Mixing with Matt Whiley

matt-whiley.jpgMatt Whiley is set to open the Peg & Patriot bar in Bethnal Green's Town Hall Hotel on 16 May, to run alongside Jason Atherton backed restaurant Typing Room. He talks to us about distilling, bagels and Scottish porn stars...

How did you go about deciding what drinks to put on the menu at Peg & Patriot?
I’m constantly developing drinks for the menu at Talented Mr Fox. All of the menus get logged until I decide it’s the right time for them. For other drinks I look to local areas for inspiration, hence the salt beef sazerac for P&P, which is distilled with salt beef from Brick Lane’s Beigel Bake.

You’re making your own spirits – why did you decide to do this and what can we expect?
I brought out a gin at the back end of 2013 - Moonshine Kid Dogs Nose, which is a hop gin made using London dry botanicals along with American and IPA hops Columbus and Chinook. The reason to take it to the next step with Peg & Patriot was taking influence from coffee shops roasting their own beans and brew pubs making their own beer. So I got to work coming up with a couple more gins, I will distil our house vodkas and make our own liqueurs and vermouths too.

Can you give us some more examples of what’s on the menu?
This menu is a little playful with a few tongue-in-cheek drinks. We have a Scottish porn star martini served with a shot of Irn Bru, for instance.

Will there be a particular theme to the bar, given its name and location?
There is no theme for the bar. We will just be focusing on making sure everyone that comes has a great time.

Are you working with Lee Westcott (the chef at adjoining restaurant Typing Room) on any specific pairings or bar food offerings?
Nothing as yet, but maybe in the future.

You’ve opened several successful bars – what attracted you to this venture and what can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve been looking to open something in Bethnal Green for a while now and the opportunity came within the hotel. It’s such an amazing space and we are lucky to have some great neighbours in Satan’s Whiskers. In the future, who knows? As along as we keep learning and improving with all my projects and bars then I will be happy.

See our listing for Peg & Patriot here. 

Published 28 April 2014