Smokestack is famous for its cocktails, but if you want to try these five, you need to be in on the secret…
It’s been over a decade since Smokestack first opened its doors. That’s 10 years of heady concoctions, experimental pours and new twists on classics. Needless to say, they celebrated in style, with a new cocktail menu that proved they’ve still got it – but what you might know is that they also launched another menu, a secret menu, and we know how to get it.
“Because it’s a secret menu, all the drinks have been named after spy and espionage films.” Josh Howley, Smokestack’s Assistant General Manager, told us. “Like any spy worth his salt, the drinks are simple and no nonsense. They use classic ingredients you’d find on back of the bar, as well as some special ingredients made in the Smokestack labs that Q himself would be proud of.”
There are five drinks on the menu, and we’ll tell you about of each of them below, but here’s the important bit – if you want to try them, you’ll need to tell the bartender, ‘Shaken, not stirred’. It’s the only way to get the secret menu.
The Third Man
Rum and coffee are easy bedfellows, but this cocktail throws a curveball into the mix. You’ve got the rich molasses of Gosling Black Seal, the chocolate toffee of Tosolini Expresso and then the unexpected twang of menthol and saffron from the Fernet Branca. It’s a new twist on an espresso martini that tastes a little bit like an After Eight – and you have to try it.
North By North West
The colour of a femme fatale’s dress, but not nearly as deadly – this fruity aperitivo style punch is made with Sipsmith London Cup, Antica Formula Vermouth and Briottet Creme de Mure. They make their own champagne bitters and use them to balance the drink, then top it off with prosecco and serve it with a fruit powder rim.
The Lives of Others
A little bit of Christmas in a glass, this one’s going to get you ready for the festive season. It’s somewhere between a Rum Manhattan and an El Presidente – expect a heady mix Black Magic Spiced Rum, Carpano Classico Vermouth, Velvet Falernum and Luxardo liqueur with just a dash of orange bitters and a marischino cherry on top.
The Ipcress File
Served in a glass cola bottle, this is a twist on a simple whiskey and coke – but they’ve made a few additions to take it to the next level. They start with Buffalo Trace, then add Fernet Branca and Pepsi – on its own, it’d be a pretty sweet combination, so they finish with just a touch of Triple Sec to balance it out and add a little fruity zest.
Cloak and Dagger
We’re used to gin cocktails being light and refreshing, but this one takes the biscuit. They’ve forgone the cucumber in favour of a secret ingredient – but as you’ve probably guessed, we’re not very good at keeping those. It’s cactus and mint syrup. Get your first taste of it mixed up in a cocktail with Scapegrace Gin, Carpano Bianco Vermouth, Aperol and Prosecco.