Ever wondered about the Prohibition era in America’s roaring 20s and what kind of stylish cocktails they drank in secret? Well, look no further than The Bootlegger, a speakeasy-style bar in the heart of the city, near Bank. The Bootlegger is for the true cocktail connoisseur. On visiting, I discovered so many cocktails that I had never even imaged would be conjured up – so many inventive combinations! You really must see it to believe it.
The Bootlegger, whose speciality is clearly cocktails, has now also launched a new food menu (keeping in with the 1920’s gangster era) with Chicago-style hot dogs, chilli-cheese fries and more. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the cocktail menu. I visited there recently to discover it first-hand…
Okay, so I’m a little obsessed by the cocktails at The Bootlegger. There are so many to choose from with a base of Vodka, Rum, Tequila, Gin, Cognac, Whisky etc. so there is something for everyone. A lot of care has gone into the ingredients in each cocktail to make it as innovative and fun as it can be!
I wanted to try three cocktails to get a well-rounded taste of the menu so first went for ‘Wet’ which was rose-infused Ketel One vodka, blended with fresh lychee and sweetened with rose syrup and then topped with champagne. This was a lovely, refreshing and classy drink. Perfect for a lady and one who likes rose as well!
Next up for the cocktail order was a ‘Hot On The Trail’. I’ve never tried Courvoisier before but as Busta Rhymes said, ‘pass the Courvoisier’ so that’s exactly what I did. This was served in a glass that rested on a cup of hot water so the drink was warm and soothing. With blackberries, cinnamon, cloves, fruit peels, cardamom and vanilla sugar this is a delicious mulled fruits drink that is both warming to the throat and soothing to the soul. A fabulous drink for when it is cold outside and one that would be good as a post-dinner drink.
The last cocktail I tried was the Smoking Ace (love this name). The name reminds me of something from the Wild West and there is nothing silly about this drink. This is a tough drink that contains Woodford Reserve whiskey that is actually smoked with flavoured wood. It comes served in a bottle that contains smoke, giving the entire drink an amazing smoky taste. The drink also contains Angostura bitters, brown sugar and caramel to round it out. Delicious and a very manly drink for the macho man (or lady).
As I mentioned before, The Bootlegger has just added food to their menu. The food menu contains all your typical American classics such as grilled cheese, hot dogs and chilli-cheese fries. I ordered The Dogfather, all all-beef hot dog with salsa verde and saurkraut. I grew up with saurkraut and we love it in my family so I was pleased to see this classic on the menu. The salsa verde was amazing – very delicious.
Topping for your dog include Nacho Cheese, Salsa Verde, Piccalilli Relish, Slow cooked-Brisket Chilli, Bacon Bites, Crispy Onion and Sauerkraut. You can also top off your dog with a variety of sauces made in-house such as Nutty Butter, Curry Ketchup, Jerk Mayo, Hot Blooded Hot Sauce, Black and Blue and Iron Brewbq. I got the Curry Ketchup and it was delicious.
For a side you can choose from Brisket Chilli Cheese Fries, Chilli Cheese Fries, Grilled Cheese and The Bootlegger Fries. I went for the classic Bootlegger friends which are house seasoned fries – yummy!
I’m not gonna lie, this place can get kind of crazy on a Thursday and Friday night, when all the bankers and traders are let loose for after work drinks. So if you want to come here for a quiet date, I would suggest not but if you want to come and try some really fun cocktails and listen to some great live music then this is the place for you!
The Bootlegger has weekly live music performances from the Cash Cows and Louis Hall. They perform covers that everyone knows and loves so it’s a really fun atmosphere to let some steam off. Expert cocktails and music give the venue a real party atmosphere and people do dance as well so you can do whatever you want! Highly recommended to visit on a Thursday or Friday if you want that vibe.
For more about The Bootlegger see here.