New York’s The Dead Rabbit, number one on the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars, is taking over Claridge’s for one week only this August, transforming the hotel’s usually refined bar into a 19th-century-style “punk pub".
“We really wanted to do something completely different,” said Claridge’s bar manager Denis Broci. “On a recent trip to New York I was blown away by the creativity and avant-garde approach of The Dead Rabbit, and wanted to bring this sense of mayhem to Mayfair. What better way to do this than let them take over Claridge’s Bar and run riot for a week?”
The takeover will run from August 15 until August 22, with The Dead Rabbit’s collection of rare whiskies taking pride of place behind a bar that will be serve up some cocktails straight from the famous New York menu, such as the Irish Coffee (£16) and the Psycho Killer (£19) – a potent mix of Redbreast 12-year-old Irish Whiskey, Campari, banana Liqueur, white Cacao and Pernod absinthe – although there are also differences between New York and London drinkers that the mixologists will be looking to address.
“The spirit is king in New York, and drinks there tend to be boozier, more alcoholic, while in London I feel like it’s more about juices and syrups,” says Sean Muldoon, co-owner of The Dead Rabbit, which is named after a 19th-century street gang. “The drinks in good cocktail bars in NYC are less fussy, more on the bitter or sour side, with more depth of flavour. They are never sweet.”
There will also be sustenance in the form of the Rabbit’s very particular take on pub snacks, which ranges from lobster-devilled eggs (£15) to Cumberland sausage rolls (£14). Bookings are advisable, with table sittings lasting for 90 minutes, but daily walk-ins will also be available.