Most of us have sampled the candy shop concoctions at the bar of Jekyll and Hyde, but did you know, you’ve only experienced half the bar? Venture upstairs, away from the busy bar and cocktails topped with candy floss, and find Dr Jekyll’s Gin Parlour.
Dr Jekyll’s Gin Parlour
Up here, things are quieter and a little more refined. You can book yourself a table in the Victorian inspired parlour and go hard on a huge list of gins and a new cocktail menu, themed around classics of literature.
The young man stared at her for a long moment when she offered it to him.
“Valar morghulis,” he said.
“Valar dohaeris,” she replied.
Inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire, the Valar Morghulis (£7.50) combines Hayman’s Old Tom Gin, raspberry and a Pinot Noir float. This was sweeter than I expected, with the red wine adding a deep note of red fruit to the flavour profile. The raspberry brought some sweet-sharpness, and the cocktail was satisfyingly boozy.
Gods of death
“Did you know Gods of Death love apples?”
Named for Death Note, Gods of Death (£8.50) uses Plum Saké, Nikka Whisky and Hibiscus liqueur. I loved the pretty serve in a glass teacup, topped with a curl of dried apple. The whisky is allowed to shine here, with the sweet notes brought out with the added plum. This isn’t one to try if you’re not a whisky fan, but for those who are, this is one of the best options on the menu. Delicate, but with a surprising Nikka punch.
The red Weed
On the fourteenth day I went into the kitchen, and I was surprised to find that the fronds of the red weed had grown right across the hole in the wall, turning the halflight of the place into a crimson coloured obscurity.
The Red Weed (£7.50) is named after the famous weed of War Of The Worlds, and is made with Boe Violet Gin, Liquorice and Blackcurrant. With a Violet gin, I had expected this to be quite floral, as violet can be a very overpowering taste. Instead, this was exactly like drinking a Black Jack sweet. Steer clear if you don’t like liquorice, or drinks with a medicinal note, but I found this was very enjoyable, and a nice change from sickly sweet candy inspired drinks.
pan galaCtic gargle blaster
“Like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick.”
There was no way I wasn’t going to order the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy inspired Pan Galatic Gargle Blaster (£7.50). Chase Grapefruit Gin, Pistachio and Vanilla Liqueur aims to recreate the brain smashing beverage, and it really does pack a sharp hit from the grapefruit gin. I refer a sharp cocktail, and this was my favourite of the night. I’d have liked some lemon, just for authenticity, but in general, this was very good.
Captain flint’s plunder
“Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!”
Whether the pirates of Treasure Island would have switched their rum for the Captain Flint’s Plunder (£7.50), I don’t know, but this is one dangerous cocktail. The mix of Kraken rum, pineapple and passion fruit makes for an all too drinkable cocktail, that tastes like fruit juice. This was one of the most fun serves too, with the pineapple shaped glass and chocolate coin treasure resting in the top.
“It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil.”
The Moloko (£8) is named for A Clockwork Orange and combines Black Cow vodka, Red Leg spiced rum, salted caramel and vanilla. This was much too sweet for me, and I’m not big on creamy cocktails either, but Dave really enjoyed this, and found it tasted exactly as described, with big notes of vanilla and cream.
Overall, the Libations in Literature is fun, with some good crowd-pleasing options. It’s good to see the menu take a very different road to the sweet stuff available downstairs, and while I’m not a regular visitor to Mr Hyde’s downstairs, you will find me sipping a Pan Galatic Gargle Blaster some time soon in the parlour, I’m sure.
I was a guest of Jekyll and Hyde, and all our drinks were complementary for the purposes of honest review. All words, images and opinions are my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.