I visited on a dreary Sunday evening to listen to some live blues from the super talented Marcus Bonfanti and sample some Sweet & Sour whiskey cocktails.
Arriving at seven o’clock, an hour before the music started, the upstairs bar and aptly-named gallery was buzzing full of chatter with only a couple of tables free for walk-ins.
Soft lighting and exposed brickwork behind the bar created an intimate atmosphere. Countless spirit bottles lined the bar back, complimented by numerous records stacked on the nearby shelves.
The Gallery have created an exciting whisky-fuelled drinks menu aiming to prove once and for all that whisky is not just a winter drink. The menu showcases a passion for the spirit’s versatility, with sweet and sour tipples hoping to suit every palate.
As a slightly reluctant whisky drinker and even more reluctant Jack Daniels drinker I decided to make my first cocktail choice a brave one and try: How d’ya like them apples (Jack Daniel, Pink Lady apples, lemon and egg white). I was pleasantly surprised, the sweetness of the apples counteracted the normally over-powering taste of JD – the end result was a delightful sugary tipple with and added kick.
For my next choice I ventured to the sour end and ordered a Derby (Havana 3, Evan Williams bourbon, peach, lemon, soda) Dubbed as the most alcoholic cocktail on the menu, I was slightly concerned it could be over bearing. That couldn’t be more from the truth, the peach blended in seamless harmony with the whiskey and it was so delicious I ordered a second.
My date for the evening (lucky man) ordered a Smokey (Laphroig, Monkey Shoulder, lemon, bitters and egg white). He described it as potent and one to watch out for!
The menu also features a refreshing Georgia Mint Julep (Martell V.S., peach, mint) and a bottled Plum & Rye cocktail (Rittenhouse rye, vermouth blend and Umeshu plum sake).
If you prefer your whiskey straight up, the menu has over 101 options to choose from and adamant non-whiskey drinkers can pick from an array of delicious wines, ciders and craft beers.
Feeling slightly peckish after all the whiskey I ordered the Wolfpack Cheese fries (£7.50) from the American-inspired menu. I was greeted with crisp thin fries covered in molten American cheese – perfect. I didn’t give into my fried chicken weakness but I noted the Gallery fried chicken (£14) was a popular choice at numerous tables.
The Gallery is the sort of bar I wish was my local. I find it’s always lovely to listen to live music, but I found the relaxed beats of the blues perfect to sip cocktails too.
All cocktails are priced at £8.50.
The Gallery, 190 Broadhurst Gardens, West Hampstead, London NW6 3AY.