What to Drink at Side Hustle, Inside the NoMad London
Agave-based spirits, gin-based drinks, and more
With an extensive collection of agave-based spirits and a casual and fun Mexican menu, Side Hustle occupies a former police station adjacent to the Grade II-listed Bow Street Magistrates’ Court, now the site of the NoMad London. But Side Hustle’s name is well deserved, as the staff “hustles” to make a memorable impression, which they do like few others in town.
Bartender Danilo Frigulti converted me with his Last Word—the best I’ve ever had. Following the traditional recipe, he uses equal parts London dry gin, maraschino, fresh lime juice and green Chartreuse. But he pointed out how vital it is to shake the drink to create a perfect dilution.
After experimenting that night with a few more gin-based drinks, Danilo invited me back for a special martini created by Thomas Pastuszak, the ﬁrst wine director at NoMad New York. Thomas’ love for chenin blanc was his inspiration when developing the recipe for the Walter Gibson, named after his newborn son. Drawing on characteristics of orchard fruit and minerality, it is aged in a beeswax-lined bottle, creating a silky texture and savory aroma.
The next night I returned, this time through one of the secret doors that leads hotel guests to Side Hustle. Now Danilo was ready to wow me with the Walter Gibson, and even though I dislike vermouth in a martini, I felt this drink’s sweet Viognier would be okay. Like in a vesper, vodka and gin are mixed, and a new element, pear brandy, is added for roundness. This cocktail is then slowly poured into the beeswax-lined bottle before it is aged and served with a texture like that of chenin blanc. Best to come was an amazing variety of seasonal pickles made with white balsamic. According to NoMad London’s vice president of food and beverage, Leo Robitschek: “Not only does the pickles’ acidity cut through the richness of the cocktail, but the brininess also enhances the drink and leaves you wanting another sip.” I totally agree, and that’s why I spent the evening sharing bites and sips with new friends and drink mates—something that often happens at Side Hustle.
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