Looking for places to drink in North London? Read our review of Original Sin, a cosy neighbourhood bar in Stoke Newington.
Original Sin in a nutshell: A dimly-lit neighbourhood basement bar serving creative cocktails with a focus on obscure spirits.
Where is it? Stoke Newington, a seven-minute walk from Stoke Newington overground station.
What’s the vibe? Dark and cosy, a long bar with stools hugs one side of the room while on the other leather booths are lit up by pineapple-shaped wall lights and single tealights on tables. Exposed brickwork adds a rustic vibe while a pool table at the other end brings a fun touch to the space.
What’s the drinks menu like at Original Sin?
Vermouth, sherry and whisky are strongly featured on the menu which puts a wild twist on classic drinks. Expect to find Fernet Branca bitters, Escubac (a juniper-free botanical spirit) and Suze (a French liqueur made from gentian root) peppered throughout the list, but just ask the enthusiastic bartenders to point you in the right direction if you’re unsure, or to mix you an off-menu number.
Which cocktails to order?
The House Old Fashioned made with bourbon, plum wine, peppercorn tincture and bitters is perfect for whisky lovers – smooth and sippable, with warm depth. For something lighter, go for the White Americano, where Cinzano Bianco vermouth is matched with floral peach, Suze and tonic.
Negroni lovers (read our guide to the perfect nergoni here) can choose between the punchy Negroni Nero made with tequila, sherry vermouth, rhubarb aperitivo and coffee, or one created with gin, Campari, Cinzano 1757 Rosso vermouth and cold-brew coffee which adds a slightly smoky flavour.
We also loved the sweet yet punchy notes of pomegranate molasses and apple brandy in the Handy Dandy bourbon cocktail.
Is there any food?
There’s a selection of platters and pâtés to choose from as well as smoked almonds and olives to nibble on. Go for the creamy salmon pâté with chunks of toasted sourdough and red onion chutney for a feast.
Where to go nearby for dinner: Head upstairs to Stokey Bears for indulgent burgers, or walk eight minutes for the best Neapolitan pizza in London at Pizza Stokey.
Price: From £6 for a cocktail.
Words by Ellie Edwards