Julian de Feral wants you not to go to Original Sin. Okay? *tappy nose thing*


Don’t go to Original Sin if you think a good drink is made good by precariously attaching an elaborately crimped zest fashioned in the shape of a hummingbird on to a burning lavender sprig with a mini-peg and served with a handwritten 19th-century ode to bartenders on the side. Don’t go to Original Sin if you like beverages that have more thought put into ironic pun-tastic names referencing 1990s power ballads and what they’ll look like on Instagram than the liquid in the glass. Don’t go to Original Sin if you think the high point of mixology is a Siberian birch-smoked martini featuring three types of acid and a gin redistilled on site with a Sunday roast, and your favourite bartenders all wear lab coats. Don’t go to Original Sin if the idea of the cocktail is more important to you than the cocktail itself.

Don’t go to Original Sin if you want to play pool. They have the most handsome pool table in east London, but the emphasis is on the casual game, and with an unaudited first-come, first-served ethos, so chances are you won’t necessarily be playing pool, let alone playing out your Paul Newman Hustler fantasies while sipping on a few fingers of JTS Brown. Rather just drink from the carefully curated American whiskey selection instead.

Don’t go to Original Sin if the point of your venture out past the outskirts of Dalston and into Stoke Newington is just to visit Original Sin. This is not a bar vying hard for destination status; not a bar that owner Ali Burgess wants you to necessarily travel across town for: this is just a local, comfortable bar for people who love local, comfortable bars (and decent rock music). That said, you never know. Ali’s previous effort – Happiness Forgets in Hoxton – is, against all odds, ranked number 12 in the World’s 50 Best Bars list, sandwiched between the legendary Connaught bar in Mayfair and Chicago’s pioneering Aviary. Not bad for a small, barely-furnished neighbourhood bar, which – like Original Sin – places flawlessly relaxed service and simple and practical – yet delicious – original drinks made with exclusively excellent products above exuberant concepts and theatrical futuristic techniques.

Original Sin isn’t going to change or break the rules of drinking culture, but it will enforce the idea that a good bar is a good bar is a good bar, and that idea itself is already marking a change on drinking culture. A true luxury cocktail experience is no longer the sole preserve of historical marble-coated five-star imbibing institutions, it can be found next door, underneath that new wave burger joint.

Mainly, don’t go to Original Sin because occasionally I’d like to play a game of pool.

Original Sin129 Stoke Newington High Street, London N16 0PH. Tel: +44 (0)20 7241 4148. www.originalsin.bar. Photo credits Addie Chinn.