For London Cocktail Week, recently launched yet already smooth sailing London Bridge bar, Nine Lives, shipped in bartender/luchador EL Tigre from his family restaurant, Los Barcos, in Mexico for limited run tacos paired with tequila cocktails.
I liked what I tried and was glad to have finally made it to Nine Lives.
To be honest El Tigre wasn’t on my radar (shameful, I know) but Nine Lives sure has been since opening a few months back and (more shame) I just hadn’t been able to get round that way until London Cocktail Week (first week of October).
Now crossed off the list, I can say my visit to Nine Lives was well worth the wait – and that El Tigre’s tacos were a delicious introduction to his work. I especially liked the Camaron Zarandeado taco filled full with chipotle-marinated prawns.
The real thrill was Nine Lives’ Pink Flamingo cocktail (Don Julio blanco tequila, pistachio, fresh watermelon and white balsamic, served in a calavera mug). Easy-drinking but with a lasting finish it was an ideal quencher. It’s a cocktail I’d be pleased to drink again, though I think it lends itself more to summery sessions than the cooler months soon to be with us (though it’d be a winner for a Dia de los Muertos party).
Don’t worry if you missed your LCW chance to sip one. As I’ve gathered, it’s a keeper on the drinks menu. And though I couldn’t get past the Flamingo it was an inspired menu indeed. Next round for me, I might go with the more autumnally oriented Thompson cocktail (rye, sweet vermouth, lemon, maple and orange).
The bar itself, a dark and moody cavern with plenty of nooks to accommodate either quiet conversation or mildly raucous mini-fiestas. Service was friendly and helpful, if a little slammed during my visit.
Nine Lives is located at 8 Holyrood Street, SE1 2EL. Find out more at ninelivesbar.com.