While it seems like everyone in London is jumping on the gin bandwagon, here at OnIn.London we believe variety is the spice of life, so we leapt at the chance to go to TT Liquor in Shoreditchand try our hand at a vodka masterclass as part of Wry Vodka’s White Label Project.
Wry Vodka is the creation of the masterminds behind Silent Pool Gin, and they have applied the same attitude to locally sourced ingredients with their vodka. We were taught about the process of making the spirit, including the charcoal filtration process, and even got to sample some of the charcoal, which they source from a local charcoal maker using traditional techniques. We also sampled the vodka at various points of its life cycle, and for a neat spirit, it really was surprisingly sweet. You could taste the chocolatey malt flavour from the rye malt which made it very appealing.
The ethos behind the White Label Project is that Wry Vodka makes an excellent base for vodka infusions, and this is a lot more straightforward to do at home than, say, cocktail making, as we discovered.
We had a chance to try the vodka after it had been infused in various ways, all of which seem quite straightforward. A lot of it seems to be a case of trial and error – the experts mentioned they found that between 15 and 20 seconds was all you needed to get camomile flavour into the vodka from a tea bag, but any longer, you got the ‘stewed’ taste, which isn’t ideal. My personal favourite was the basil infusion, although the lemon and olive oil was a close runner up.
It wasn’t long before the alcohol from those samples went to our heads and we all got rather giggly making cocktails (badly). TT Liquor’s top floor is set up with all the kit for the would-be mixologist, resembling something between a rustic kitchen and a school lab, allowing you to follow what’s being done at the front of the class from your bench. We all worked from the one location and had great fun getting the shakers and strainers out, mixing up all the ingredients and trying each other’s various concoctions.
After this we moved downstairs for the real party, with vintage tunes being spun on vinyl by Bobby Pleasure in the Cellar Bar. We had a choice of three Wry Vodka cocktails on the menu, which were perfectly blended and even after our efforts upstairs, slipped down far too easily. You can tell they take their cocktails seriously here, and with the cosy yet sophisticated atmosphere of the bar, with its golden light, leather seats and low cellar ceilings, it would make a great date venue.
We left very merry on wobbly legs, full of ideas of how to transform our spirits shelf at home – although I imagine we will get better results with Wry Vodka than, say, the Tesco stuff. I would attend a cocktail class at the venue again, but the Cellar Bar is definitely worth a visit on its own merit. The masterclass can be booked for £25.00 and includes cocktails, a masterclass and an after party.
Written by Jennifer Melmore
Photo thanks to TT Liquour