LAB is a bar in Soho that definitely knows it’s in Soho. Its decor is described as ’70s-meets-’90s. I’m not entirely sure if that is even a thing, but there’s a definite party vibe in the place. It’s all very bright, very artistic, and a little light hearted, which does help put you in the mood for drinking…then again, though it doesn’t much to put me in the mood for drinking.
The extensive selection of cocktails on offer guarantees something for everyone, (god I hate when people say that) – but it really does, there’s 120 different concoctions to choose from! They’ve got all the old classics, of course, but there’s also reams of interesting new ideas.
The best part though, is the menu. It’s got a rubber duck on it. It even takes time to ridicule those who do not drink (quite rightly). It truly is a wonderful thing.
I sampled the 3 Berry Collins – a member of the Collins family as the menu so kindly informed us, which is born of strawberries, raspberries and blackberries thrown together with Beefeater gin, fruit liqueur, lemon juice and finished off with a splash of soda. My companion tried the Lychee Collins (possibly it’s slightly more sophisticated older sibling) which consists of Beefeater gin, lychee puree, lychee liqueur, fresh lemon juice and vanilla sugar, also topped off with soda adding a nice bit of fizz. Who doesn’t like bubbles?
I firmly believe that the most important part of a cocktail is the presentation. A cocktail must be beautiful. It must be so beautiful that you delay drinking it for a matter of minutes in order to photograph the lovely artistry, thus allowing you to treasure its memory forever more. In LAB I did do this, so a gold star must go to them. Look at our drinks, are they not beautiful?
Both cocktails were excellent – fruity flavours masked the taste of the alcohol nicely which made the pair disappear much faster than they should’ve done! The taste was strong and sweet but not overpowering, a perfectly intoxicating little treat.
The bar is a contraction of the London Academy of Bartending, and it shows. Not in a should go back to school not quite ready sort of way either, in a top of the class pass with flying colours get me another drink sort of way.
So what’s the catch? Well good-looking drinks like these don’t come cheap, so if you truly do wish to party the night away here you best either filthy rich or a fast runner.
“To those who about to drink, we salute you.”
17 Old Compton Street