Words by Ian Cameron on 08-Jan-2013

Address: 51-55 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 729 8476
Style: Cocktail bar


Basement bar in a speakeasy vein, UnderDog is below the Shoreditch BrewDog and reached by a hidden doorway from a stairwell to nowhere (if you can't find the cleverly hidden door). Behind cunningly hinged pictures is a low-lit and deliberately distressed-looking bar. BrewDog doesn't advertise the presence of this cocktail bar below: just ask to be "taken downstairs", ahem.

As befits the craft Scottish brewer - sorry, the post Punk-apocalyptic mother fu*ker of a craft brewery, as it describes itself - the drinks list remains beer-focused. And they've had some fun constructing a choice of twisted classic cocktails, giving a frothy, beery head to some old familiars. Everything from BrewDog's own pale ale, porter, flavoured stout and even the 32% Tactical Nuclear Penguin (the world's strongest beer) combine with homemade vermouths, cordials, reductions and foams, then paired with whiskeys, rums, brandies and gins. Cocktail names come laced with word-play that reference their mixological origins - Dead Pony-Groni, Snakebiterita, Boil Your Maker etc etc., most £8.

Are they any good? In some cases the imagination behind the ingredients is inspired, in others plain bizarre and over-complex, but all wake up your tastebuds to this unusual cocktail category.