A fixture on the south London lounge circuit since 2014, Cocktail Embassy is a good local bet. Upstairs LOUNGE bar is a relaxing and cosy space with leather banquette seating and leaf green upholstered stools which tie in with the verdant foliage throughout. Birdcage candle holders, pendant lighting and an interspersing of quirky wallpaper all lend to a bohemian feel which is matched by an equally eccentric drinks list of cocktails and spirits. Downstairs CLUB is, as the name suggests a livelier environment where at weekends revellers can party the night away into the early hours. The dark interiors and low-lit VIP booths lend the space a moody and exclusive atmosphere.
The competent, stylishly presented drinks draw in fans from Crystal Palace and beyond. Classicists will enjoy the likes of Old Cuban, Manhattan (choose between sweet, dry or perfect), or a take on Vesper (a variation of a Martini inspired by James Bond’s specifications). Elsewhere moderate investment in the house creations also pays off, especially for Peach Perfect (mezcal, tequila, peach liqueur, lime, agave and celery bitters), and boozy yet sweet, strong and sharp After Midnight (cognac and bourbon).
While the menu is constantly evolving a few evergreen favourites remain including a sweet and elegant Turkish Delight (vanilla vodka, rose syrup, white wine, lemon and egg white) and Morning in a Pine Forest, a herbal yet smooth botanical gin-based blend with rosemary syrup, Campari, grapefruit juice, maraschino liqueur, egg white and tonic.
Premium G&Ts come with their ideal ‘adornment’ – San Francisco’s St George Botanivore served with dill, black peppercorns and lemon, say. A curt wine selection is an addendum to the considerable list, should cocktails not float your boat, and for those off the alcohol there are a handul of mocktails to choose from including a virgin mojito, virgin colada and Seedlip G&T garnished with orange zest and rosemary.