The Mint Gun Club – local tea house, bar and delicatessen – is the work of bartender and drinks expert, Richard Hunt (three times winner of International Bartender of the Year, previously Head Bartender at Milk & Honey, The Player as well as Mahiki and Hawksmoor). Located on Brooke Road, we reckon this little place is set to become quite the destination to those in the know.
Having lived and worked around the globe all his life, Rich’s inspiration for the venue comes from his love of travel and from growing up with his family in ex-pat communities in exotic, far-flung destinations. ‘From fan- wafted apéritifs on sun baked terraces to refreshing teas in blossom-shaded gardens’, the Mint Gun Club aims to transport a slice of this exciting world to North London with a menu that draws inspiration from this diverse cultural thread.
The Mint Gun Club is a small, bright, relaxed space just off Stoke Newington High Street, combining Modern European and Scandinavian design with rustic furnishing and splashes of exotic detail, including Moroccan tiling, Polynesian artefacts and Indonesian house boards and palms fronds.
If that all sounds a bit random, we’d urge you to try it for yourself. We popped in before dinner on a Saturday night and it had a really welcoming, relaxing atmosphere. This is the sort of bar you can go for a few expertly made drinks, and a good chat without worrying about shouting over the music.
Divided into four sections, the menu starts with a selection of Gimlets (small, gin based cocktails, priced at just £5 a pop), then moves on to an extensive Apéritif menu that combines blends of Vermouth, Sherry and Amaro with ingredients that conjure up the feeling of a tropical summer’s evening, such as coconut wine, citrus sea salt, fig jus, kewra, neroli and cypress water. This is followed by a tonics and sodas section, that features light, sparkling long drinks with ingredients like five spice tonic, yuzu and lotus flower. So far, so eclectic. We loved the Milanese Nightingale with Aperol, Gooseberry & Bramble Wine, Elderflower Liqueur, Picon Biere (a caramel-coloured bitter), and Sweet Orange Flower. It went down wayyyy too easily.
Finally, as the evening draws on, there’s the cocktails and nightcaps section. We highly recommend the White Tiger’s Milk – served in a bowl – the combo of calvados, cider aperitif, almond kefir and peach ‘milk’ is creamy and delicious without being too ‘dessert-y’. More cocktails in bowls please, we felt like a litter of giddy kittens.
There’s no proper kitchen on site, instead the bar team rustle up a selection of bar snacks from the ‘pantry’. Start with the retro pineapple, cheddar and honey skewers, and share a couple of the small open sandwiches, topped with kimchi and kale or smoked salmon and pickled cucumber. We’re big fans of a bit of sustenance with our cocktails, and these are seriously top notch snacks.
Service was FANTASTIC, and we can see a lot of love went into every aspect – from the cocktails, to the food, to the eclectic décor. The Mint Gun Club is a welcome addition to the Stokey scene, we’ll be back for sure.