We’ve recently been interested in uncovering London’s best bars within restaurants. Cartel in Battersea is the perfect spot for a bite of Mexican and cocktail pairings. Naturally a well stocked mezcal and tequila bar with over 100 varieties, the gin cocktails prove to be a refreshing alternative.
The long bar is a prominent fixture in the colourful restaurant blaring with tunes. Josh Rooms is the man behind the bar, having began his career at 18. He started working with a friend, met a few people and eventually paved a path in the industry. Heading up Cartel, he looks for bartenders with a passion to learn. Training is easy but it’s the interest and passion that you can’t always find. They are currently developing tasting nights and masterclasses to explore the spirits behind the back bar.
Josh serves up a summery Brockmans cocktail with cherries and to pair with our selection of tacos. Between bites and sips we grill him a bit…
1. Describe Cartel in a few words.
A fun and vibrant party venue that also serves great food perfect for sharing.
2. What’s the craziest thing you’ve overheard at your bar?
I haven’t heard too many crazy things here although we have had a couple of fun groups in. One of which was a hen party where the hen stripped to her underwear and started doing cartwheels through the restaurant by around 9 o clock. The next day we hosted a rugby team who also decided it was a good idea to strip off and dance on the tables. I really respect the resolve of the normal diners who managed to continue eating despite the distractions
3. Why is gin so popular?
It’s a lot more accessible and you can change up the flavours in many cocktails. It’s the traditional British thing, but a bit sophisticated. The different botanicals really differentiate each brand too.
4. What about Brockmans appeals to you?
It’s not juniper heavy so you can experiment with vivacious cocktails. It’s something different. I tend to like using it in the sweeter cocktails as the fruity botanicals can substitute extra syrups or juices. I’m a big fan of the vapour infusion of berries it utilises.
5. If you could have one last drink before you died, what would you choose?
Tequila El Presidente (I like to call it El Gobernador)
by Josh Rooms
- 50ml Brockmans Gin
- 20ml Lemon
- 20ml Lejay
- 3 dashes Peychauds
- 1 egg white
Pour into a shaker, wet shake, then dry shake and double strain.