Jasmine Phull discovered a new local bar at Original Sin in Stoke Newington
Sometime back in Eden, a mischievous, twentysomething named Adam helped himself to a shiny red apple, and thus Original Sin was born. Centuries later, there’s a new dive bar that says there’s something nice about being a little bit naughty.
Nothing we haven’t heard before, but descend the stairs of the Stoke Newington hidey-hole and you’ll quickly see it’s an easy place to misplace your inhibitions.
From the team behind Hoxton’s Happiness Forgets, Original Sin is moody, brooding and intimate. And it seems to be the winning recipe to a successful east-end drinking-hole. The new northerly offering is a simple fitting of dimly-lit booths cosy for pairs and roomy enough for more, and one long wooden bar gleaning with bottles of magical liquids.
It’s a libation lair, laidback and for the locals, yet there is nothing blasé about the potions. The short yet well thought-out drinks menu upholds the essential cocktail principles: balance, harmony and drinkability.
For some serious supping, the Kashmir is rye whiskey, cherry notes and cardamom infusion; Perfect Storm is a dry twist on the original, thanks to plum brandy, and for something long and refreshing, sip on the light and fizzy Rattle Snake, complete with a sprig of fragrant Rosemary.
But if Christmas has come and gone all too soon for you, there’s hope in the indulgent Mr Sandman. One of the few cocktails that swaps egg white for the golden centre, Cognac brandy, egg yolk, nutmeg and cinnamon create a deliciously rich, silky, eggy drink that is as much a dessert as it is a ‘thirst quencher’.
What will convince people to keep coming back is in the casual, local feel. Not accidentally, a game of billiards is on the house. That’s right, there’s a pool table too. Original Sin is a refreshing change of pace, but I do wonder how a bar based in an area of gastro-trendy pubs will fit in? Thankfully, I don’t think it will. While inconspicuously positioned beneath the street it calls home, it’s a sure-fire win for N16 punters looking for a personable place sans the crowded banter of a pub and the pretense of a swish bar.
Original Sin, 129 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0PH
Words by Jasmine Phull, a writer by day, an imbiber by night, sipping sours at the bar is all in a day’s work for our resident bar reviewer and travel writer @f_reshprince