Autumn is upon us and as the memories of sun-filled beer gardens fade, we turn our thoughts to cozy pubs and basement bars to shelter from the cold and rain. One such basement bar, Behind This Wall, on Hackney’s Mare Street is embracing the change in weather. They have created a new cocktail and food offering to bring together the best autumnal flavours.
Alex Harris, co-founder, head bartender and chef at Behind This Wall, has created a new menu that fuses the rich flavours of classic New England fall with the spiced warmth of an Indian Summer. Expect to taste heady spices such as garam masala extract, cardamom tonic and naga chilli molasses, complemented and contrasted by flavours such as absinthe-flamed maple bourbon cherries and cold apple cedar smoke.
Many of the cocktails on offer blur the lines between food and drink. Take the Hail Mary, made up of blended Scotch, clam chowder oyster, garam masala extract, Chesapeake seasoning, tomato, beetroot and celery juice, lemon sea foam and timut pepper. Imagine drinking a Bloody Mary but multiply the flavours by 100!
Personal favourites were the Redcoat Rickey (absinthe flambéed maple bourbon cherries, cranberry and lime olive, fennel seed extract, apero, brut nature) – make sure you stay at the bar to witness this drink being made, it’s a real show! The Raj Gin Fizz, made up of Saffron gin, triple sec, grapefruit sour, agave, double cream, egg white, bourbon vanilla soda and grapefruit converted a non-gin drinker. Smooth, spiced and packed with flavour it was one of the best cocktails we’ve had in a long time.
As well as the new drinks menu, Behind This Wall has also added to its bar snacks offering (we use the term bar snack very loosely here, they’re the fanciest bar snacks we’ve ever seen!) A twist on Hawaiian poke, don’t leave without trying the combination poke – Clam chowder and pumpkin oyster with black rice, switchel glaze, lime pickled onions, lemon sea foam, Chesapeake seasoning, toasted pumpkin seeds. It was absolutely delicious, we could have eaten it over and over again! Behind This Wall also offer oysters and if you go during Happy Hour between 6-7pm, you can grab yourself an oyster for the bargain price of £1 each!
With winter closing in, venture down into Behind This Wall. Everyone needs to keep warm somehow, right?!