East London Liquor Company

East London Liquor

Going to post about something a bit different today. The other week I was supposed to be going to see Slipknot in Sheffield (my inner mosher just has to come out from time to time) but, due to not really being able to afford another trip up north as I’d been up the weekend before for a friend’s wedding, and due to suffering from a bit of burn out, I sold my ticket. This did mean that I had half a day booked off work already though, and rather than put it to waste I took up the opportunity of popping along to a Gin Experience at the East London Liquor Company. It was a great chance for me to learn a bit more about a very good independent distillery and also to do a bit of networking.

East London Liquor (1 of 26)

East London Liquor (16 of 26)

ELL Light (1 of 1)

We were taken around by distiller Tom Hill, who was a self-professed science enthusiast, who talked us through the history of Gin (why it’s popular in the UK, the reasons behind “mother’s ruin” etc) as well as the process which they undertake when distilling their gins (as well as the vodka and a whiskey which they hope to have on the shelves in approximately 3 years).  They are one of the only small distilleries in London to bottle their own spirits, with a bottle machine set up specially for their bespoke bottles and labels.

East London Liquor (6 of 26)

Before we got to tasting we popped into their bottle store, which was very well stocked. From gins through to whisky, beer and bitters. They have a number of their own special limited run gins (like their two collaborations with Transport For London, for the DesignJunction pop up restaurant) as well as imports from around the globe.

East London Liquor (17 of 26)

East London Liquor (10 of 26)

Afterwards we got to try the core spirits which the East London Liquor company makes, their Vodka, and 3 Gins.  The house Small Batch Vodka and London Dry Gin both come in bottles specifically designed for speed of service (long necks so they can be grabbed from speed rails with ease), and both are designed to mix well, although both are very drinkable straight (more than can be said for many “house” spirits).  They had originally planned on making two gins, a premium and a house, but after taste testing they ended up deciding on three distinctly different gins. The two premium gins, known as Batch 1 and Batch 2, with Batch 1 being more floral containing Pink Grapefruit, Cubeb Berries and Darjeeling tea (less keen on this one, too sweet for my gin tastes) and Batch 2 being a more savoury affair with fennel seeds, sage and lemon peel at its core (I love this one).

East London Liquor (22 of 26)

East London Liquor (20 of 26)

They also allowed us to try a couple of the other gins and rums they have in stock. Including a barrel aged gin, that was slightly peaty. Not sure how I felt on that one. All in all I’d highly recommend popping down. They are a great group of guys running an excellent distillery and producing some very good spirits. Want to see more pictures from the trip, head across to my Flickr.What’s your favourite Gin, let me know in the comments below.

Food, Gin, Zombies and N64

Reason number 1 for why I am poor: food. Whether it’s ingredients or that place that does that burger you just HAVE to try, I spend way too much money on the stuff. I love food, it is my one true love.

This weekend I took a trip down to London to see some friends (east coast had that £5 train ticket sale earlier in Jan, too good not to grab). I used to go down to London a lot, every month or so, but I’d not been down since last summer sometime. So many of my friends are living down south these days that it makes my London visits that much better. My friend Isobel sorted out an itinerary for us, including two different restaurants and a street feast. Isn’t it strange how as you get older your social plans revolve more around food than about which bar or club you’ll be going to (we did still do this as well, but shh)?

Her plan for us all was as follows:

–          Bone Daddies Ramen Bar

–          Back to her flat for Zombies (the Board game), N64, drink, and attempts to shave Matt’s head.

–          Hawker House Street feast.

–          Nasin

–          Patty & Bun (Sunday hangover food).


I’d not heard of Bone Daddies until recently, when suddenly my Instagram feed was flooded by pictures of ramen from various London friends. It’s a tiny place in Soho and surprise surprise, there’s a queue. The tables all come with jars of garlic, with a crusher, pots with hair bobbles to keep longer hair out of food, sesame gringers, soy sauce and chili flakes in oil. Anywhere that has this many things you can use to self season is good in my book. I opted for the Spicy Miso Rame (pictured below) and loved the stuff.



After eating we went back to Isobel’s and a few more people joined us. We played Zombies/N64/shaved Matt’s head before heading out to Hawker House.

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 This is a pop up event that happens in an old warehouse type building in Hoxton. It runs for 10 weekends in a row on Friday/Saturday nights. It has a couple of bars and then a number of food stalls, representing a number of London’s better streetfood vans. I tried as many as I could before getting stuffed, all of it was great.


Yum Bun – Belly Pork Steamed Bun


Breddos Tacos – Jerk Pulled Pork Taco & Baja Fish Taco


Bleeker Street Burger – Cheeseburger plus Feta Fries

Sunday was a trip to Patty & Bun, which I’ve been wanting to try for a long time but, due to how busy it gets we’ve been unable to. Well, I can finally tick it off the list and man, it was worth the wait. The burgers were so good, cooked just right and with great toppings. The fried chicken was also some of the best I’ve had in the UK.



Smokey Robinson Burger

Thanks again London, I’ll see you soon. I really need to start taking my camera with me for stuff like this. Sorry for the excessive use of mobile.