SquareMeal Review of
Brahms & Liszt
Melanie Symonds, former producer of reality TV shows, now has a burgeoning liquor-importation business, and these Clapton premises incorporate her vision of a spirits shop and tasting room. Stylish, compact and fun, Brahms & Liszt is a postmodern British off licence to end them all, containing everything you need to enjoy great liquor at home: rare spirits, craft ales and ciders, arcane tinctures, exotic ingredients, cocktail manuals, bar paraphernalia, and sundry kitsch knick-knacks. Masterclasses and tutorials are regularly hosted and there’s a dinky bar serving sampler-size high-end hooch and wines on tap. Highlights include Cornish pastis, a Cynar Negroni made with Smooth Ambler barrel-aged gin, and Old Fashioneds or Manhattans made from superior vermouth and any of a notable selection of whiskies. Mel is especially passionate about mezcal (she’s the UK distributor of Quiquiriqui), of which there’s a dizzying range here. Approach the potent likes of Enmascarado 54 with caution.