As a punter quite familiar with Jake’s bar at unsavoury hours, it was interesting to sit back and listen to the wisdom and history behind their curated menus. Not only do they pride themselves on their mixology skills, Jake’s is also home to two distillation units, which produce the renowned ‘Portobello Gin’. With the two copper ‘Ackroyd’ ladies to the left of the bar; Tabitha, named so after the Bronte family nanny and Christa, of course another gem of God’s own county........
This attention to detail and self-sufficiency extends to their cocktails: they explain one of the key elements to the Rhubarb Rumbullion- made with home-made Rhubarb jam - made with produce from the famed ‘Rhubarb triangle’. They also feature an ingredient called Shrub in their Clover Shrub; not in fact a small scrubby plant you neglect in your back garden but an acidulated fruit liqueur, which was brewed to disguise the taste of often-bad batches of rum. Jake’s bar has its very own take on the antiquated beverage in the form of their raspberry and thyme shrub, made very simply from raspberries and sugar plus apple cider vinegar and thyme, marinated for a few weeks then sieved and bottled. The end result was delicious, and would entice any sweet tooth with its resemblance to a drumstick lolly in flavour. Take your pick from the Blighty Mojito, the aforementioned Rhubarb Rumbullion, Clover Shrub, Pink 75 which blends Broker’s Gin, Prosecco, lemon juice and delightful Chambord and an Espresso Martini made with Bottega Milanese espresso.
Something that is perhaps lesser known is the grill at Jake’s bar, from which we sampled some incredible bite sized steak. Served with fries, the steak came juicy, pink in the middle and smothered in a delightfully unique tasting peppercorn sauce. Available in more meal sized portions, Jake’s contrasts the cocktail abundant menu with a simple offering of Steak and frites for £11.95, with all steaks half price every Tuesday from 5 ‘til 10pm.
Jake’s carries this respect of cocktail and bar tending heritage throughout their menu, and are more than happy to play about with a bespoke creation if you catch them on a quieter moment. This attentiveness, innovation and daring puts Jake’s bar (and keeps them) at the forefront of the cocktail scene.