Murder Inc in Fitzrovia: A sleek hideout where grit and glamour meet
Going underground may have its charm, if only for the cover provided by the darkness and for that wicked unspoken attraction of ours towards the underworld. Finding a convergence between the glamour of the West End and the grime of gangster-inspired interiors, Murder Inc is the new sleek boozy hideout in Fitzrovia, offering such a broad selection of cocktails that even the most dedicated drinker would be spoilt for choice.
The founding team – made up of Andy Mil, Olly Brading and Elliot Ball – are not new to the industry. Firstly showing up in Carnaby Street for their pop-up, the trio later opened the doors of The Cocktail Trading Co in Shoreditch, which is now toasting its third anniversary. Their latest venture will satisfy both new customers and those already familiar with this bar gang, providing stylish classics with a touch of innovation.
We inaugurated the table with a round from the Freeloaders list, a happy hour offer for all, not just “students and vagrants”. The Frozen Banana Ramos is a creamy concoction which owes its texture to the coconut, banana milk and egg white. The stout gives a coffee aftertaste. In a different register is the simpler yet very refreshing Daiquiri, prepared with Bacardi Carta Bianca and lime.
Our biggest challenge was to select the next cocktails after diving into the main list: a booklet of over ten pages with the drinks on one side of each spread – in a crescendo of booziness and richness – and 40s-50s noir photos on the other. The bartenders wanted to have some staples as well as more experimental options, and the result is a good mix. There’s no connection between the playful titles and the ingredients, but they surely make it a funny catalogue to browse.
Among the specials of the house, the green, slimy-looking Death in the Afternoon – coming by the tap – actually tastes everything but muddy: the Pernod absinthe, ginger and agave sherbet make it a cool pre-drink.
Featuring frozen marble whiskey stones, the Cannon Collins is a distilled pleasure. The Flor de Cana 7 is adulterated with Hennessy VS, while the triple sec adds a splash of citrusy flavour.
In between an Old Fashioned and a White Russian, the Silk Punch couldn’t be described better than what it says the label: smooth while maintaining a pretty strong character. The whisky-based concoction is foamy on the top and dark crystal on the bottom half. The tip is to drink it as it is, without mixing the elements, allowing the vermouth and Chivas 12 to reach your tongue through the froth.
From the final page of the menu – last but surely not least – we tried the Brass Knuckle. The only place where the titular metal weapon is still legal is Brazil, from where the cocktail’s name is translated. The final product is a punchy beverage made with Brazilian ingredients, in which the Glenmorangie 10 weakly blends with custard apple syrup and Guanabana for a tangy finish. The stylish presentation, though, is what leaves a lasting impression.
Funky, creative and distinctly intriguing, Murder Inc earns its place in the groovy criminal cocktail underworld, a guilty pleasure worth finding.
★★★★★Drinks ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮Service ▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮▮
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Murder Inc, 36 Hanway Street London W1T 1UP, call 020 7637 9158 or visit their website here.