If you’re looking for a rum-soaked evening there’s no better place than Barrio North on Islington’s Essex Road. Founded by financier-turned-DJ Ferdie Ahmed his love of travel and rum formed the basis of the Barrio concept. The Spanish word ‘Barrio’ literally translates as ‘neighborhood’ and that concept runs through the watering hole in the community spirit and chilled out vibe. A dilapidated, deconstructed and reclaimed aesthetic is created through the school desks which lined up, rainbow light bulbs and creeping leaves, not to mention the vintage caravan which stands proud at the back of the bar. The drinks menu is unique and wide-ranging and in making the cocktails no detail is too small; the bar staff take their time and present the drinks beautifully.
Here’s our pick of the best cocktails:
Gunpowder: ‘Strong Havana Club rum, honey and spice served the Cuban way, only without the…’
Brazilian Lady: ‘An exotic seduction of Abelha cachaca, passion fruit and cool lemon’
Pacific Twitch: ‘Aloha! Sailor Jerry spiced rum, apple, ginger, falernum and Ting’
Barrio Club Cocktail: ‘Silky Martin Miller’s gin, homemade gin liqueur and raspberries’
Or if you’re feeling brave try ‘The No Brainer’: ‘Two expressions of Herradura 100% agave tequila party with exotic guava and pineapple juice, super fresh grapefruit and lime before being charged with some fine bubbly’, which is served up in a giant mug shaped like a wrestling mask!