Lonely Planet Writer

A cocktail bar is encapsulating the flavours of London's neighbourhoods in its drinks

You might think that managing to distill London into a series of cocktails might result in a series of rather gross drinks, but on the contrary, it is an experience full of flavour thanks to one mixologist.

A London cocktail bar is making cocktails based on its neighbourhoods
A London cocktail bar is making cocktails based on its neighbourhoods Image by Getty Images

Matt Whiley is the mixologist and cocktail maestro behind many a successful London cocktail bar, and most recently the Peg + Patriot in Bethnal Green. But Whiley did not content himself with being one of the masterminds behind London’s bar scene. Working out of a Portakabin at the back of Peg + Patriot, Whiley works on his latest taste experiment.

Paris Cocktail week gets underway.
Image by Gabriel Amadeus / CC BY 2.0

He decided to try to capture the flavour of London in a series of drinks. He sent his team out to investigate various neighbourhoods and decide what bitters, liquors, and flavours would best encapsulate and represent each and every one.

The Peg + Patriot menu geographically mapped
The Peg + Patriot menu geographically mapped Image by Peg + Patriot

Speaking to Munchies, Whiley said that it offered a rich and diverse canvas. “Everyone’s from different places,”  he said. “Poland, Australia, Portugal. We’re all as mixed as London is and we wanted to write a menu that showed both how great the city is and the diversity.”

Capetown labelled the 'cocktail capital'.
Image by Didriks / CC BY 2.0

So the menu in the Peg + Patriot is based on the staff’s interpretation of each neighbourhood and borough. The Hammersmith cocktail has French flavours running through it, with Cognac, Gruyere and brie vodka making an appearance, according to Munchies. The upscale area of Knightsbridge gets a roe-infused vodka for instance. Shepherds Bush cocktail has ingredients such as coopers beer foam and butterscotch rye whiskey! Kilburn, with its Irish population, gets a Guinness vodka!