We meet local boutique cocktail makers Myatts Fields Cocktails
Brixtonians Clemency and Cyrus (also husband and wife) found a somewhat unusual route into boutique cocktail making. Their range of classic cocktails has taken the slightly dubious premix and elevated it into a proper high-end cocktail. Sampling a few, the Bugle team agree.
Clemency popped up to Bugle Mansions with a few samples. Limoncello, a Tequila Negroni, Pisco Martini, classic Vesper Martini and a Trident – Aquavit, Manzanilla sherry, Cynar artichoke amoro, and peach bitters. In a world where ultimately its still best if someone makes your cocktail in front of you, these are not purely ‘next best thing’ replacements. Hits and occasional misses in our tasting, we loved the Limoncello and the Pisco, possibly less in love with the Trident, and they certainly bring the alco-oomph potency they should. We met Clemency and Cyrus to find out more.
What was the ‘inspiration’ around launching Myatt’s Fields Cocktails?
Our wedding in 2016. We wanted cocktails but it was mind-bendingly expensive, so we looked at premix options. We tried everything around but decided ‘we can do better on our own’. After the wedding, there was more feedback on the drinks than anything else so we looked at each other and said ‘let’s give this a go’. We knew there was a gap in the market, because if there wasn’t we would never have made cocktails in the first place.
What was the main challenge setting up a Brixton business?
Beyond the usual start-up hurdles, we had to get licensed. Lambeth council absolutely bent over backwards to help us. They really want small businesses to do well, and we say to everyone to approach them with confidence.
What would you say is the ‘philosophy’ of Myatts Fields Cocktails?
The philosophy of the business from the outset was that we would use the very best ingredients and the very best recipes we could possibly bring, and the money would work itself out. So many premix cocktails are a waste ground of cheap ingredients and ‘good enough’ recipes, and we wanted to be the opposite of that.
Do you take classic cocktail recipes and ‘upgrade’ them?
Yes, in a number of ways. The most important work we do is ageing our cocktails. When vermouth is exposed to air, it starts to oxidise and take on quite different properties. When that vermouth is already mixed with something else, like gin and amaro in a Negroni, the results can be quite beautiful and completely different to a freshly poured drink. Most of our cocktails have sat in a barrel for at least six weeks prior to bottling, and that is the heart of what we do. We have just produced a Limoncello Black, where we used 10 times the amount of lemons most recipes ask for and we have a grapefruit version in the cellar at the moment, which is quite exciting.
Apart from chilling the bottles and finding a good glass, what else should the ‘drinker’ do?
It’s a mistake to put premix cocktails in a freezer. The cocktails need to be poured over ice and stirred for 20 seconds. Definitely chill the glass, preferably for 20 minutes in a freezer. Some of our drinks go best with a twist of zest, lime, grapefruit or lemon. Mostly though, the joy of premix drinks is the work is done.
Where can you find your cocktails?
Happily, Brixton is well served. You can buy direct from us at myattsfields.london, enjoy a cocktail by the glass at Whirled Cinema or the Little Cat Café on Myatt’s Fields Park. Or, alternatively, grab a bottle to take home at House of Bottles on Coldharbour Lane or Cornercopia in Brixton Village. If you live in the Herne Hill end of Brixton, head to Wild & Lees.
Why do you feel cocktails have become so popular in the last few years?
We are living in the golden age of gin, with sales higher even than during the famous gin craze of the 18th century. The desire to experiment with gin sits at the heart of the resurgence in cocktails. Long may it continue.
myattsfields.london | 07780 520380 | @mfcocktails