TT Liquor is known for two things. It recently opened in the former Shoreditch Police Station and it also serves the hipster drink of the century – quinoa vodka.
Although I got to experience the original brick of the former police station, unfortunately they were right out of the novelty spirit.
So I had to settle for an ‘Oh My Darlin’’ cocktail. As I sipped it in the former holding cell, I was told by my waiter that “this used to be where they held the inmates before they marched them out the back to take them to the old Magistrates Court on Old Street.”
Apart from the architecture, the former police station is unrecognisable. Over the past year it has been transformed into TT Liquor, the newest bar to hit Shoreditch.
The bar is hidden underground, beneath the unassuming façade of a liquor shop above.
There was little fanfare to announce the bar’s opening, and manager Jake explains that this was a deliberate choice.
Jake said:“We are not hugely shouting about the place being open, because we want the bar to grow organically, through word of mouth.
“We don’t want to be out flyering on the street as we don’t want everyone to know that there is a bar downstairs, as this area at the weekend can be full of idiots.”
The atmosphere is mellow in the Speakeasy-styled, dimly-lit ‘tasting vault’ as I have my first sip of the mango infused drink. Sweet but strong, the vodka quickly kicks in. A helpful waiter appears from nowhere to pour me a glass of water as I start to cough.
Jake describes how the plan was to keep the cocktails “fairly simple – we don’t want to put in fifteen different ingredients, but at the same time we want to give our customers a cool and unusual experience.”
‘Experience’ is the buzzword. Yet, at 6pm on a Tuesday night, the bar was not exactly hosting a bustling crowd; really only me and a friend I had managed to entice along.
Jake reassured me that since its opening at the beginning of the month, the drinking establishment has become increasingly popular. “It has been a bit of whirlwind and the dust is just settling down at the moment. It is getting busier and busier downstairs.”
Discussing the drinks I am told that the bar has begun stocking a home brewed alcoholic ginger beer, created at TT Liquor’s own brewery on Holloway Road.
They are hoping to create more drinks but immediate future plans for the bar include opening a rooftop bar, and ‘The Drinking Experience’ where customers can drink their way through history with special drinks for every era. Count me in.
TT Liquor 17B Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA