TwoRuba Bar & Lounge, Hilton London Tower Bridge
Tworuba is a plush bar and restaurant located on the ground floor of the Hilton Tower Bridge Hotel, serving a range of cocktails and creative small plates. From March, the bar will be hosting monthly whiskey tasting master classes in partnership with Kentucky distillery, Buffalo Trace. We were invited to a preview evening in lieu of the launch.
I headed straight from work to Tooley street and found my friend Dan, not waiting outside the Hilton Hotel as arranged, but downing an ale in the old man boozer over the road. We trotted over to The Hilton and were greeted at reception by a nice lady who showed us through to TwoRuba. The masterclasses are held in a private room just off the main bar that is decadent, cosy and more importantly, had glasses of bourbon everywhere! Dan looked confused and disappointed – he clearly thought that I was taking him biscuit tasting – but he soon cheered up when we were handed a couple of perfectly made whiskey sour cocktails.
We piled up our napkins with little canapés, went to our seats and stared at the glasses of whiskey in front of us. We must have looked anxious because they brought us over even more cocktails to enjoy whilst we waited for the others to arrive.
Our host Henry (Norfolk), to no-one’s surprise, knew loads about whiskey. I have enjoyed almost all of the whiskies that I have ever tried, except for Laphroaig, which I find a bit much. And that’s about the extent of my whiskey knowledge – until this little tasting – where I learnt a whole lot more! Henry talked us through the process of distilling bourbon generally and then specifically for each drink that we tried in their range. We started off with White Dog (essentially un-aged moonshine) which was gross. The second one was their flagship blend which was much better. I think it’s a bit mellow if you’re drinking it with ice, but Henry said that it was the best whiskey to mix in all these cocktails that we were drinking and I would agree with that. The next one, Eagle Rare 10 Year Old, was VERY nice. This was Dan’s favourite and probably the bourbon you should try if you’re normally a scotch whiskey fan. My favourite was Ridgemont Reserve 1792, but I can’t really remember why now. It’s described as “full bodied, but not overly sweet, with more rye than most other brands”, which rings a bell. And finally, George T. Stagg Jr, which I would describe as “very gouty”, and Henry called “balls out the bath”. Again, I would agree.
To finish we were each presented with another perfectly made cocktail, but this time an old fashioned and more food (with dip) was placed in the centre of the room. Dan pointed out that it was quite challenging getting food with dip back to your seat with only a napkin. But to be fair, small side plates are the only improvement that could be made on an otherwise dazzling evening. We had loads of fun – the food, drinks and company were all excellent. And also, £20 for 2 cocktails, 5 whiskey tasters, canapés and knowledge is an absolute steal.
TwoRuba Bar & Lounge
Hilton London Tower Bridge
5 More London Place, Tooley Street
London SE1 2BY