What do you get when you take ten cases of liquor, two of London's hottest bartenders, six rubber ducks plus the finest of teas, and throw them in a room with a scratchy old record player?... A BarChick BarJack, that's what.
If you felt the ground in Soho vibrating beneath your feet the other week, then you'll be kicking yourself for not paying more attention. The girls from BarChick (their heels worn down after an endless search for the perfect bar), had a go at throwing one together themselves… in the form of hijacking the downstairs bar at Dean Street's hottest new restaurant, Duck Soup. Finding themselves BarJacked, the staff at Duck Soup kindly stepped aside and handed over the mixing-glasses to Nathan Merriman (who left behind his dapper white American Bar suit for the evening), and to the ultimate showman Simone Caporale (who was plucked from the Langham's gorgeous Artesian Bar). Between dodging ice-picks and DJs, (love Duck Soup's BYO vinyl theme by the way), lucky guests worked their way through a killer cocktail menu starring mostly small, local and new brands, and a selection of Duck Soup's biodynamic wines.
The cocktails were the stars of the night (along with DJ Steve!), all original recipes created by Nathan and Simone; and the idea was to show off some of our favourite small and local brands. Check them out…
If you haven't heard of Sacred Gin yet, then shame on you! It is genuinely made in Ian and Hilary's kitchen in Highgate, and is quietly gaining cult status in all of London's most exciting bars. The gin is an aromatic, modern tribute to the traditional London Dry Gins.
Your Sacred Place - Sacred Gin, Byrrh, Grapefruit Juice and Lemon Juice
Soho Business - Sacred Gin, Peychaud Bitters, Honey and Lime
Having spent 15 years peddling vodka for the big guns, Pleurat was certain that he could create a vodka that was all about flavour and terrior, more than the tasteless spirirt it had become. His Konik's Tail Vodka is one of a group of tasty new artisan-made brands that are helping to make vodka cool again. Pleurat spent three years perfecting his vodka, including many freezing months camped in Polish fields with his farmers, so there's no arguing that this was truly a labour of love.
Flight of the Konik's - Konik's Tail Vodka, Jasmine Silver Tip Tea from Rare Tea Co, Fino Sherry, Elderflower Liqueur, Absinthe and Cucumber, served martini style.
Bartenders have known about the small batch crafted Ocho 8 for years, and finally everyone else is playing catch up. Like a fine wine, Ocho is unique in the tequila world by proudly bearing its tequila vintage (i.e. year of harvest) and also the location of the agave plants that it was made from. It's artisan crafted and 100% natural, citrusy and earthy, and it's BarChick's favourite sipping tequila.
Tequila Daisy - Ocho 8 Tequila, Pomegranate Syrup, and Rare Tea Co's Rare Fruit blend tea, served Martini Style.
BarChick may be more of a tequila girl, but new in the office is ProBarChick, who is much more of a Champagne girl, so it's no surprise that her personal favourite made the cut. The family owned Billecart-Salmon's production is pretty small as far as Champagne houses go, and we like that. The delicate Rosé was paired with tequila in the BarChick tribute cocktail.
Original Sin - Ocho 8 Tequila, Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters, Creole Bitters, Grapefruit Juice and Billecart-Salmon Rosé Champagne
Last, but certainly not least, the 'Last Vatted Punch' was created as a homage to the days of vatted malts. Chiswick's Compass Box Whisky was gearing up to celebrate the end of an era at midnight. At the stroke of twelve, lawmakers had decided that what was forever called a vatted malt (aka a Scotch whisky made from the combination of two or more single malts), was now to be labeled as a Blended Malt Scotch Whisky. The punch was a hit: a warming, spiced concoction of Compass Box's Spice Tree Whisky, brewed RAF tea from the Rare Tea Co, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice and lemon, oh and garnished with some rubber ducks!
Thanks to the magical antioxidant properties of our favourite Tea Lady's Rare Teas (all deliciously good and produced and presented with love) which were used in three of the night's cocktails, there weren't too many sore heads the next morning. And so, it was when the last of the punch had been drained, the ice-blocks had melted away, and a little too much fun had been had that it became official… BarChick loves BarJacking bars, and she's pretty damn good at it. Yes, it's going to happen again, the next one is sizing up to be even bigger and wilder than the first, and while they're keeping shtum on the details, they will say this… get out that ugly old Christmas jumper, you just might be needing it before 25th! Like us on facebook for your chance to get an invitation…