There’s more drinking going on in the back alleys of Carlton Street than you’d realise. Hockley’s never been one to shy away from a hidden bar or two, and one of them has just undergone a ruddy good (boiler)makeover...
Inspired by the tranquil vibes of the Mediterranean, the shabby boiler shop now transports you into a impressive Moroccan riad, complete with tropical greenery and mosaicked floors. After taking a seat on a colourful sofa, we ordered our first round off their new and improved menu.
The riad area has been designed to fit the large groups that queue out the door on a Saturday night, with each booth able to seat at least fourteen people. But on a quiet Thursday evening, it was the perfect place to lounge about a sip on summat sweet.
Rhubarb Paul’s Drag Race (£8) was an enjoyable way to wet the whistle, the base of zubrowka bison grass vodka flavoured strongly with rhubarb, guanabana and a flourish of marshmallow foam to finish. It’s tall, pink exterior is coupled with a tart aftertaste and does bits for the taste buds. If yer can’t handle this one, then simply “sashay away.”
Next came the Eton Mess & A Little Red Dress (£8), dark rum flavoured with raspberry, white chocolate and thyme, and the Soco Pops (£8), a Southern Comfort based endeavor which tastes identical to the bottom-of-your-cereal milk with an extra kick. Boilermaker is well known round these parts for their attention to detail and creative use of ingredients, and the new menu will not disappoint any long-time fans.
Behind some artfully cut screens lies the bar, and some more intimate seating perfect for couples and smaller groups. Lit dimly by candles, it’s a great place to watch the masters of drink at work. The bar staff are always happy to give a recommendation to any indecisives, and for our next tipple they suggested the Ceylon Elephant (£8). Served in a small ceramic bowl, the coconut and lemongrass came bursting through the Koko Kanu Rum with warmth from the ginger not too far behind.
To finish up, we necked the Pokemon themed I Choose Yuzu (£8), Japanese cherry infused Moskovskaya Vodka, yuzu and soda, and the Bloody Millennial Mary (£8). The avocado washed Reyka Vodka is paired with tomato, kale, mushroom sriracha and honey, and comes on a spicy scale from one to five. We didn’t think twice about ordering a three, but you best believe that baby will leave a few tears in your eye.
Boilermaker is a table service gaff, which means it’s never too rowdy rahnd the bar and you’ve got plenty of time to let those newly-decorated surroundings sink in. Give it a try yoursens, if you can find the bogger…
Boilermaker is open every day until 1am.
36 Carlton St, NG1 1NN