Ignoring how much the bill was after drinking our way through half the menu, I absolutely loved visiting two of the bars inside Opium and trying their different cocktails. What was so great is that you really don’t expect a lot of these concoctions but each one was just as delicious as the other.
The two bars my boyfriend and I visited were the Zodiac bar and The Academy in The Attic. We didn’t book ahead as it was a spontaneous decision, but luckily managed to get in just fine. The bouncer played the part of making it feel as though we were entering a dodgy password-only-style location, and we were ushered up the stairs to the Zodiac. They only allow enough people in so that everyone has a seat, which means it’s much more relaxed than most bars on a Saturday night and you can enjoy your evening… Probably a good location for a first date or catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while!
In both bars we sat at the bar, which I love because I enjoy chatting about the different cocktails with the bartenders, but there were lots of comfy seats around the room if you want somewhere a little more private.
In the first bar, we had the Zodiac cocktails to match our birth years (because why not). These were the pig and the dog, which are served in porcelain cups shaped like the animals.
The Pig is Evan Williams Bottled in Bond Bourbon, Saliza Amaretto, Strawberry,White Chocolate and Almond Milk
The Dog is Raisin-infused Chivas Regal 12yr Scotch Whisky, Noisette, Biscuit Syrup, Chocolate Bitters, Mead
The Pig was delicious, however we both agreed that The Dog was one of the best cocktails we have had in a long time, so highly recommend!
After that cocktail we headed up the stairs to The Attic, not realising that you couldn’t just do that and you needed to reserve a table, however we got lucky and they had 2 seats at the bar for us. We spent a good couple hours upstairs drinking through the menu. These were the different drinks we tried:
Burnt Butter Champagne Cocktail
Burnt butter, vanilla and cinnamon Martell VS, white sugar, Angostura bitters, Perrier Jouet Champagne
I should have recorded them setting fire to my buttered poppadom, but I was too distracted at the time. This cocktail became more and more delicious as the sugar cube dissolved into it. Such a tasty cocktail to start with!
Coffee Rob Roy
Glenlivet 18yr Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, coffee Campari, Luxardo Maraschino, Laphroaig Quarter Cask whisky
Edd had this cocktail, who is much more of a whisky cocktail fan then I am, but he loved it.
Fords gin, Spiced Chinese Pear puree, lemon, egg white
For their egg white cocktails, they did actually crack and egg and use the egg white from it instead of providing it pre-batched, which is always far more satisfying to watch imo. Pear and gin is such a delicious combination that this martini was far too easy to drink, but definitely recommend if you want something light that doesn’t taste too strong (though it’s probably as strong as most of the other cocktails).
Salted Caramel Sazerac
Teeling Small Batch whiskey, salted caramel, coffee liqueur, Angostura bitters, absinthe
This was probably my favourite cocktail of the evening, though it’s a close one between this and the Zodiac Dog cocktail. It definitely helped that this was topped with salted caramel fudge and I absolutely love salted caramel anything. It was such an indulgent cocktail and I would recommend this if you had a sweet tooth. Though it definitely was one of the strongest of the evening (potentially the absinthe and the fact it’s super short) and I’d say maybe don’t have it as your first drink of the evening, but that’s just my opinion!
Apricot & Cardamom Old Fashioned
Cardamom Wild Turkey bourbon, apricot liqueur, chocolate bitters
Edd’s final cocktail of the evening was the Apricot & Cardamom old fashioned, which admittedly we only got because it was covered in chocolate. This is more Edd’s style of drink than my own, but if you’re a fan of an Old Fashioned then this is a delicious and clever twist that I’m sure you will enjoy!
We absolutely ran out of money at this point, I will warn you that cocktails here are £12 each + service, though they do provide you with water throughout which was definitely much appreciated. It’s so worth checking out, even if you only have the one! Edd also had a Kokoro gin and tonic which is his current favourite gin since Gin Festival and was so great to see on the shelves as it’s so delicious.