Anam Cocktail Lounge
3 Chapel Market
Wenlock Arms was another off-the-road, off-the-map pub but astounding in its selection of beer and uncommon ales delivered from around England.
After a week of bar talks, pub hopping, I thought I had all the types and varieties down. Little did I know that the underground world of cocktail making still offered deep and uncharted depths, of which I've barely broke ground. Anam Cocktail Lounge was dark and swank, manned by the two bartenders who had only procured this venue a couple of months ago. Making changes to the original conception of an Irish bar, Anam was now a cocktail lounge, proffering an impressive array of rare and exotic cocktails ranging from the sweet to the sour to the disgusting and the delicious.
Bartender Simon recommended the Vanilla Mojito (dark rum with vanilla sugar, mint and lemon), and the Cherry Pie Bellini (red cherry puree, Amaretto DiSaronno, champagne). Simon was a little bit of a cocktail freak as he lived, breathed and soaked up cocktails, literally and figuratively. Personally catering to the individual tastes of each customer that came in, Simon took down my favourite dessert and suggested a drink. For me, inclined towards lemon tarts, he suggested the Ladykiller, and the Sailor Boy. For the more adventurous, he recommended the Dark Chocolate Flip (chocolate, sherry, Armagnac, egg yolk) or the Pork and Beer Margherita (with a pork scratching rim). For himself, he preferred the simple whiskey, though more specifically, "the American whiskey, with the smoky flavours - a slightly caramel taste." Bartender Phillipe [picture] presented me with a delicious Tomahawk (Belvedere Pomaranca, rose liqueur, grapefruit). He suggested the Rock Candy (Ketel 1 Citron, lychee liquor, cranberry and apple juice). Phillipe, for himself personally, liked all the bourbons and rums. "When it comes to spirits, I love everything. I'm almost an alcoholic. Bourbon is a drink of strength, a drink made for men." Despite Phillipe machismo, both bartenders were experimental in their cocktails and created new cocktails based on their own sensitive palettes. While Simon focused on making the perfect cocktail, Phillipe liked putting unconventional ingredients in his drinks, such as the Chilli n Chocolate (red chilli, peppery vodka, coffee and butterscotch liqueurs and cocoa powder).
In the plush red leathered seating area, Liz from South Africa was enjoying the Blueberry and Lavender Bellini. "It's different; they have lavender puree, which I've never heard of." Peppe of Italy, despite the cocktail selection, settled with the vodka tonic. With a casual shrug, he said, "It's all right." Ryan was a little bit more chatty. "I came in for a glass of water - I'm allergic to wine but they serve it to me anyways," he joked. "I usually have the Merlot but they suggested the Fuente Cerrada for me instead. Which I'm enjoying more. It's like a party in your mouth and everyone's invited." I left, happily infused with pretty drinks and cocktail tales spouting out of my ears.
Tomahawk, Rock Candy, Blueberry and Lavender Bellini, Vanilla Mojito.