Agents of the Bureau of Prohibition would have certainly walked past the Lucky Pig. It’s hidden away on a lower ground floor at 5 Clipstone Street in an inconspicuous part of London’s Fitzrovia.
The speakeasy cocktail bar is not easy to spot, although when you come closer you can see that it has quite a big sign with a huge and happy pig on it.
The Lucky Pig bar is named after the gangster Lucky Luciano, who supplied booze to the illegal drinking dens in the United States during Prohibition. Such establishments were often called Blind Pigs, a phrase that originated from the 19th century saloons that sold beer or liquor without license.
The owner would charge customers to see an ‘attraction’ such as a pig and then serve ‘complimentary’ alcoholic beverage.
Thankfully, we did not meet any real pigs (or people who behaved like them), but instead received a VIP treatment from head bar tender Dren Lala. You know you are in good hands when a barman reserves you and your guest two stools at the bar and says: “I’m gonna get you really drunk tonight.”
The Lucky Pig menu offers a mix of classic drinks and experimental cocktails, and so my friend Shelley and I started going through the list one by one.
I began with a cocktail especially made for me, because I told Dren that I really liked Campari, but wanted to try something different. He mixed Grey Goose vodka, Martini Rosato and Aperol.
It was lovely, but I prefer drinks that are more sour, and so for the next one Dren suggested an experimental cocktail called “Pimp my Side Car” – Hennessey XO Cognac, Grand Marnier Centenaire and fresh lemon (£9.50).
Shelley, who couldn’t find The Lucky Pig and spent quite a bit of time walking up and down the street (I couldn’t hear my phone), calmed her nerves with a Champagne Mojito – Bacardi Blanca, lime, sugar and Champagne (£9) followed by “Hedgerow Sling” – Sipsmith Gin, Sipsmith Sloe Gin, lemon, sugar and soda (£8.50).
Shelley is a big fan of gin so her next two cocktails had to be gin based. She absolutely loved the “Strawberry Jive” – Bloom Gin, lemon juice, orange juice, mint, strawberries & basil (£8.50) and was equally impressed with “Churchill Martini” – Williams English Gin, featuring Martini extra dry (£8.50).
I adore cocktails with champagne, so I went for a drink that’s very popular with the ladies called “Cherry Blossom” – Finlandia mango, raspberries, framboise, pineapple juice and Champagne (£9).
I continued the cocktail tasting with the absolutely fantastic “Southside Royal” – Bombay Sapphire Gin, lime, mint and cucumber, topped with Champagne (£9).
I must confess that I couldn’t remember the ingredients of the cocktails so well after all that alcohol, but Dren was kind enough to give me a menu and we both put a cross by each cocktail after we were done with it.
Shelley loved the place so much that I had to drag her kicking and screaming out of the Lucky Pig, but not before we shared “The Lucky Blazer” – a cocktail perfect for venturing into the cold night – Drambuie, brown sugar, raspberries, citrus fruits and cherry, served warm.
Address: The Lucky Pig, 5 Clipstone Street, London, W1W 6BB
Phone: 020 7436 0035