Abby Jones gets intimate with Seven at Brixton’s summer cocktails
Seven at Brixton has been around for a while in Market Row and has stood the test of time. It has happy hour every week night, a good spread of authentic tapas sharing plates and, the most desirable aspect of any Brixton Village bar or restaurant, its very own toilet.
We popped in on a Thursday evening at 7pm and saw the place fill up within an hour. We sat by the bar, stocked with all the cocktail goodies you could desire, as well as an exciting spread of Spanish spirits.
The “unfinished” walls need no decoration; the heavy wooden floors and subdued lighting give the place a snugly ramshackle feel and make obvious the rainbow spread of books that make up the front of the bar. The only other colour comes on trays of tantalising cocktails, and the bright reds and greens of the tapas.
Seven changes its cocktail menu to suit the season. This summer’s new list provides yet another refreshing twist on the classics.
I started off with a “Rose Sour” that went down a little too easily. Gin, rose, peach, egg white and lemon – what’s not to like?
“Cashew in the Rye” sees the meeting of a cashew-infused whiskey with Earl Grey sake, served with burnt thyme. Nutty, smoky and herby – yum yum. The winner however, was the “Hot Passion”, which is like a liquefied Solero [ice cream].
The Seven team riff reassuringly well on classic combos – their creations are interesting twists rather than utterly bizarre inventions.
Also on the menu, a Mai Tai, often a cocktail damaged by memories of bad attempts from gastro-pubs, but this one is the real thing. It takes you right out of Brixton and straight to the beach.
There’s also a chili twist on a Negroni, a ginger beer basil mojito, a black grape margarita and a blood orange spritz.
The menu caters for all cocktail likes and serves as perfect company to the hot and salty Spanish grub. If cocktails aren’t your thing, the wine list has some Spanish beauties, they have a fabulous sherry list (the Spanish know how to make it), and the beer selection holds some Spanish easy drinkers and a couple of token crafties.
The tapas menu has a nice mix of veggie, seafood and meat options. The Spanish classics are kept safe from unnecessary change and there’s the addition of a vegan sharing platter. Portions are generous and the whole menu is designed for social sharing, meaning you can dabble in and out of flavours. Tapas are served till 10.30pm.
When the plates come over, you can feel the heat; spicy and smoky. A sharing platter is a good base with some fresh bread and oil, patatas bravas, two well selected Spanish cheeses and some salty pickles. Alongside that we enjoyed chorizo with cider, prawns with chili and tomato, some noncommittal aubergine, fat green olives with orange peel, and spicy paella arancina.
We ended (of course) on churros with a chocolate dip, crowning the meal with sugary Spanish style. The menu can be moulded any which way and will give you a good spread of flavours whatever you choose.
Seven fills you up, has a brilliant happy hour and you know you’ll never run out of cucumber water. It’s the perfect spot to share plates, chats and each other’s cocktails. It’s not expensive, wears a friendly face and keeps on modestly serving good food with great cocktails. It’s one of our favourite places to kick start a local evening.
Happy hour Monday–Thursday 5-8pm, £6 for any cocktail, £3 beers and £15 house wine. Brunch until 1pm weekdays, 3pm weekends. Bottomless brunch: Saturday and Sunday.
Unit 7, Market Row, SW9 8LB | 020 7998 3309 | sevenatbrixton.com | @sevenatbrixton