Der Raum's new little sister may be small, but she packs a mean punch
You don’t know the meaning of idiosyncratic drinking until you’ve experienced a bar that has sprung from the mind of Matt Bax. He’s the artist-bartender who put a jihad on Midori, cream and commercial cordials at his weird-science cocktail bar Der Raum (RIP), and so it should be of no surprise that this virtual cupboard of a bar that holds just ten drinkers (standing up) – and is currently concerned with faithfully replicating the drinks from Robert Vermeire’s 1922 book Cocktails: How to Mix Them – is his mad-genius creation. Bar Americano is a proper, 1920s-style Italian bar. It’s a sleek space of black-and-white tiles with no seats, just a wooden ledge on which to lean with either cocktail or espresso. By day, you can drop in for a caffeine hit, and, though they don’t encourage it, a boozy breakfast highball if you’re feeling dusty or distressed. There’s something beautifully bizarre about navigating a shopping arcade and stumbling into an alley to find a bar that seems to exist just for you. It’s here you’ll find Hayden Lambert hand carving perfect cubes of ice, or making a Martinez 1920s-style (that means your gin, dry vermouth, cherry liqueur and orange bitters mix gets a touch of extra sugar to imitate sweet Old Tom gin). Cocktail nerds, alight at this jazzy, elegant repository of cocktail history to have your gob smacked right off its hinges.