The first time I tried matcha, I decided that the bitter taste wasn’t for me and I’d better off trying to absorb all those health benefits in cookie form. My second experience made me realise that I had made it all wrong the first time – less is more, and the whisking part is quite crucial. When left in the hands of a true tea expert, the results were far less grassy and gross than my attempts and I actually didn’t mind it. However it took a bartender, a delectable set of canapés, and a roof terrace to really convert me into a regular matcha consumer. Third time’s the charm, as they say.
Standing in the middle of the Teapigs Matcha on the Terrace at Harvey Nichols in the heart of Knightsbridge, there was absolutely no mistaking what we were here to sample and celebrate – matcha, matcha, matcha. We were welcomed to the terrace with a Matcha Rum Punch, a vibrant concoction with plenty of rum and pineapple, and quite obviously from the colour, a good heap of matcha too! A cool, refreshing cocktail was just what I needed after a long, muggy afternoon in the office, but I enjoyed it even more knowing I could perhaps claim that it was actually good for me too…
I’m starting to wonder why I even bother leaving Tooting these days. My favourite burger joint is round the corner, there are at least three decent pubs within stumbling distance, there’s a wine bar, a sushi bar, plenty of nail bars, and more curry houses than I can shake a stick at. And now… now, it seems the cocktail crews are coming in droves – there are four cocktail bars at my last count and the best part is, one of them is literally at the end of my street! Brick & Liquor is all sorts of trendy with its exposed brick walls, moody lighting, copper cocktail shakers, and pretty glasses… but looks will only get you so far, someone bring me a cocktail, pronto, and let me judge it properly!
My cocktail choices are fairly predictable; a cosmo from the classics or something fun and fruity from the fancier selections will do me just fine so the Clover Club seemed like a safe place to start. This combination of vanilla-infused Beefeater gin, lemon juice, egg white, and their own homemade raspberry syrup was absolutely the kind of thing I order all the time, and that was even before I saw how it was presented… stencilling the Brick & Liquor logo onto a cocktail screams the kind of attention to detail I like in my bars. Cocktails are generally expensive and I, like most, want to know that they have made with care. They’ve proved this point.