London-City and East London
May 11, 2018
This Smithfields branch of the successful Soho experimental cocktail joint is a tiny, quirky drinking den inside Ask For Janice, a restaurant bar with plenty of character. There’s plenty of wit and whimsy packed into this small space, with drawings of owls on the menus, and imaginative drinks served from everything from snowglobes to miniature bins. Their menu reads like something out of a mad Victorian apothecary, thanks to quirky names like Pharmaceutical Stimulant and Pept-Abysmal. But their prescriptions include more than a dash of modern mixology alongside the jaunty cocktail umbrellas they adorn their creations with. Somehow, they’ve fabricated a ‘roast potato’ syrup to flavour their Irish whiskey brew A Bag O’ Chips. And their Handy Nightcap is fortified with Bourbon, Vermouth, and the unlikely sounding Terry’s chocolate orange bitters. Other cocktails keep their ingredients lists determinedly enigmatic – but with a team this experienced, you can be sure you’re in safe hands. With all the focus firmly on the cocktails, CTC doesn’t offer the most luxurious of surrounds. Polished concrete, bare wood and bench seating give a rough-and-ready atmosphere that’s lightened with retro lamps and vintage posters. But with chatty, experienced bar staff, conversation flows as easily as the drinks.