Master-minded by mixology celebrity Matt Whiley (who’s also behind experimental cocktail bar Talented Mr Fox), Peg+Patriot is the brand new addition to the Bethnal Green drinking scene that opened just a couple of weeks ago inside the Town Hall Hotel.
Following my experiences with a cheesburger-infused Old Fashioned at Talented Mr Fox, I knew Peg+Patriot was going to bring something suitably innovative and creative to my evening of drinks.
The interior is gorgeous – designed by Ariana Rees Roberts and Lucinda Johnson, it’s dark and moody, with low-hanging filament bulbs, an impressive central bar (which serves as a stage for the skilful barmen), and expensive-looking leather furniture – it’s much darker than Talented Mr Fox, and oh so chic.
Behind the bar is a a distilling machine, put to good use by Matt and his sidekick “Moonshine Kid” James, to create all sorts of new flavours through the power of chemistry. House vodkas, vermouths and liqueurs are created on site, and beers, syrups and spirits are carefully sourced from around the world.
The menu is ever-changing and has featured a fair few wacky concoctions in the past, such as the much-talked-about Marmite Vodka Martini, made from all home-brewed spirits. Other intriguing ingredients include Roasted Rice ice cream liquor, Clarified Campari and Coal Oil.
James and I have met before, at Talented Mr Fox, so I asked for his recommendations. The D.Groner, with salt beef beigal distillate, sounded too similar to TMF’s Honest Old Fashioned, so instead I enjoyed a short and strong Rye Your Eyes Mate, a rye, mustard maple herbs liquor and maraschino concoction, garnished with a bee’s wax dipped cherry.
Rich enjoyed a bottle of Beavertown Gamma Ray pale ale, from the nearby Hackney Wick brewery. I’m no beer expert, but to me it tasted strongly of passion fruit!?
We were loving Peg+Patriot so much that we decided to stay for a second round of drinks. This time I asked Matt Whiley’s advice and, after quizzing me on what I liked, he whipped up a bespoke cocktail which he called the Sean Connertree, a kind of Rob Roy / French martini hybrid, with pineapple vermouth and Drybena blackcurrant spray. I believe this will be appearing on the bar menu very soon.
Next time I visit I plan to order a Barley Legal, with burnt pineapple rum, buttered banana, cultured coconut and lime – sounds divine!
For the peckish, there are Iberico pork and foie gras sliders for £12 – apparently heavenly, we didn’t try them as we were already full from dinner at nearby Little Georgia.
Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, E2 9NF
“No reservation necessary”
87 Goldsmith’s Row, Haggerston, E2 8QR