One of the original pioneers of alchemist mixology, 1920s-inspired Purl has blessed us mere mortals with their latest pop up grand opening on the 5th November, taking up residency at The Bedford in Balham. With their usual abode based in Marylebone still going strong, Purl has taken another opportunity to celebrate all that encompasses the Victorian era by beckoning moustache enthusiasts far and wide (rather timely with Movember), bow tie collectors, botanists, time travellers, contortionists of all sizes. In short, all that is peculiar enough to sip with your next Purl tipple!
Offering their traditional speakeasy vibe in the heart of West London, the notorious comedy club (slash pub), still has its relaxed yet sumptuous surroundings in tact but with the odd prop here and there conjured up by the clever creatives behind Purl. From a black and white silent film streaming on one wall, heavily oozing lit candles on every available surface, to bulbous pumpkins and life-like cobwebs (well, naturally, it ‘was’ halloween!) all of which added to the ghoulish, yet cosy experience.
The playful cocktail menu includes five of Purl’s signature creations and favourites: each prized concoction held their own with delightful, slick appeal, and were crafted to bring out their authentic distinct character. Superior standouts for me were the GT Turbo (which could have taken on the name Purl Sour), blending gin with Purl’s homemade tonic syrup, fresh lime juice and egg white. Both myself and head cocktail shaker, Manni (Emmanual) both agreed that egg white brings so much more to the party than just a layer of fashionable foam, but ensures a pleasing texture in the mouth, taking every sip to a superior level. Bubblegum Martini had the most visual appeal, featuring popping candy, with lime and egg white, shaken with grape bubblegum-infused vodka. A subtle zing of lime juice offset any potential sickly sweetness. The finale, Fish House Punch was indeed ‘punchy’, containing multiple alcohol brands in the mix, and oh boy, was this apparent. Dark rum, Cognac and peach brandy only served to heighten flavour with accompanying black tea and fresh lemon juice. And don’t fear boys, if cocktail lists don’t quite fit your remit, also on the menu stands Purl’s immensely popular beer; Beavertown’s spiced Pumpkin Ale and 8 Ball rye IPA. Both unconventional yet impressive.
Purl has certainly achieved their task of ‘style with substance’; delivering a cocktail experience to a heightened multi-sensory level with a twist of pure tease, whilst transporting the guest to a completely different time in history. Education at its best if you ask me!
≠purl@thebedford runs from the 5th November and bookings can be made directly on their website; Purl-London
Tuesday to Saturday, 5.00pm – 12.00am