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June Whisk(e)y Cocktails at TST

Speyside-based Glenfiddich were next up under the spotlight, as our monthly Whisk(e)y Cocktails initiative marched on into June.

Their iconic 12-year lay at the base of our daring duo of bespoke serves. One of the world’s best-selling and most-awarded malts, the famous triangular bottle is a fixture in practically every bar on the globe, so we’d like to think we’re dab hands at getting the most out of it.

The liquid boasts a unique freshness thanks to the Highland spring water that they’ve used since 1887, and – since it is carefully matured in the finest American and European oak sherry casks for at least 12 years before being mellowed in oak marrying tuns – it boasts distinctively sweet and subtle oak flavours.

Creamy with a long, smooth and mellow finish, this 12-year old is the perfect example of Glenfiddich’s unique Speyside style, and is widely proclaimed the best dram in the valley.

Our two-strong cocktail list – and our iconic beer ‘n’ a bump was available all month long, 7 days a week, at £7.50 a pop. If you missed out, never fear – we’ve got a brand new cocktail list for July featuring the fittingly light and vibrant Nikka Days Blend.

Check out last month’s line up below:

Robbie Dhu – Glenfiddich 12yr | Orange | Citrus Lemon Grass | Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer.

Pink Stag – Glenfiddich 12yr | Rinquinquin | Bitter Orange | Citrus | Peach.

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May Whisk(e)y Cocktails at TST

Venerable old bourbon distillers, Jack Daniel’s, were next to be featured in The Sun’s Whiskey-based serves as we arrived in the warmer climes of May.

Their Tennessee Rye is the first bottle they have dropped since the dark days of Prohibition and – in our humble opinion – it was well worth the wait.

It’s made up from 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley, and is put through the same charcoal filtration process as Jack Daniel’s iconic, instantly-recognisable bourbons.

The result is a mellow and sweet whiskey that’s enlivened with distinctive rye spice. With all that in mind, we placed a hearty measure of it at the base of each of our two whiskey serves in May. It also formed the kick in our trademark ‘beer ‘n’ a bump’, available at £6.

Our daring duo were available all month long, 7 days a week, at £7.50 a pop. If you missed out, never fear, there’s a refreshed menu every single month.

Click here to be directed to The Sun Tavern Calendar, where you can get the low-down on all that whisk(e)y-soaked goodness as it happens.

 

Stick ‘Um Up – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye | Bán Poitín | Fourpure Easy Peeler IPA | Banana | Citrus.

Kansas City – Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye | Pomegranate Sherbet | Umbrella Brewing Cider | Citrus | Club Soda.

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April Whisk(e)y Cocktails at TST

We had a brand new Whiskey Cocktails lineup down in Bethnal Green for April, last time out featuring Buffalo Trace’s iconic bourbon.

They have a strong claim to the title of oldest bourbon distillery in the world. Their Frankfort hub opened its doors all the way back in 1792, which means they’ve probably had enough time to learn a thing or two about making a pretty good whisky.

The result of their centuries of labour and refinement is a smooth, high-quality all-rounder with hints of vanilla, barrel char and spicy complexity.

We placed it firmly at the foundation of our two-strong cocktail list, as well as in our trademark ‘beer ‘n’ a bump’, available at £6.

Our daring duo were available all month long, 7 days a week, at £7.50 a pop. If you missed out, never fear – we’re welcoming another member of the bourbon royal family in the form of Jack Daniels to town in May.

Here’s a tantalising review of what we had on offer across April:

What’s The Story – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Reisling Syrup, Fennel Salt, Citrus, Club Soda.

Red Dog – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Ruby Port, Toasted Pineapple, Coconut, Lime, Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer.

 

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Paddy’s Day 2019 @ TST

On 17th March we celebrated Irish Christmas for the fifth consecutive time here in Bethnal Green.

We spent the evening honouring the man who helped rid the motherland of snakes… and drinking a fair bit of the pure drop to boot.

We opened our doors at midday and spirits were immediately raised as high as our glasses thanks to live musical sounds courtesy of a traditional ceilidh band.

Come the evening our favourite shucker, Oyster Boy, was on hand once more to add some sustenance to the night ahead.

He was dishing out the Oysters for nothing, taking a break from his regular vending activities down Columbia Road, Broadway Market and Leyton Food Market, to bring a bit of East London tradition to the table.

On top of this, for this year’s celebrations we teamed up with the lads from Slane to create three whiskey-soaked cocktails – which included some of our favourite serves from times past.

Predictably, they all went down a treat and the pure drop was flowing like the Shannon come sundown.

Then came the main event, as none other than Suggs from Madness took to our decks with an eclectic rock ‘n’ roll set that kept spirits Himalayan ‘til the wee hours.

All in all, a great night full of good craic and plenty of good vibes.. resulting in more than one Monday morning hangover we’ll wager.

Hope to see you all down at The Sun next time round!

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March Whisk(e)y Cocktails at TST

Our new Whisk(e)y Cocktails initiative continued on into March, and last month we welcomed Taiwanese Whiskey producers, Kavalan, to Bethnal Green.

Established in 2005, Kavalan is Taiwan’s first whiskymaker and the nation’s only family-owned whisky distillery. Kavalan takes the old name of Yilan county where the distillery is located in northeastern Taiwan.

The pure water and fresh air make this part of the subtropical island the ideal environment for the production of whisky.

For our bespoke whiskey list, available at £7.50 a go, we shone the spotlight on their flagship Single Malt – lively, clean and floral with characteristic hints of mango juice on the finish.

Have a browse of our lineup below and see what you reckon:

Swede Manhattan – Kavalan Single Malt, Cocchi Torino, Angostura Amaro & Chestnut.

Yilan – Kavalan Single Malt, Suze, White Port & Lemon.

Tiki Taiwan – Kavalan Single Malt, Pineapple, Orgeat, Lime & Merlet Pear.

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Whisk(e)y Cocktails at TST

February saw us drop a brand-new initiative at The Sun Tavern. Whisk(e)y Wednesdays are no more – from now on we’re dropping a brand new Whisk(e)y Cocktail list every single month.

Not too long ago we figured: why let Wednesdays get all the whisk(e)y-soaked fun? So we’ve decided to share the love and open it up to the rest of the week.

So from now on, you’ll have a regularly-refreshed roster of whisk(e)y-based mixed drinks to get your lips around in Bethnal Green, available every single day at £7.50 a pop – with a different distillery under the spotlight each month.

Master Irish Whiskey blenders, the county Clare-based J.J. Corry, held the distinction of being the very first producers featured.

We featured their award-winning flagship liquid, The Gael, in each of our serves. The Gael is a blend of single malts (aged for 11, 15 and 26 years) with seven-year-old grain whiskey. The result is a fresh and juicy spirit with notes of citrus fruit and spice.

Take an admiring glance back at the mixed-drink goodness that awaited our guests in February:

The Gael – J.J. Corry | Banana | Cacao Blanc | Montenegro.

Cooraclare – J.J. Corry | Fino | Apple | Lemon | Macadamia Orgeat | Egg White.

Big J.J. – J.J. Corry | Suze | Vanilla Honey | Mandarin Sherbet | Lemon | Orange Blossom | Soda.

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Review: Australia Day At TST

We celebrated all things Oz-bound on 26th January, as we brought Australia Day vibes Bethnal Green way for the third consecutive year.

Doors opened at midday, and you could argue that the guys behind the bar were in the spirit of things.

Kicking us off nicely and ensuring that the spirit extended to both sides of the bar Aussie brewers, Stone and Wood, were shouting anyone holding an Australian passport a pint of their Pacific Pale Ale until the free keg ran dry.

They were in the house all month as part of our Takeover Tuesdays, and this was a great way for them to sign off.

Ex-pats from down under, Tempesst, joined us in Bethnal Green and jumped on the decks, playing a huge set filled with Aussie bangers.

A ripper night, all in all then. A big thank you to Stone and Wood, and the boys from Tempesst for making it possible, and a massive one to all of you for coming down.

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Review: Burns Night at TST

January 26th saw us celebrate the life of Scottish national poet and waxer-lyrical on Red, Red, Roses, Rabbie Burns for another consecutive year.

Doors opened at 5pm and the brilliant wit who is Will Conway started us off nicely with some spoken word, reciting some of his own work and – of course – a fair bit of Rabbie’s.

Then came the traditional Address To A Haggis, which was fittingly conducted just as the complimentary haggis Scotch eggs were landing on the tables.

And they were washed down in style thanks to Tam O’ Shanter, our dedicated mixed drink serve which was available for £6 all night long.

It featured a healthy measure of Glenfiddich’s experimental IPA cask, as well as some Cardamom Syrup and Vermouth to balance it all out.

Glenfiddich were in for the whole month, featuring heavily in our trio of Whisky-based serves and marking the last of our Whiskey Wednesday initiatives – we’ve got a brand new one coming your way next month.

Soundtracking the rest of the evening we had Rennie of The View. He turned up the Scottish vibes in serious fashion, throwing out everything from The Proclaimers to Annie Lennox to keep the customers satisfied ’til the wee hours.

All in all, a great night and a fitting tribute to the Bard of Ayrshire. ‘Til next year, folks.

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Review: International Poitín Day 2018

International Poitín Day – the 24 hours we set aside each year to honour the rebellious souls who kept the spirit alive through its forbidden dark days – returned for its fourth rendition on 18th November. 

First celebrated right here at The Sun Tavern, this year it expanded its reach far beyond the streets f Bethnal Green, across the Irish Sea, and into the finest drinking holes of Dublin, Belfast, Cork & Galway.

Cold Brew Irish Coffee – a bona-fide classic.

We ourselves hosted four Poitín brands at the forefront of the illicit spirit’s revival – Micil Poitín, Glendalough, Mad March Hare & Ban Poitín – who were all heavily featured on our £6 bespoke cocktail list for the eve.

And what a line-up it was: we had classics in the form of Cold Brew Irish Coffee, featuring a healthy glug of Ban Poitín, and our twisted take on the Bloody Mary – the Bloody Murphy, with Glendalough Poitín doing the legwork.

Forsaking Mary for Murphy

Besides this, we had the decidedly more contemporary Poitín Mule – made using a healthy measure of Mad March Hare Poitín, topped with alcoholic ginger beer courtesy of our mates over at Umbrella Brewing.

Nothing stubborn about this Mule.

And our offerings for the puritanical amongst us were the Plain & Simple – a measure of Micil Poitín and a good ol’ pint of stout – and straight-up Flight of Four, a shot from each brand, to get punters where they needed to go.

We also had a Poitín tasting earlier on in the day, absolutely free on a first-come first-serve basis. So you could say the pure drop was certainly flowing, and it went down a treat with our guests who damn near drank us dry.

Beer ‘n’ a Bump – the illicit chapter.

Beyond Bethnal Green, and beyond the Irish Sea, there were plenty more raucous celebrations for those passionate about Poitín. A big thanks to One Goose Entry in Belfast, Jimmy Rabbittee’s in Dublin, Micil Distillery & Oslo Bar in Galway, and Cask Cork in.. erm, Cork, for taking part and helping boost the profile of this most boozy of holidays.

So that’s another year gone by, and another day of Poitín appreciation under our collective belts. We had a cracking time raising a glass of the pure drop with ya all, and hope that you did to.

‘Til next year. Slainté.

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Review: The Dead Rabbit Taproom Takeover – TST

The crew from serial ‘World’s Best Bar’ winners – The Dead Rabbit – crossed the pond from New York to Bethnal Green for one night only, to take over our taproom and kick off London Cocktail Week in serious style.

As soon as The Dead Rabbit sawdust went down at 6pm, the doors were swung open and the crowds started streaming in.

Cocktails were slung out by the dozen in trademark fashion all night long, and so too was the Dead Rabbit’s ubiquitous Guinness pints, which found itself onto our taps just for the occasion.

By the time 7pm rolled around, and the crowd had been warmed up a little, Genesis, Jessica & Anna got behind the stick to show us how it’s done in the Big Apple, serving out a three-serve-strong cocktail list curated by their fantastic beverage director Jillian Vose – all showcasing their brand new Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey.

Among the stellar line-up was the Lone Oak, – a heady mix of Irish Whiskey, Green Chartreuse, Curry Leaf, Lemon & Bitters – the ever-so-smooth Sweet Talker, – featuring the same Whiskey base, Passionfruit, Peach, Lemon & Orange Bitters – a classic Whiskey Highball featuring ginger beer courtesy of our mates over at Umbrella Brewing, and of course their world-famous Irish Coffee to round things off.

It was a special evening for the Umbrella boys, as their latest label art collaboration with the famous bar was also unveiled on the night. The new-look bottles drew their inspiration from the iconic comic-book style of The Dead Rabbit’s famous menus, and the exploits of the eponymous Dead Rabbit protagonist within. Fittingly, it coincided with the release of their 6th – and final – rendition, so it was indeed a special and poignant occasion.

The Musical soundtrack was provided by Dublin’s finest – Arveene – who took to the decks with a NY-heavy DJ set.

Plenty of Ramones, LCD Soundsystem, Beastie Boys, and other crowd favourites graced our airwaves during the course of his turntables stint.

Meanwhile, The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey was flowing like The Liffey, The Hudson, and the Ol’ Thames combined a the crowds revelled the night away and stuck around right ’til the bitter end.

One hell of a night all round then, and it was an absolute pleasure as always to work with the Dead Rabbit crew. Looking forwards to next year, and many more collaborations to come. Sláinte!

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Review: LCW at The Sun Tavern

London Cocktail week is now in the rearview, but there was a veritable smorgasbord of cocktail-soaked mayhem to look back upon here at The Sun Tavern.

Starting from the top, then. We kicked off in style by hosting a Slane Sunday Session on the Sunday.

Three cocktails were on offer, all made with the unique, triple-casked blend, Slane Irish Whiskey, and patrons could also get stuck into our iconic Beer ‘n’ a Bump. The night was accompanied by live music from our residents, playing classics from legendary Slane Castle gigs – which kept the Cèilidh cheer alive until the wee hours!

Tuesday saw us keep spirits high, with three top ‘tenders from serial ‘World’s Best Bar’ winners The Dead Rabbit gracing our taps for one night only.

Once the sawdust was down, the whiskey flowed like the Linney, Hudson and Ol’ Thames combined. Guests were also treated special line up of cocktails – all featuring their new Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey – curated by The Dead Rabbit’s wonderful beverages director Jillian Vose.

Special guest DJ Arveene soon followed, and took to the turntables to throw out the bangers ’til late.

As there were more than a couple of us nursing a bit of a hangover the following morning, we decided to team up with our mates at Bán Poitín to put on big Bartenders’ Breakfast. We had a restorative tasting of the notorious Irish liquid while tucking into some delicious sausage butties, and paired them with some beautifully sweet and peppery Poitín Bloody Marys for all our hairy dog needs.

Then on Thursday 4th, following on from the 50 Best Bar Awards the night before, we had three cocktail creations on offer showcasing the legendary triple-distilled Irish Whiskey, Tullamore. A traditional Irish Band soundtracked the early evening, all followed by a DJ set to welcome in Friday in jovial fashion.

To bring our jam-packed London Cocktail Week’s celebrations to a close, come Friday we hosted a ‘Women In Whiskey’ talk and tasting. Five female whiskey ambassadors and pioneers dropped by to discuss their roles and enlighten guests on the significant part women have played in the history of whiskey – while guests enjoyed a free tasting of their wares.

All in all, a fittingly celebratory week and a big thank you to the crew at The Dead Rabbit crew, Slane, Tullamore, Bán, and all you other lovely people who came by our doors and made it a smashing few days. Til next year, slainte!

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Review: Strawberry Hells Forever Party – TST

Camden Town Brewery’s summer seasonal – Strawberry Hells Forever, landed once more this July, and we decided to team up to celebrate, as part of our Takeover Tuesday initiative.

Every summer since 2015, the folks at Camden have journeyed to Cammas Hall Farm on the Hertfordshire/Essex border to plunder their ripened, red strawberries.

Once they’ve returned to NW5 with their haul, the strawberries are added to their famous Camden Hells, to deliver a cloudy straw-tinted brew, slightly tart on the entrance, developing into a well-rounded, refreshing finish that deserves a bit of celebration.

With a nod to Strawberry Fields Forever – the song behind the name, we played host to a big Beatles-themed blowout, to mark this year’s resurrection on 24th July.

From the get go at 6pm, there were healthy £3 pints of the Strawberry Hells to wet our guests’ whistles. On top of this there were a limited run of cans, exclusive to the night, that we flung out for free while they lasted.

Beer flowing and rock ‘n’ roll filling the air, the time came for the night’s centrepiece.. with Umbrella Radio’s John Robinson and his mates clambering onto the roof to serenade those in attendance with a few choice Beatles bangers – Apple Building-style.

Bethnal Green Road was well and truly shut down, and it certainly got the party started – even the Old Bill turned a blind eye, it seems.

Although this was a very tough act to follow, our resident DJs duly did and did not disappoint, with Beatles hit after Beatles hit – mixed in with some other non-specific favourites – being thrown off the turntables with aplomb.

Guests twisted, shouted, and worked it all out ’til the small hours, and a great time was had by all.

If you missed out then never fear. Take a peek at the video below and soak in some of that Beatles (and lager!) drenched atmosphere.

TST x Camden Town Brewery – Strawberry Hells Forever Beatles Party

Camden Town Brewery are​ signing off tonight on July's #TakeoverTuesday.If you missed out on our impromptu rooftop gig last time out, take a peek at the behind-the-scenes video below and come ask the boys how it all went down over a pint or two.Let's enjoy some old favourites. Normal T&Cs apply.#thesuntavern #bethnalgreen #camdenink #camdentownbrewery #paleale #strawberryhellsforever #thebeatles #rooftop #music #livemusic #beer #pub #3poundapint #eastlondon

Posted by The Sun Tavern Bethnal Green on Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Let me take you down, ‘cos we’re going to…..

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Review: New Cocktail List Launch – TST

Last month, we at The Sun Tavern dropped our all-new summer-ready cocktail list and had a good old-fashioned party to celebrate.

There were plenty of good vibes, good people, banging drinks, and a boatload of free Bánh mì to boot.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming through our doors Mr David Preshaah – founder and head spinner at our good mates, Hoxton Radio – who took to the turntables and threw out some non-specific rock ‘n’ roll goodness.

The real star of the show, however (sorry, David), was our cocktail list which was debuting on the night.

While our past menus have focussed on the indigenous spirits of the world, this list goes that one step further.

Drawing inspiration from the food and drink beloved of each country, the cocktails have been designed as true representations of each nation – using only indigenous ingredients where possible, while also keeping themselves accessible.

Furthermore, each cocktail has been christened with the name of revolutionary spirits from each of the nations on show, paying reverence to the likes of Italy’s Giuseppe Mazzini, Mexico’s Pancho Villa, Sakatomo Ryōma of Japan, and Ireland’s Patrick Pearse.

They certainly hit the spot, as each and every one went down a treat. So, without further ado, let’s introduce you to one another:

 

Mazzini – Campari | Amaro Nonino | Coffee Liqueur | Orange | Double Cream

Named in honour of the Italian revolutionary who spearheaded the reunification movement, Mazzini utilises only the finest Italian produce and we’re willing to wager it’ll be the closest thing to liquid tiramisu you’ll ever have tasted.

 

Muñoz – Apricot-Infused Pisco | Pinot Noir | Cinnamon | Balsamic Shrub

Next in the spotlight is this sight for sore eyes. Inspired by, and named after, the revolutionary spirit of Chilean general, engineer, politician and benefactor – Pedro Pablo Muñoz, the drink makes use of Chilean staples, Pinot Noir and Pisco.

 

Pearse – Irish Whiskey | Sweet Potato-Infused Poitín | Lime | Oat Stout Syrup.

Making our way back across the Atlantic to more familiar climes, this one’s for Patrick Pearse – teacher, barrister, poet, and one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising. Widely regarded as the embodiment of the rebellion, the finest Irish ingredients are used to make up his honorary libation.

 

Villa – Mezcal | Popped Blue Corn Tequila | Chilli Liquor | Tepache Syrup | Mole Bitters

Hailing from the Mexican Altiplano, and christened in the name of the revolutionary general who once roamed it’s plains, we bring you Villa – a fiery serve with more than a little punch. Pancho would be proud.

 

Ryōma – Japanese Whisky | Umeshu | Yuzu | Ansam | Shisho Leaf Cordial

Named in honour of the man who overthrew the Tokugawa Shogunate, but who also at the same time paradoxically engineered peace between the remaining warring prefectures, Ryōma is our sweet-sour tribute to what some may call a complex man.

 

Paine – Bourbon | Rock ‘n’ Rye | Cassis | Lemon | Chocolate Peanut Butter Doughnut Syrup

Next up we’re turning our attention to the States, and the Englishman whose pamphlets inspired the American Revolution which in turn threw out his compatriots – Thomas Paine. Sweet, deep, varied and rich – much like the American sub-continent he called home – this serve’s a tonic for most occasions.

 

Le Bas – Calvados | Cognac | Green Chartreuse | Picon | Beetroot & Fennel Cordial | Club Soda

Named after the French revolutionary Phillipe-François-Joseph Le Bas (you can see now why we just opted for ‘Le Bas’), this libation utilises the finest French produce we have to hand to create a fragrant, well-balanced, and eminently drinkable serve. Some in his day called ol’ Philippe cold – but that’s just how we like ’em at The Sun.

Come and grab your favourite while they’re chilly and the weather is hot.

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Review: APE Afterparties – TST

As some of you may well know, we at The Sun Tavern do all our good work to a soundtrack of rock ‘n’ roll, so we decided to do something a bit special to mark the beginning of the musical summer.

Festival season indeed kicked off in style, with the All Points East festival and APE Presents standalone events landing on 25th-27th May, and 1st-3rd June respectively in Victoria Park – featuring headline slots from LCD Soundsystem, Bjork, and The National to name but a handful.

We figured that 11pm was far too early to turn the fun off, so – in line with our rock ‘n’ roll heritage – we curated some afterparties for those intrepid festival-goers.

Before that, though, Tommy – our Bar Manager – took a wheelbarrows-worth of ice cold Umbrella Brewing ginger beer to give out for free ‘cos he’s such a genial guy.. (and to let people know about our afterparty).

First up on the 25th we welcomed the shock-haired frontman of Mystery Jets fame, Blaine Harrison, who jumped on our decks and threw out some real crowd pleasers – with MGMT, Empire Of The Sun, and Teleman all played and received with gusto.

Much fun was had by all. As it was over the rest of the weekend, with resident DJ Paul Day & Umbrella Radio’s jockeys propping up the decks after The XX and Bjork’s headline shows.

Fast-forward a week, and 2nd June saw APE Presents going off down the road. The National, The War on Drugs, Future Islands, War Paint, and Pennsylvania’s The Districts all took to the stage and did their thing.

After their set, The Districts headed Sun-wards to take the reigns of the cross-faders – and picked up a lot of new friends on the way. They certainly made use of their drinks tab, and deservedly so given the shift they’d put in!

Thanks to all who came down and made these nights such a fun-filled success.

Remember that as part of The Sun Tavern’s ongoing Festival Season offer, patrons can still claim a 25% discount on their drinks tab when they present their wristband/ticket from All Points East/APE Presents/any festival at all to the boys at the bar. Right on through ’til September.

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Review: World Whiskey Day 2018 – TST

The 19th May was Whiskey Day the world over, and since we’re more than partial to the odd drop ourselves, we thought we’d put on something a bit special to mark the occasion.

One of the highlights of the day was the launch of our new Parliament Whiskey & Poitín list, with over 150 Irish whiskies and poitíns added to our award-winning whiskey list.

Up on the pedestal once more was our Private Collection. They were offered on our menu at cost price – to give our guests the opportunity to try something really rare and very special, all without crippling their bank balances.

We had the ‘Dungourney 1964 Pure Pot Still Special Reserve’, ‘Knappogue Castle 1951’ – 36 years old when bottled, and ‘Bushmills 1975 Millennium’, which was 24 years old when bottled for the millennium.

We also offered two tastings of some choice samples of our range – absolutely free.

And those attendees were in for a treat due to the calibre of liquids on show.

We had Bushmills, That Boutique-y Whisky Company, Jameson’s Caskmates, Redbreast’s 12 year old & some small batch courtesy of our mates over at the Teeling distillery.

That’s quite the list, but our whiskey wanderlust didn’t stop there as we introduced our Rare & Vintage list – featuring seldom seen Irish Whiskeys such as Bourbon & Sherry cask-finished Jameson’s 15 year old from the 1970s, a 30-year old single pot still Old Comber from the 1980s, and a particular bottle of Henry Thompson & Co. from the 1910s. That’s pre-war numbers right there.

Added on to this, we mixed things up a little by curating a ‘greatest hits’ cocktail list featuring all of our favourite serves from Whiskey Wednesdays gone by – all of which were available on the night for just £6.

To roung things off and to provide a musical soundtrack to festivities, we had our resident Umbrella Radio DJs on the 1s and 2s, throwing out the rock ‘n’ roll bangers ’til late.

All in all, we had a great time and hope you did too. ‘Til next year all!

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St Patrick’s Day 2018 Review – TST

On 17th March we celebrated Irish Christmas for the fourth successive year over here at The Sun Tavern. We spent the evening honouring the man who helped rid the motherland of snakes… and drinking a fair bit of the pure drop to boot.

Festivities got underway with a spot of traditional sporting activity on our big screen – with the hotly-anticipated England vs Ireland rugby ending with a fitting victory for the boys from the Emerald Isle to help us all get into the patriotic swing of things.

Spirits high, come the evening our favourite shucker, Oyster Boy, was on hand to add some sustenance to the night ahead.

He was dishing out the Oysters for nothing, taking a break from his regular vending activities down Columbia Road, Broadway Market and Leyton Food Market, to bring a bit of East London tradition to the table.

On top of this, for this year’s celebrations we teamed up with our good friends at Dublin’s Teeling Distillery to create three Teeling-based cocktails – all exclusive to the day itself – dubbed ‘Golden Triangle’, ‘Pear Drop’, and ‘Revival’.

Revival – Teeling Small Batch, Calvados, Pimento Dram, Apple, Lime, topped w/ Ginger Ale.

Pear Drop – Teeling Single Malt, Rinquinquin, White Port, topped w/ Sekforde.

Golden Triangle – Teeling Single Grain, Ruby Port, Demarara, Lemon & Thyme.

 

Predictably, the cocktail went down a treat and the pure drop was in fill flow come sundown. Spirits were kept Himalayan once Umbrella Radio’s DJs took to the decls with a Rebel ‘n’ Roll set until the small hours.

With a few of us still kicking come the morn, we stretched the festivities over two days.

Sunday saw us mixing some Bloody Murphys – a Bloody Mary with an Irish slant courtesy once more of the good people at Teeling – and welcoming an Irish trad band through our doors in the early afternoon to transport all of us to our respective happy places.

All in all, a great night full of good craic and plenty of good vibes..

Hope to see you all down Bethnal Green way next time round!

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Non-Specific, March – TST

The 8th March saw a very special edition of Non-Specific, as our very own GM Ciaran Ó Dubhthaigh jumped on our turntables for the eve.

This departure from the norm was to mark the occasion of his imminent departure, since he is off to pastures new – namely, Melbourne in Oz -at the end of the month to get some much-needed sun on that Irish skin.

Ciaran has been an integral part of the team at The Sun from inception almost 4 years ago. In that time he’s helped mould everything from the floorboards up – including curating our vast (not to mention award-winning) Irish whiskey and Poitín collection.

The night itself kicked off as per the norm, with free Banh Mi flying out at breakneck pace.

Before long, the man of the moment had arrived full of beans and took to the decks, throwing out tunes that pushed Non-Specific rock ‘n’ roll to heavy new heights.

As ever, Ciaran was a hit – he got the crowd going, kept them in, and brought the good vibes.. and many, many shots of whiskey.

Who knows what’s next in store for our soon-to-be former GM, but none of us here have any doubts that he’ll be a resounding success down under. Best of luck matey!

 

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Non-Specific, February – TST

On February 15th, Trampolene frontman Jack Jones joined us to spin another set of Non-Specific Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Fresh from supporting Liam Gallagher and touring the country, the boy from south Wales was back in town and headed Sun Tavern-wards to take his place at our decks.

To mark the occasion, we were all treated to an exclusive first hearing of “Swim Up” – Jack’s latest side-project away from his regular ensemble Trampolene.

Besides that the night was packed with an eclectic mix of musical numbers, with everything from Plastic Bertrand to Primal Scream being thrown out by Mr Jones.

 

 

Speaking of, our flyer art for this month was heavily inspired by Primal Scream’s seminal 1991 album, Screamadelica – made using turmeric, grapes, and black peppercorns.

Tastier-sounding delicacies than that were being handed out on the night, with large quantities of free Bánh Mi leaving our storerooms at speed.

As per the norm, a merry old time was had by all. If you missed out on this rendition of Non-Specific never fear, we’ll be back next month – March 8th will see our soon-to-be departed General Manager Ciarán Ó Dubhthaigh jumping on the 1s and 2s for what’s gearing up to be a very special night.

Hope to see you all there for a dram and a knees-up.

 

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Burns’ Night 2018 – TST

The eve of 26th January heralded the return of Burns’ Night to The Sun Tavern, the night during which we pay our respects to the great Rabbie Burns -‘Scottish national poet’, waxer lyrical on haggis, mice and red, red roses.

The night kicked off with a spot of spoken word. Our good friend and poet, Will Conway, took to the stage and gave us all a stirring rendition of ‘A Red, Red Rose’ in honour of the great man himself, before moving on to a couple of his own lyrical creations.

 

 

Meanwhile, the free haggis scotch eggs courtesy of Pig & Hay started making their way out. These proved to be a smash hit – with our stores emptied long before midnight!

As is tradition on Burns’ Night, next up came the age-old address of the haggis. The honour in this case belonged to Rennie – from Scottish legends The View – who took to the stage and recited the customary verses before jumping onto the decks and throwing out some rock ‘n’ roll classics.

 

 

Not before he sprinkled the room with a dash of patriotism, however, as a bagpipe-heavy rendition of ‘Scotland the Brave’ was selected for his first tune.

In terms of the liquids, we at The Sun Tavern teamed up with The Balvenie to create a Scotch heavy cocktail in tribute to the Ploughman Poet, which was available on the night for a discounted rate – the aptly named Wha Hae.

It went down a treat. Balvenie DoubleWood, Amaro Montenegro, Winter red ale syrup & oak bitters all came together to create a drink of rare depth. A fine balance of malty sweetness, against the Amaro’s herbaceous bitterness, were all grounded by the Balvenie DoubleWood 12yr and the oak bitters.

 

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For those who came and preferred their Scotch a little neater, there was our award-winning Whisky list to work through! And work through it they did, with the nectar flowing readily all evening long.

A big thank you to everyone who came down and made this such a great night, hope to see you all again next year!

 

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International Poitín Day 2017 – TST

The Sun Tavern celebrated International Poitín day for the third time last weekend, raising a collective glass to toast the spirit’s long and sometimes illicit past.

We started Poitín Day three years ago due to our sizeable collection – in fact, it’s the most extensive this side of the Irish sea.

The boys were working hard all day on the Irish stew – which featured more than a good slug of Poitín.

At 6pm, our Bar Manager Ciaran gave a free Poitín tasting in the nook. There were 5 different Poitíns in our lineup – Micil, Ban Poitín, Glendalough, Mad March Hare and Teeling.

The pure drop wasn’t constrained to a solo performance, however, as our boys put together two cocktails from the bespoke Poitín cocktail list – exclusive to the night – for the guests to try.

There was ‘The Wake’, made up of Mad March Hare Poitín, Wray & Nephew rum, Suze liqueur and lemon; and the ‘Tara’, consisting of Micil Poitín, Velvet Falernum, lime & Bob’s Bitters.

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All the while, the stew was proving a hit, flying out and providing the perfect pairing to the free flowing Poitín concoctions.

In all, another successful rendition of one of our favourite annual holidays, putting the rebellious Irish spirit on its deserved pedestal.

We hope to see you all there next year for round number four.

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The Sun Tavern – 6th Menu

We had a little chat with Connor and Jamie who were the two main curators of this menu, here is what the had to say…

Jamie: The concept behind the menu was indigenous spirits. Obviously here at The Sun Tavern we make a big deal of Poitín which is indigenous to Ireland and so then wanted to bring to light other national spirits. Also to use spirits that other bars aren’t using and people might not know about. Then, trying to create some really interesting cocktails around those spirits.

 

Bianca – Grappa, Lemon, Honey & Chinook Hop Tincture

Connor: So the Bianca is a Grappa drink. Most people associate Grappa with ‘knocking it back’ or sipping it in Italy, you know? We just wanted to make it more accessible to a wider crowd. We used Tosolini Grappa, quite light in flavour and a little citrusy. From there we chose the Chinook Hop Tincture, kept it very simple, very classic with a little bit of sweetness. There is a bit of egg white in there so that the texture is the same for every sip. In a coupet with a lemon twist and Bianca actually means white in Italian, with Grappa being a clear and clean-cut spirit we thought that was a vibe.

 

Sir Banks Fix – Quiquiriqui Mezcal, Kummel, Lime and Pineapple & Eucalyptus Syrup

Jamie: This cocktail is based around a classic called a ‘Fix’. We’d normally have used pineapple juice coming from a ‘Fix’, but in this case we’ve made a pineapple and eucalyptus cordial. There is Mezcal in there which works really well with the kummel, also Mezcal is indigenous to Mexico. It’s smokier than Tequila that goes with the pineapple and other tropical drinks. The vessel we’re using is a small tankard which looks nice, quite old school. It’s also quite fitting to the drink as it’s an old style of cocktail. Garnished with some eucalyptus leaves and Sir Banks was the man who introduced eucalyptus to the west, so I thought I’d give him a little mention.

 

Amrita – Bushmills Black Bush Whiskey, Mead, Fernet, Honey & Stout Cream

Connor: So the Amrita. We started out with using mead, which has become quite popular in drinks now, especially beer. We wanted it to be quite heavy, almost like a dessert Manhattan, hence the cream float. ‘Amrita’ is an old Medieval word that means ‘immortality’ and is commonly referred to ‘nectar’. Not really a light sipper, a pretty heavy one at that. Nutmeg on top, very sweet and booze heavy as well.

 

Balkan Promise – Slivovitz, Pisco, Plum & Vanilla Syrup & Abbot’s Bitters

Jamie: The Balkan Promise’s inspiration was a Pisco Sour. We obviously use pisco but we also use something called slivovitz which is an old style plumb brandy and this one you’ll find comes from Poland, which is on the Balkan Peninsula or Balkan Coast. So we used the Sklar Slivovitz, then I made a plumb and vanilla syrup which adds a nice wintery touch. The drink is in a Nik and Nora, looks good with the foam and some black sesame for the garnish, which contrasts nicely.

 

The Three C’s – Cachaca, Cocchi Torino, Homemade Glogg, Green Chartreuse & Angostura Bitters

Connor: The Three C’s is more of a bitter drink in comparison to the other drinks on the menu. We needed a stirred down, bitter drink for people who want that Negroni or Boulevardier sort of style. It’s a little more floral using the Cachaca. We also use Homemade Glogg which is essentially a Scandinavian style of mould wine that uses grape juice. We added Italicus which is a bergamot liqueur and that nicely lifts the drink with the spice base.

 

The Root Of It – Bán Poitín, Averna, Ruby Port & Pecan Bitters

Connor: This drink was one of our colleagues Jason actually. We wanted an Old Fashioned style of drink for this menu and because of our love Poitín we went down that route. You’ve got heavy Ruby Port in there and Averna which makes for deep chocolate and coffee notes. Then we used Bán Poitín because the starchiness of the Potatoes that are used in the production really come through and place very well with those deep flavours. Not you’re usual Poitín style drink but we reckon we’ve managed to make it a bit more autumnal. Then to round it off with a little pecan bitters at the end to add little spice dimension there.

 

The Penelopes #3 – Arrack, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Amontillado Sherry, Lime, Coconut, Angostura Bitters. Topped with Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer

Jamie: We wanted a longer style drink, we’ve some quite heavy drinks already and we wanted to use Arrack again. It’s a Sri Lankan spirit distilled from the sap of coconut leaves and so has a really nice flavour. We thought we’d use that along with the Umbrella Brewing Ginger Beer, coconut and Dolin Dry Vermouth. The name came from that one of our bartenders Quentin is in a band called ‘The Penelopes’ and they’re some of our best customers. Comes in a highball, topped with crushed ice and to garnish, just a nice seasonal flower.

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The Dead Rabbit X The Sun Tavern

On the 4th October we welcomed The Dead Rabbit and their Beverage Director, Jillian Vose behind the bar, for what ended a royally riotous night.

We had a bespoke cocktail list made up of three of Jillian’s concoctions, and three of our own, all built around Slane Irish Whiskey. And it all took place slap bang in the middle of London Cocktail Week.

The evening started with a Ceilidh band setting the scene as Jillian took to her station. Already the bar was heaving with people keen to taste a little Dead Rabbit in East London. God Is A DJ going down especially well, with its banana, maple and toasted sesame nuances.

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Speaking of which, Umbrella Radio DJ’s jumped on the decks to play a set heavy with classics from Slane Castle Gigs – where the Slane Distillery is to be found. Plenty of Queen, Neil Young, Bowie and The Boss.

As the night drew on, Jillian slipped to the other side of the stick and got herself a well earned drink or two, while the Slane was now flowing as neat as you like.

For a school night it felt more like a weekend and there will have been some very foggy heads come Thursday morning.

A night that didn’t want missing, though if you did, fear not, as the cocktails will be on the menu every Whiskey Wednesday throughout October. They might be a little calmer too!

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Non-Specific, May 2017 & The Sun Tavern Menu Launch

Umbrella Radio’s monthly takeover at The Sun Tavern for May saw Hoxton Radio’s Founder and Director, David Preshaah, take to the decks, spinning his take on non-specific Rock’n’Roll.  The event coincided with The Sun Tavern’s new cocktail menu launch, so there was extra cause for celebration!

Every month Umbrella Radio take control of the music at The Sun, usually with a live DJ set from our very own John Robinson who’s joined by a guest DJ playing their own take on “Non-Specific” rock and roll – everything from the 50’s & 60’s, through Glam, Punk & New Wave, to the Indie of yesteryear and today.

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This month it was the turn of David Preshaah of Hoxton Radio – a digital station founded by David in 2012. Hoxton Radio shed light on pop culture in East London with a foundation of great music, all from their studio overlooking Spitalfields Market – you can read more about them here. Other recent guest DJ’s for Non-Specific have included Drew McConnell (Babyshambles, Helsinki), Palma Violets, Superfood and Rennie (The View).

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The Sun Tavern launched their new cocktail menu on the same night. The traditional Irish spirit Poitín is very much a part of The Sun Tavern’s DNA, and the new menu was inspired by other indigenous spirits from all over the world. Think Arrack, Grappa, Slivovitz, Cachaça, Pisco, Sake, Mezcal and of course, Poitìn.

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To accompany all this we be served the age old peasant staple – stew. Irish stew to be exact. Made to the Duffy family recipe (Our general manager’s family!)

The festivities went on until the early hours, and all in all it was a great night – If you missed it, make sure to pop by to check out the new menu as soon as you can (we’re happy to see The Evening Standard are fans of it…) Also don’t miss next month’s Non Specific!

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Dewar’s Whiskey Wednesday – Launch Night

SCOTCH EGGS

SOCTCH WHISKY

SCOTCH COCKTAILS

 

On Wednesday 7th September, The Sun Tavern launched their monthly Whiskey Wednesday bespoke cocktail menu in conjunction with Dewar’s Blended Scotch Whisky.

 

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Given that this occasion wasn’t an Irish one they thought they’d go the extra mile for scotch sake!

The Sun Tavern just so happens to have some bangin’ Scotch Eggs on the food menu provided by Pig and Hay. Then it seemed like a no brainer to have a Scotch cocktail and Scotch egg pairing creating the perfect Scotch serve.

 

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The night got off to a great start with whisky cocktails and Scotch eggs flying out, good tunes and a great crowd. From 8 o’clock we had Drew McConnel of the Babyshambles and Helsinki on the ones and twos. He played a great Rebel and Roll set, which featured the likes of The Streets, Beastie Boys, Television and many more. We’d sent out some quality ‘bar boomerangs’ to some of our favourite drinking holes and it was great to see some familiar faces!

 

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We’d sent out some quality ‘bar boomerangs’ to some of our favourite drinking holes and it was great to see some familiar faces! All in all it was a great night and everyone had a good time

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Boozy Brunch Bevvies

In addition to the recent Bloody Mary Menu, Sundays at The Sun Tavern have got a little better and a little boozier with the introduction of their Boozy Brunch Bevvies featured on the back of the Bloody Mary Menu for under 6 quid!

 

First up along with the Bloody Marys…

 

Michelada – Homemade Sangrita Mix, Lime and Sun spice blend – Served with a can of FourPure beer of your choice – £5

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Sun-grita – Shot of Quiquiriqui Mezcal and a shot of homemade sangrita mix – £5

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Then on the other side… Boozy Brunch Bevvies

Mimosa – Freshly squeezed Orange juice, topped with house fizz – £5

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Breakfast Sour – Gin, Aperol, Fresh Pink Grapefruit, Lemon & Toasted Marmalade Syrup – £6

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Pickled Pineapple Bellini – Pineapple, Coriander, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Vinegar & House Fizz – £6

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Interview: Dave Mulligan – Bán Poitín

Here is Dave Mulligan, co-founder of Bán Poitín, giving us an insight to his relationship with The Sun Tavern in Bethnal Green, the infamous spirit of poitín and his sprirt brand Bán Poitín.

This is the first interview in a series of videos that The Umbrella Project will be releasing with brand owners, ambassadors local heroes and our friends.

 

You can buy a bottle of Bán Poitín from The Sun Tavern’s online bottle shop.

 

 

Here are some of The Sun Tavern’s cocktails that use Bán Poitín…

 

Mother Bucker – Bán Poitín, Buckfast, Bold Cherry Aperitif, Fresh Orange, Lemon and Angostura Bitters, topped with Club Soda

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Bánshee – Bán Poitín, Vulson White Rhino Rye, Yellow Chartreuse, Homemade Lime Cordial & Lime Juice

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Galway Bay – Bán Poitín, Homemade Lime Cordial, Citric Acid & a Bay Leaf

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Power to your Elbow – Bán Poitín, Amaro Montenegro, Black Sheep Espresso & Fourpure Oatmeal Stout

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Mountain Dew – Bán Poitín, Lillet Blanc, Tripple Sec, Violette & Lemon Juice

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You can buy a bottle of Bán Poitín from The Sun Tavern’s online bottle shop.

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Bloody Marys on a Sunday

Spice up your Sunday with The Sun Tavern’s Bloody Mary hangover cures…

Running every Sunday, this will include a TST twist on a classic Bloody Mary, an irish inspired take, the Bloody Murphy and finally, the Mad Mary with an optional meat stick.

 

The Sun Tavern Bloody Mary – Vodka, Sun Spice Mix, Fresh Tomato Juice & Celery – £7

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Bloody Murphy – Poitín, Sun Spice Mix, Fresh Tomato Juice, Sherry Vinegar & Stout – £7 

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Mad Mary – Homemade Angry Chilli Vodka, Sun Spice Mix, Fresh Tomato Juice, Meat Stick (optional) – £10

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Ask at the bar for more info…

 

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