Bar Review: The Old Fashioned Bar, Chelsea in London
Tucked up above The World’s End Market on the prestigious Kings Road is a new bar specialising in the finest oak barrelled cocktails and whiskies. Having opened earlier this year, it’s all in the name here at The Old Fashioned Bar: described as cosy-old-world charm there is a raw design concept with an inventive use of reclaimed wooden crates that have been re-worked to create woodwork details on the walls.
An evening spent at The Old Fashioned Bar and it’s clear that passion and creativity saturates and streams through the intimate veins of this bar. This sentiment is encapsulated within the barrels that line the top of the wooden clad bar in the form of their signature barrel aged spirits which are used as the basis to their inventive barrel aged cocktails. Removing any unwanted harsh flavours, whilst adding individual characteristics found in the wood barrels, this technique has been used for centuries and plays an important role in determining the flavour profile of each particular cocktail on their menu.
A vodka based barrel aged cocktail, the Aged Vesper is simply blended with Tanqueray Gin and Lillet Blanc whilst the Aged Old Fashioned pays tribute to the heritage of this famous drink that originates from Kentucky with a combination of Bulleit Bourmon, Talisker 10, Angostura and orange bitters that are lifted with a sprinkling of sugar. The Old Fashioned Library sector to their bar list further delves into the realm of Old Fashioned refreshments with their enthusiastic bartenders presenting significant literary titles that are each linked to each cocktail. The Mystery Book is a Bullet Old Fashioned, The Great Book of Thrillers is a Don Julio Anejo Old Fashioned whilst another example includes Sea Stories – a Zacappa Old Fashioned; the grass really is greener down here in Chelsea for those with a taste for an Old Fashioned!
Every aspect of this bar has been laboriously thought through and this spans across the entirety of their cocktail menu. Moving past their signature Old Fashions other cocktails, (arguably with more of a feminine touch) fall under the Myths & Legends category and have been inspired by famous stories from across the globe. Linked to the renowned character of Christopher Columbus, The Royal Gardener cocktail is inspired by his discovery of the Caribbean and is based with pineapple syrup. Taken from Greek Mythology, Touch of Midas has been created from the story on King Midas and the garden of roses. One of our favourite cocktails from the evening, this cocktail holds a dryer finish with a mix of Tanqueray Old Tom, saffron white wine vinegar, pear and coriander seeds syrup, topped with fresh lemon.
Many of us find ourselves out of depth when it comes to choosing cocktails and knowing which spirits, each with their own characteristics and qualities, we are preferable to. An ingenious solution, The Old Fashioned Bar has crafted together what they call their flavour maps, in other words, directing all of us in the right direction. These include, smoky & peaty, rich & round and fruity & spicy.
Placing a spin on classic cocktails, the friendly and knowledgeable bar staff can whip up anything of fancy from their vast collection of barrel aged spirits and premium whiskies incorporating interesting flavour combinations with handcrafted infusions from different herbs, spices and fruits all made in-house.
The Old Fashioned bar is open from Wed. to Sat. from 6pm to 1am and Sundays from 12pm to 11pm, and available for private hire accommodating 40 people seated and cocktail receptions for up to 60 people standing.
Address: The Old Fashioned Bar, 459 King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW10 0LR