ninetyeight Bar & Lounge opens in Shoreditch

Shoreditch has long been a destination for the discerning drinker (and trendy show-off).

Anywhere that has a tree indoors is fine by us

Bars like the Hoxton Pony and Calloh Callay set a pretty high bar for lovers of good cocktails, and as such, newly-opened ninetyeight (sic) is in good company.

Previously operating as an art gallery and private members bar, ninetyeight has opened its doors as a full-blown cocktail bar with molecular aspirations.

Cocktail operations are under the watchful eye of Dan Hutchings-Read, who BarLifeUK encountered recently during the 42Below Cocktail World Cup (Team East London’s punch was one of the best we tasted).

Among the drinks we tried on launch night was a ‘Good Old-Fashioned Sunday Roast’, which used rosemary and oregano infused Karlssons Gold Vodka to evoke the flavours of a roast dinner. It worked very well, and this type of ‘low impact’ molecular mixology is a favourite with BarLifeUK.

Somewhere between King Louis XVI’s court and a Victorian bordello

A chair made from balloons.

Inside, ninetyeight’s art heritage is evident. A huge amount of time has clearly been spent choosing eclectic fixtures, fittings and kitsch that add up to something between King Louis XVI’s court and a Victorian bordello.

The two level nature of the venue, and it’s general layout make it ideal for events, and owner Kath Morrell intends to host everything from cocktail masterclasses to burlesque nights.

It’s obviously difficult to get a true idea of a bar on launch night, things are too crazy and quite often the drinks on offer aren’t reflective of the day-to-day menu.

However, we walked away with the impression that ninetyeight would be a perfect ‘date venue’… a place to take someone you are trying to impress, both with your knowledge of cool little bars and well made drinks.

We look forward to visiting again when the (fairy) dust has settled for a proper cocktail safari.