If you want a good cocktail in London, you have to be prepared to pay for it. Usually. But we’ve found an exception. Southsider Cocktail Club is breaking conventions, serving up innovative - and inexpensive - cocktails and bringing the New York drinking scene to Battersea. It has a stylish speakeasy vibe; sit at the bar and let the mixologists whip you up a creative concoction or head with a group and get cosy in their big booths with a Butter Beer or a beef jerky infused Gentleman Jack whiskey…
Southsider Cocktail Club is the brainchild of Robin and the guys at 64th&Social. Their new haunt has a similar effortlessly cool look, with exposed brickwork, dim lighting and a long-stretch bar that dominates the space. Sit on one of the many bar stools and watch the barmen craft you a cocktail, or cosy up in one of the intimate leather booths. The roaring fire and leather grandfather chairs bring a gentleman club style sophistication. And it’s worth noting that post 11pm the bar is members only, but membership is free.
Southsider is like a very well-kept secret. There are no windows to sneak a peek through before entering and it’s a little less mainstream than its older sister on Clapham High Street. It’s the perfect place to have a chat with your cocktail, or to impressive a date.
But let’s talk drinks. If you don’t instantly know what you want from looking at the menu, go to the barmen. They really know their stuff and they’re more than happy to give their recommendations.
Experimental is the word that springs to mind when you look at the menu. Cosmopricost is a Cosmo as you’ve never tasted before, made with Russian vodka, Cointreau, apricot liqueur and pressed-to-order pomegranate juice, and Lemon and Lychee (£9) offers a tantalisingly tangy taste made up of Havana 3 year-old run, Kwai Feh - and the best on the market may we add - lychee liquor and homemade lemongrass syrup. This is certainly a place to swirl a whisky glass and Southsider puts a modern twist on the traditional Old Fashioned, which is a delicious blend of American whiskey, fresh figs and aromatic bitters.
If you’re celebrating something special or just the fact it’s the weekend, try a Cerise. It’s a sharp and sumptuous take on the classic champagne cocktail, made from artisanal cherry brandy and champagne with a bitters-soaked cherry sugar cube.
This isn’t a place with meticulous measures and drinks are generous and very strong. Absinthe features frequently on the menu and they use only the freshest ingredients – with a few homemade infusions thrown in for good measure. If you fancy a snack, popcorn is free and delicious, but they also offer generously plump olives and tapas platters.
20% off all full priced drinks with your Portico Places card