Twitter really is a marvellous thing. My visit to VOC was off the back of a tweet by fellow food lover @chocoralie. Without Twitter I’d have not been able to get a table reservation sorted at lunchtime today for a party of 15 the same evening.
It’s right next to the huge Spanish bar called Camino which i notice also had a Time Out Critic’s Choice. By comparison, VOC is much smaller but by heck it’s cosy. The corked bottles of infusing cordials and spirits adorn aged looking woodwork and old armchairs are betrayed by softly lit oil burners. They really are trying to do things the old fashioned way check out the blocks of ice. I was too busy planning my next drinks to tell if they were just for show.
They do a small range of the Greenwich Meantime brewery, the porters and ales of which are included in some of their punches. My friends hit these, but I had to have a hit of their Bergamot Grog. Unlike most cocktails I’ve had where I only notice the main flavours, this mix of Pampero Especial barrel-aged rum was delicately flavoured with earl grey tea, fresh galangal & hints of tobacco leaf. A drink that gave my taste buds something to think about. It seemed like quite a short drink, although it was my first drink of the night so it could just be my quaffing.
Veux Carre was next up, suggested by the mixologist, reminded me of an Old Fashioned, a drink I tried after Don Draper seemed to drink them in every Mad Men episode. This was more pleasing still, Hennessy VS with Old Overholt Rye, sweet vermouth and Benedictine all stirred over ice and garnished with orange oil. I’ll be making one as soon as I restock the home bar.
I got chatting with the barmen, whilst he was mixing up my final drink, the Porter Cup. I was curious to know what was in the hammered copper gin pot (if that’s what it was), which sat above two burning tea lights. He seemed only too pleased to show me, and that’s what I love, people that are enthusiastic about what they do, if you’ve been to Gelupo you’ll know what I mean. hopping onto a small step he ladled a taster of Dogs Nose into a glass tankard. Dog’s Nose is a warm punch of Tanqueray Rangpur gently warmed with fresh horseradish, pressed apple, Meantime porter, fresh citrus, spices and sweetened with vanilla sugar and honey. Now the mention of horseradish made me a little nervous, I expected to be hit over the head with the burn but it came in like a pleasant after thought. It’s a delicious drink, and surprised my friends who all wrinkled their noses at the thought of it. I could imagine sinking plenty of them on a cool damp night. I can’t wait to take Mrs Fly to this spot.
We parted company, and hungrily at 22:20 I darted for the tube bound for Embankment and a food venue being raved about by the London food blogosphere. Sadly at 22:50 the metal trailer of Pitt Cue Co was locked up tighter than my chocolate stash at home. the smoky smell of BBQ was the only hint of what I have to come back for.