London-North and Northwest London
May 11, 2018
This Stoke Newington newcomer, located under the hugely popular Burger Bear operation, is the work behind the much loved and admired Happiness Forgets in Hoxton Square. It’s a properly seductive spot and wins bonus points for being that much bigger than the dinky Happiness. A long, thin bar runs the length of the narrow room, which also boasts an array of old-school booth tables and a cool pool table beneath a chandelier. There’s some quirky vintage lighting and table service from the friendly bar staff. Cocktails, as you might expect from the Happiness crew, are excellent and well-mad, with a focus on spirits like white rye and mezcal, rather than the ubiquitous gin and bourbon. They’re also doing inventive things with Aperol and vermouth. A lot of their drinks are designed to pack a punch – witness the Penfold Sour, a blend of Byrrh, Kamm & Sons, Aquavit, lime and cane syrup – potent yet also layered and well-balanced. The focus here is on complexity of flavour rather than alchemical fireworks. Prices are reasonable for drink of this quality and we really like the vibe of the place, which is open and relaxed and altogether more appealing than some east London cocktail dens, making Original Sin a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.