Haven't got a cool £20 million lying around to spend on a Banksy? Don't sweat it. Just get yourself to Bethnal Green, where you can swap paint fumes for a boozy buzz and sip a piece of epic street art in cocktail form. That's right - the ace team at Coupette have designed a whole drinks list inspired by the graffiti of East London, and we got a first look before it officially launches on 13 September.
The new menu is called Barely Legal, after the first exhibition of works by street art OG Banksy himself. In keeping with this wicked theme, bar manager Andrei Marcu tapped six of the best muralists in the world to create works of art inspired by the drinks. Each artist created a virtual graffiti design based on two cocktails, for a total of six next-level artworks and 12 bangin' serves. The designs are all printed on the menu, so you can contemplate the art like a true aesthete while ya imbibe.
Andrei told us the idea for the menu came from drawing parallels between his teenage years and his current work behind the bar. "As a teenager, I loved joining my older friends when they were going out to paint and skateboard," he said. "I was never good at either, but it was somehow very calming, a little bit of an escape. I think a bar has the same role. It creates an environment that makes you escape the outside world for a short period of time."
He began looking for artists to work on the project, eventually connecting with the Callum Young of the Mural Company, who introduced him to the other muralists. "As soon as I saw their work, I knew they would be a perfect match," Andrei said. "I was honestly amazed by their talent."
And these drinks are gonna amaze you, too. Here's the rundown on six must-order serves from the new menu...
This fun, fizzy serve packs a bold punch with peanut butter-infused Beefeater Gin, oloroso sherry, nut cream, salted peanuts, pistachios, cashews and walnut soda, presented in a reimagined Campbell's soup can. Andy Warhol could never. It's paired with a vibrant piece of art by Bristol-based muralist Molly Hawkins, who's all about big shapes in big spaces.
In case you needed a reminder that Coupette is, at its heart, a bar celebrating the French apple brandy Calvados, the team have crafted this beaut of a cocktail. It features Coupette's very own XO Calvados, created in collaboration with Sassy, as well as douglas fir, sour nettle cordial, London Essence Spruce Soda and blackcurrant sorbet. Think of it as a Sgroppino lovingly assembled in a French forest, with an art pairing by the legends at LICC Design Co.
They've only gone and put one of our fave desserts in cocktail form. This banger mixes creme brulee-infused Woodford Reserve Bourbon (pure sorcery), vanilla, custard whey cordial and burnt sugar essence. Artist Ricky Also created a work based on this one, in the style of renowned New York City street artist Dondi White.
Things get spicy with the Red Line, a mix of Hennessy Cognac, paprika syrup, Ancho Reyes liqueur, mango, lime and nectarine. Fruity and tart, with a bit of a kick - that's the profile artist Sophie Mess was inspired by.
This bad boy brings together Clos Martin VSOP, Floc de Gascon White, basil liqueur, mangetout cordial, elderflower and chlorophyll soda. It's basically one of your five a day, perfectly paired with Alice Greenway's lush floral designs.
Bloomin' delicious. This floral Martini is a mix of ube-switched No. 3 Gin (fancy, huh?), lavender-infused Belvedere vodka and matsui umeshu cherry blossom vermouth. The badass Essex artist duo K & B Design channelled this drink's BFE (Big Feminine Energy) for their cocktail-inspired design.
By Kate Malczewski