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Eighty years ago, Prohibition in the US finally came to an end. This 12-year ban was mainly intended to promote morality as well as preserve grain during the war, but instead lead to infamous gangsters such as Al Capone claiming their fame in spearheading the birth of underground drinking.
Inspired by the raw liquor that circulated in the smoky dark dens of speakeasy clubs, Bootlegger, a premium white-grain spirit, is designed to mirror moonshine (a high-proof, distilled spirit produced illegally) and to be consumed unaged. Expect aromas of peat, oak, and vanilla with a smooth finish, suitable for sipping neat or mixed in cocktails in your best zoot suit or Louise Brooks-esque bob.
Visit these cool London bars that are serving up Prohibition-inspired cocktails made with Bootlegger, or try your hand at a recipe reminiscent of these tumultuous times.
The Anthologist – buzzy bar/diner serving a please-all menu from prawn lollipops, club sandwiches and fresh seafood.
The Big Chill Bar – East End bar boasting spontaneous disco-dancing and a cheap-as-chips menu.
The Big Chill House – musical, fun-loving space, decked out with funky murals and comfort foods.
The Drift – boisterous and creatively cluttered bar serving up burgers, bangers and bubbly mac and cheese as well as interesting alcoholic concoctions such as a pineapple and cardamom margarita.
The Folly – laid out over two theatrical floors, this bustling restaurant boasts a menu that treks all over the globe: think Thai green curry, flatbreads and dips and sandwiches.
The Lexington – this decadent, cavernous lounge bar with its velvet drapes, silk lampshades and shotguns on the wall looks about as mishmashed as its menu: there’s quesadillas, jerk chicken with beans and rice sitting alongside mussels with cider and lovage.
The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town – almost-secret, candlelit bunker feels like a true underground ‘speakeasy’. There’s beer, cool cocktails and all-American nibbles, too.
The Parlour – stylish, all-dayer with a kicking vibe. Expect pretty martinis and indulgent puddings.
The Refinery – Slouchy leather sofas, high table-tops, an Enomatic wine system and innovative cocktails at the bar, while the dining room boasts freshly baked pastries and towering sandwiches.
30ml Grand Marnier
15ml sugar syrup
2 dashes of bitters
15ml fresh lemon juice
splash of Champagne
Method: mix Bootlegger, Grand Marnier, sugar syrup, bitters, and lemon juice. Shake vigorously, strain. Add Champagne. Garnish with a raspberry.
Bootlegger is available from harrods.com and other premium retailers priced at £37.50.
For more cocktail recipes and further information about Bootlegger, visit bootleggerspirit.com