The Botanical at Cornercopia

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It’s been a very long cold winter, but there’s a proper taste of spring and summer coming in Brixton Village. From May 24 and running throughout the summer, Cornercopia will be introducing their pop-up cocktail bar The Botanical.

Filling the gap in the Village of what to do or where to go while waiting for a table at your favourite restaurant, The Botanical will feature a menu of around 10 seasonal cocktails to drink in the bar area that is usually a dining room in winter. There are also plans to have takeway cocktails in jam jars to be sipped in the sun on a picnic.

Run in conjunction with Anne Fairbrother and Ian Riley of Cornercopia, The Botanical will see up and coming cocktail expert Nicholas Horton creating his first full cocktail list. And if the sneak peak we had was anything to go by, it won’t be long before Nick is in serious demand and his drinks are hard to get your hands on.

Explaining that the cocktails will cost between £5 and no more than £9, Nick explained that he likes to democratise the art of cocktail making so that people can come along to taste new flavours, try new styles of drinks and propose things that aren’t on the menu while watching him make the drinks.

The cocktails follow on naturally from the ethos of Cornercopia using local English ingredients, seasonal products, forgotten traditions and foraged items to create memorable drinks for all palates. Items will change by the week to keep things fresh and use ingredients at their finest.

When I went along to talk to Nick, he showed me a modern twist on the classic sour using raw rhubarb juice instead of lemon, blended together with gin, vanilla and saffron syrup and egg white to create a very grown up version of rhubarb and custard that slipped down very nicely indeed (despite it not even being lunchtime when I was there!)

Served in a similarly simple, but elegant style as Ian’s food at Cornercopia, the drinks come in a selection of stylish not fussy glassware and use British brands Boxer gin and Element 29 vodka which along with being an excellent spirit uses innovative ‘bag in box’ packaging to reduce glass waste. These can be refilled at Cornercopia to make your cocktail more carbon neutral.

Nick specialises in shorter style cocktails and promises to use homemade syrups, bitters and cordials along with unusual ingredients such as asparagus juice and nettle to create unique Brixton drinks. Waiting for a table in the market need never seem like a problem again at The Botanical. You might even end up staying all night…

The Botanical will be open from 6pm Tuesday to Saturday with last orders at 11pm.