Alexi Duggins is at your mercy: send him to a new weird London experience every week and he’ll do it. This week: supping meat cocktails.
I love wrapping my gums around a plump sausage. I’ll happily take a hot beef injection. I’m rarely more content than when my pork’s pulled, and… wait, this is coming out wrong.
What I’m trying to say is that I love meat (leave it…). Which is how I’ve ended up at Camden’s Shaka Zulu supping flesh-flavoured alcohol for the first of my reader-suggested excursions into London’s weird underbelly. Believe it or not, this was one of the more appealing of your recommendations – thanks, though, Warren Paull, for your suggestion of ‘resign’.
Seriously, London, how carne crazy are we gonna get here? Yes, cocktails for carnivores sound gross, but who can blame a bartender for thinking they have money-making potential? We went mad for a pop-up burger joint called Meateasy, ferchrisssakes. And we were really asking for it with Meat Liquor.
So bartender Tony Safqi has ended up flavouring tequila with chorizo fat. The grease is removed, the results mixed with vegetable juice, balsamic vinegar and port, then served up in a martini glass. As I lean in to take a sip of the resulting Meatequita, I notice some kind of slime around the edge of my glass. I panic. ‘Don’t worry,’ says Tony. ‘I like to personally rim the glasses.’ This phrase does little to put me at ease.
‘That means I run the chorizo garnish around the edge of the glass,’ he continues. Reassured, I take the plunge. I end up swilling a gobful of cold, meaty soup that tastes overwhelmingly of tequila. Delicious it is not. Nor are the rest. Bloody Bacon is a bloody mary with a gentle flavour of bacon. Unfortunately it’s ruined by the cough-inducing alcohol levels. The Salm’n Martini – neat vodka, flavoured by smoke and salmon, served on ice – is actually impressively delicately flavoured, but once you’ve eaten the accompanying salmon canapé, the only flavour you can taste in the drink is vodka. So what’s the point?
Dunno. But I know that the £15 price tag is OTT. For £15, I want more than just meat juice in my booze. I want razzmatazz. I want my drink served by a troupe of dancing girls. Actually, sod it, for £15, I want dancing unicorns. Won’t happen, though. After all, no unicorn wants to end up blended into a pina colada.
Suggest next week’s task at @alexiduggins.