Distillery in East London
East London Liquor Company is an independent distillery in East London (unsurprisingly!) producing and importing a range of spirits including gin, vodka, rum and whisky. They sell their spirits at the bar as well as in Borough Wines, Fortnum and Masons, Harvey Nichols and many more retailers in the UK and around the world.
It is much bigger than we expected with a gorgeous archway entrance adorned with flowers and fairy lights. There is a garden area for those sunny days, a restaurant area (which you can hire privately) and a bar/restaurant area. With a warehouse vibe with exposed brickwork, it is a great place to chill out and enjoy some great food and drink.
Pairing food with drink
It was great to see the bar and restaurant at ELLC work so closely together by combining the spirits with the food. After all, it is not that often you get to take advantage of your own distillery in East London! There was a real sense of the guys at ELLC working as a team and sharing ideas and creations, which we thought was great.
First up we tried their twist on a Negroni (£9) with Negroni Pickles (£3) and the Homemade Bread, Olive Oil, Balsamic (£3) and the Full Amontillado ELLC Vodka, Banana Liqueur, Roobios Tea, Tonic Water (£8). This was a great start to the evening with two fairly dry cocktails paired with some salty delights. The foccacia was absolutely AMAZING – so light, salty and moreish!
The small plates have an Italian food focus, with a stone oven and array of seasonal sharing plates. ELLC works with a range of producers to source the freshest & highest-quality ingredients from across the UK and Italy. Headed up by Chef Ewelina who has years of experience, including having worked with Jason Atherton, the menu has been well thought through and executed.
The plates come out as they are ready so you can enjoy each one warm and chat in between. Between us we had:
- Bagna Cauda & Artichoke Hearts: anchovies, yellow pepper, chervil, smoked paprika olive oil (£8)
- Tuscan Macancini: Gorgonzola, Grana Padano & Fontina cheeses, panko crumb, truffle oil (£5)
- Burrata: ELLC Demerara rum & red wine & tomato marmalade, pesto (£9)
- Baked Tomino Del Boscaiolo Cheese: Speck, hazelnuts, smoked paprika, fig, fennel flatbread (£9)
- Salmon & Sorrel: Fillet of salmon, sorrel sauce, romanseco, dill oil (£12)
- Pork & Polenta: Slow-cooked pork neck steak, marinated with ELLC Batch №2 gin botanicals, polenta purée, pickled shallots ELLC gin jus (£13)
We were genuinely impressed by all of the dishes. Our must orders are the Tuscan Macancini – their take on a mac and cheese arancini. Lighted coated with panko crumb, they were filled with delicious oozing cheese (3 kinds!).
The Burrata was one of the best that we have tasted. The tomato marmalade and pesto worked so well and added an extra punch to the dish. Lastly, the speck with the Baked Tomino Cheese was so flavoursome and we loved dipping the flatbread into the melted cheese.
As to the drinks, ELLC is trying to bring looked over classics back to life by making them longer and adding their own twist. We loved their Cosmo (served long of course) with the addition of cider. It was fresh and fruity without being too sweet – perfect for me. We also tried the No Riesling to Complain ELLC Batch № 1 Gin, Riesling Liqueur, Orange, Cider Short/ Fragrant/ Fresh (£9)
We only just about had room for dessert after that feast! We had the Creme Caramel, ELLC Rum Glaze (£8) which was smooth but a little too boozy for me! The raspberry ice cream served with a biscuit was spot on – it was fresh and SO fruity. Great if you want something sweet but not too heavy.
Tours of the Distillery
ELLC offer a number of tours of their distillery in East London. They offer:
- Whisky Lover’s Tour and Tasting (1.5 hours) at £45pp (Fridays and Saturdays)
- Spirit of Gin Tour and Tasting (1.5 hours) at £35pp (Fridays and Saturdays)
- Distillery Tasting Experience (30 min) with a selection of gin, vodka and rum at £15pp. (Tuesday – Thursday and one Saturday a month)
What a great place! We should have visited sooner and can’t wait to return. The drinks and food exceeded our expectations and the staff were so passionate and knowledgeable about ELLC, the heritage and origins of the products and were just super friendly!
East London Girl: East London Liquor Company
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