E: First and foremost, what was the idea behind The Shady Pig and The Shady Fox?
A: The whole story of both The Shady Pig and The Shady Fox is based on Peaky Blinders TV series. You can see we have purposely placed references around the bar. The Shady Pig tells a story of the prohibition era, where most of the people are struggling to get on with their lives. Meanwhile, The Shady Fox takes its inspiration from the second season. This is where they move the story from Birmingham to London, where businesses begin to soar and gambling become the main source of income for the Peaky Blinders gang. Because of this, you’ll see gaming references throughout the bar, which you can see on the menu as well.
E: As the head mixologist, how did you decide which cocktails are chosen for each venue?
A: I’m very passionate with innovation and mixology as you can see there’s a laboratory evaporator on every bar that we use to create cocktails. It’s actually a distiller, so basically all the drinks go through distilling under vacuum to create fresh flavours, for example if you cook tomatoes the flavour will change, but with this machine you can maintain that fresh flavour from fresh tomatoes.
E: For those who haven’t been to your bars before, what kind of experience do you expect them to get?
A: Our main goal is to be a cocktail bar – we don’t use the word speakeasy too loosely around here. What I want is for the people to have a different experience before and after midnight. Before midnight, I want them to really taste the cocktails, and after midnight, I want them to enjoy another of our passions, which is the music.
E: What’s the standout feature that makes your bar different from any other?
A: I’m really hoping it’s the cocktails, because it took a lot of hours and hard work to create all the drinks that we have in both places.
E: Your top three favourite cocktails? And why?
A: Oh, this is going to be hard. Okay, I will choose three cocktails from The Shady Fox. The first one is Dern Ka La, Shogi Ice Tea and The Chester’s Cup. The Dern Ka La is a twist from a Tom Yum soup with coconut cream, lemongrass, mushroom, chillies and ginger, but we distilled everything so instead of a creamy drink, you’ll get a clear cocktail with the flavours of the perfect Tom Yum.
Queen of Heart
- 40ml gin
- 10ml cherry liqueur
- 30ml lime juice, clarified
- 15ml simple syrup
- 20ml fortified red wine
- Mixed all ingredients, excluding the fortified red wine, with ice in a glass.
- Stir for 20 seconds.
- Strain into a glass with ice.
- Slowly pour the fortified red wine to create a cloud.