.'

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'Lovely bar, well-crafted cocktails – it was our first stop and so a bit rushed (traffic delays).'

'Great bar, loved the alcove seating areas.'

'A refreshing long drink with a sweet and tarty finish.'

Blixen, 65 a Brushfield Street E1 6 AA, 020 7101 0093

COCKTAIL: 'Our Little Secret' - Caramelised apple and dill cordial, vodka and egg white

MUSIC: Easy, chill. Ambient lounge.

AMBIENCE: 6.5  They gave us the private room as there were so many of us, so it felt a bit conference-like sitting around a big table. Small groups or couples could go in the small, cosy  bar which has a lot more atmosphere

SERVICE: 6.4 'Staff were friendly and drinks didn't take too long to come.'

VERDICTS ' I love an egg-white cocktail, so this one really spoke to me. The rosemary was subtle but absolutely delicious. I think this was my favourite cocktail of the evening.'

'Cocktail delicious,  the bar lovely and the big private dining room would be good for birthday dinners.'

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'Lovely. The bar itself was great and so were the loos. But the cocktail was too sweet for me. Alcoholic apple juice.'

'Bit boring, no atmosphere in the private room  but it woudl be nice maybe for one if you're in a couple and just want a chilled quick drink.' 

'A classic cocktail, slightly peppery from the sage and a little frothy on top.'

'Felt we were a little tucked away in this bar and sat at a conference table but nice interior and good vibe.'

'A smooth and tangy long drink with a fruity edge.  I would go back.'

46 & Mercy, 46 Commercial St E1 6LT, 020 7247 1817 

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COCKTAIL: Blessed Thistle: Ketel One vodka and  Cocchi Americano vermouth, washed with smoked pork fat and thyme, plus sherry vinegar.

MUSIC: Hiphop  - bar manager doubles as DJ '

AMBIENCE: 8.2

SERVICE: 8.5 really accommodating and friendly, drinks came quickly

VERDICTS:  'The cocktail smelled like BBQ sauce and tasted like apple sauce and vinegar. I enjoyed the first few sips, but couldn't finish it.The tunes were off the hook though and the staff were lovely.' 

'Cocktail looked good but the pork fat prevented me (and others) from trying it, so a strange choice of ingredients. Those who tried it, liked it though.   Bar looked cool with retro furniture and good tunes, and  plenty of places to sit.'

Good place to warm up for a party – or stay here and have one.'

'Was a bit skeptical at first as it seemed a bit sparse but livened up pretty quickly.'

'The bar man who moonlighted as a DJ was great and so was the music. I didn't like the cocktail though, I don't like liquid pork.'

'LOVED the music! The guy took requests, too. My kind of vibe and was constant but not overpoweringly loud. Not sure if I'd pay £8.50 again for just a rum & ginger beer but would definitely go back for the music if was with a group of friends.' 

'My favourite bar, brilliant service, great vibe and loved the interior design and the art work, topped off by the decoration detail on each cocktail (small wooden peg).'

'Every  tune made you want to get up and dance. A cool venue with great music and interesting drinks.'

Discount Suit Company, 29 Wentworth St E1 7TB, 020 7347 8755

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COCKTAIL: Latilla de  los Muertos: Ocho Blanco tequila, Manzana Verde liqueur (sour apple), lemon juice, honey, Tabasco and chocolate bitters- it was HOT!

MUSIC: AMAZING mix of old school tunes. Let's just say, we danced

AMBIENCE: 8.4

SERVICE: 7.8

VERDICTS:  'I loved this place! This cocktail was inspired by the Day of the Dead… and that's what it was, deadly (but delicious). I would only order one though. This isn't an all night drinker.'

'Great mix of old school songs. I don't really remember this section of the night so well, but the cocktail was pretty potent.'

'Fun, upbeat, lively, old-London décor, dark and cosy.  Would definitely go back for a drink or two – tiny bit cramped when it got busier.  I got ID'd !   but they were really friendly. '

'Another place where you wanted to dance.''

A very small bar so a bit too cramped for my liking when too busy, but otherwise I really like the underground prohibition feel of it and I really liked the music.'

Comments: Debbie Morgan, Natalie Lukaitis, Eva Pineda, Catherine Pykett, Holly Rains, SWD

A big thanks to Addison Lee for ferrying us around.  We loved their free wifi and  in-car phone charging– brilliant for instagramming and battery-boosting en route. Download the app here 

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