bar review: the cooperage SE10

Finding a great bar on your doorstep is wonderful. And that’s exactly what happened to me tonight

The Cooperage is in a converted wine cellar. The lighting is intimate, but not too dark. The music is jazzy in a vintage way. The menu is enigmatically brief, but I’m assured by the friendly and attentive waiter that off-menu orders are welcomed. (I was also brought a complimentary glass of cucumber-infused tap water, of which I am a fan.)

cooperage 2

So far, on a par with some of the finest underground-speakeasy themed bars I’ve been to around London town, but with an important difference – a half price cocktails happy hour (or two happy hours, to be precise).

So, the drinks. My first was a Sidecar with a fig twist. It was a little less sweet than Sidecars I’ve had elsewhere, but no complaints from me on that score, as I think over-sugared cocktails are unnecessary.

Next up, a gin Martini, which was very good. My date had the Southside, which was made with gin, mint, and other things I can’t remember, and served straight up. It was lovely; refreshing yet punchy.

This is a gem of a place in an area which is lacking bars, and cocktail bars in particular. On my way to the loo I noticed that they serve Asahi on draft, which I plan to take advantage of in the future.

Sometimes, in the age of the uber-trendy cocktail bar, the stylised drinking den and hipster-populated basement speakeasy the cynic in me questions the possibility of finding somewhere that’s chic and atmospheric whilst remaining friendly and unpretentious in the capital. The Cooperage is a great reminder that it’s still possible. In my south-of-the-river haven, anyway.