COCKTAIL CREATIONS AT THE GIBSON BAR, OLD STREET, LONDON
Situated on the corner of Old Street, somewhere between Shoreditch and Clerkenwell sits The Gibson Bar. Housed in an Edwardian listed building, with a flair of Art Deco about it and named after the Martini cocktail containing a pickled onion in it from the 1900’s.
The Gibson bar opened three years ago, back in 2015, with the manager of Nightjar wanting to start an independent venture and take the reigns of his own establishment.
The 1920’s look of the The Gibson Bar is evident on entry with the bar over to the right and lighting effects and decanters filled with cute tea lights scattered around the space. Seating is quite limited with seats at the bar, a couple of bistro tables and high chairs and bench style cushioned seating against the right wall.
A piano takes pride of place at the back of the room, where every night you’ll find live music from 20:00 onwards. There is an impressive list of 20 pianists who play in rotation at the bar. The interiors are created by concept designer Helen Calle-Lin and resembles the flickering art deco atmosphere of the bygone era.
The bar team is brave, by that I mean, innovative cocktails using vinegar undertones in many of their concoctions along side a well thought out and executed list of novel ingredients such as molten chocolate, quails eggs, fragrant Buddha’s hand citrus and barrel-aged balsamic vinegar-syrups!
Rusty Cerven and Marian Beke are the creative brains and innovation behind this joints mind blowingly unique creations showcasing the art of mixology. The pair seem to have made quite the impression at The Connaught and Nightjar before making the move to The Gibson Bar.
Once seated, our tumblers were soon topped up with water containing refreshing cucumber, whilst we perused the menu. There are the some unusual twists on cocktails and the menu is extensive with over 40 options available. A proportion of cocktails are split into months of the year so should you wish you can choose a cocktail to suit the month!
I started with Electric Earl. This beauty is a mix of Tanqueray No. 10, Earl Greyliqueor, grapefruit juice, lemon grass, lemon thyme. These are blended with in-house bitters and topped with a flower bud which has an electrifying effect on the tongue. I have to admit it’s quite a strange spicy sensation, but a nice strange though!
Dr C went for the Salty Dog! This was more of a sweet combination containing, candied Angelica, SV lemoncello, Kumquat juice, candied peel cordial, madari bitter and Pomelo Oleo Sacharum. The drink was served in a tall glass with raspberry and mint dusted garnishes.
Following these amazing creations, we were intrigued to try another and so we went, a little adventurous. Mine was Tea Time with Alice. Just the name alone bought back memories of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and was made with rainbow chard, Slingsby rhubarb Gin, Aperol, creamy toffee custard, ginger curd, sticky fig tonic and was served in an electric cat shaped vessel with a proper lollipop candy. There was even an edible butterfly attached. The whole thing was served on a small dish of dry ice giving me my fix of theatrical dynamics!
Both Dr C and I have a real love for Peru and Pisco so in keeping with this he spotted Valley of Incas. This was made up of Pisco Porton & Wolfberry, infused Diplomatico Planas, fresh cactus puree, Aztec leaves, green jalapeno jam, anch reyes, fresh lime, chocolate tortilla cream and Urfa chilli agave. It came served in a cactus shaped jar with a small cone full of tortillas to accompany the drink. For all you chilli lovers, this one definitely had a fiery kick, which Dr C loved.
The Gibson Bar for me is definitely a cocktail experience that I will remember for a long time. It’s the kind of place that sticks in your head and stands out from the crowd. The waiting staff as well as the dynamic duo bar team are attentive, polite and happy to chat, always with the focus on ensuring the drink is consumed as it should be intended and that it gives you maximum pleasure.
The drinks are created with great passion and intricacy with equivalent ostentatious garnishes. It is a place to come in a group with friends, alone or an impressive date night retreat.
The Gibson Bar
44 Old Street
Tel. 020 76082774
For bookings head to the Gibson Bar’s website