Wednesday, 25 April 2012

LAB Bar & The Soho District

Cara and I have now been living in London for close to a year. In that time we have seen some amazing things and have been to some awesome bars. One of our frequent watering holes is a cocktail bar in London’s west end called “LAB Bar”. LAB stands for the ‘London Academy of Bartending’. It was a bar designed to teach and hone the skills of bartenders who have a love and passion for bar work. This is why we love this place so much, it’s full of people who love good cocktails, just like us.

LAB Bar is located in Londons Soho district, a part of the nations capital which is famous for being the home to top bars, restaurants and entertainment. The Soho district is also known for it’s “non prejudice” attitude. A place in London where no one will judge you on your fashion, race, age, sexuality, etc.  Aside from LAB bar, there is a smorgasbord of cocktail bars to choose from in the area. All appealing to different demographics in Soho.

Soho has had a long and turbulent past. It’s reputation for being the home of sex and drugs is slowly changing into being the place for fashion and entertainment. Although the stigma is a hard one to shake. Having said that, bars and restaurants have no trouble filling their premises with party goers. On weekends, the local council closes off the streets to accommodate the thousands of people who flock to Soho every weekend.

LAB Bar is considered one of the best bars in Soho. It was founded in 1996 and was designed as a training school for passionate bartenders. At LAB, cocktails are not just drinks. They are works of art. The staff pride them self on presentation. Some of the garnishes used on these drinks are beyond comprehension. The fine knife work shown by the bartenders would give a michelin star chef a run for their money.  Once you get past the amazing garnishes, the cocktails themselves are perfectly balanced. The combination of flavours used in these drinks are well thought through not to mention unique.

Some of our favourite concoctions are the “Red Hot Chilli Pepper”, “Slap & Tickle”, “Rapaska” plus many more. Truth be known, you are hard pressed to find something on the menu that doesn’t sound amazing. The menu at LAB is like a bible of unique drinks. The problem is, that it’s too big.  It takes quite some time to go through the menu. It comes to a point where you are rushed into picking a cocktail at random.

Sometimes picking random cocktail is the best thing to do when you can’t make up your mind, and that is what we often have to do when we are at LAB.  Cara and I always enjoy our nights out in Soho. I’m sure we’ll spend many more nights in LAB before we leave London.


Shaken & Strained over Crushed Ice
 - 60ml Raspberry Vodka
 - 30ml Passionfruit Puree
 - 30ml Rasperry Puree
 - Dashes of Lime juice, Apple juice & Orange juice
Garnished with a granny smith apple fan


                              “Red Hot Chilli Pepper”
                     Stirred with Crushed Ice in a Tall Glass
                     - 60ml Lemongrass & Chilli infused Tequila
                     - 30ml Homemade Vanilla Sugar Syrup
                     - Topped with Ginger Beer
                       Floated on top:
                     - Goldschlager (Cinnamon Schnapps)
                     - Sparkling Wine
                    Garnished with Lemongrass & Chilli

     “Slap & Tickle"
  Shaken and Strained over cubed Ice
- 30ml Koko Kanu Coconut Rum
- 30ml Plymouth Sloe Gin
- 15ml Lime Juice
- 15ml Lemon Juice
- 15ml Mango Syrup
Garnished with lemon & lime rind, wrapped around a maraschino cherry.

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