Thought Columbia Road was just a Sunday morning destination for flower market perusing and antique purchasing? Think again. Just off Hoxton’s famous floral parade is the enclave of Horatio Street, home to a Social Club that would very much like you to be a regular member. In fact, so keen is it to woo you, its head mixologist has created a cocktail menu that even the most hardened ethanol refusenik would find hard to pass up on a Saturday night.
Hidden beneath The Nelson’s Head, with the entrance tucked away inside the pub itself, Horatio St Social Club has a cocktail menu that’s as innovative as it is appealing. ‘We want to be putting out drinks that are as good as you’ll find anywhere else, but for them to be really accessible,’ says Simon Thompson, one-half of the founding duo (alongside Jake O’Brien Murphy) who both previously opened iconic Shoreditch cocktail joint Callooh Callay. Moreover, the Social Club is designed to feel like you’re hanging out in your front room. ‘We’re not looking for it to be some totally unique place; we want it to be a nice space where people feel comfortable and want to come back to’, says Thompson.
The ten-strong cocktail menu changes on a weekly basis, with contemporary twists on much loved classics – mixed with an added dose of gastronomic science. ‘Dirty Faces’ is a recreation of the famous Savoy gin cocktail Angel Faces, and ‘Garfield’s Funeral’ takes its name from President J.A. Garfield, at whose funeral the first ever Old Fashioned was recorded to have been served. Thompson uses homemade, syrups, milk acids, burnt brown butter and everything in-between to give these recipes a new lease of life, and believe us when we say it really works.
Now, for us amateur cocktail mixers, they’ve sent us the recipe for their very own take on the classic Sherry Cobbler: the vibrant ‘Jot & Tittle’. Easy to make and damn clever, the addition of the sugar snap peas in this recipe offers a fresh contrast to the sweetness of the sherry – perfect for spring. Best served to a select gathering of friends as you welcome in the weekend.
Jot & Tittle
15ml sherry (Fino or Manzanilla)
10ml cloudy apple juice
20ml sugar snap pea syrup
To make the sugar snap pea syrup:
Take a bag of sugar snap peas, 500g of sugar and 500ml of water, combine in a blender and blend until the ingredients are fully incorporated and the consistency is smooth.
Add 20ml of syrup to a Boston shaker, then add the gin, sherry and cloudy apple juice.
Shake the ingredients together as hard as you can, before double-straining the drink into a tall, chilled glass. Garnish with an edible spring bloom.