Friday, 18 May 2012
Karpo, King's Cross - September 2013 now Megaro (see new review)
‘Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder’ said the guy with the lisp. Well, if you’re fond of the aniseed-flavoured spirit, hit Karpo at King’s Cross. The Megaro Hotel’s stylish, moodily -lit new dive bar is a persuasive ambassador for a range of absinthe served, as romantic tradition demands, with chilled water dispensed from exquisite Belle Époque glass fountains. The Marmite of the drinks cabinet, I used to hate the stuff; put-off by youthful misadventures in Glasgow where, poured over burnt sugar cubes on slatted spoons, bars once pushed it as ‘wreck the hoose juice.’ Cue frenzied trippy disco-dancing in total strangers’ Gorbals high-rise flats followed by immobilising paranoid half-blind hangovers. No wonder countless absinthe-raddled French Impressionist painters ended up as daft as their brushes. The trick is to ease yourself gradually in to this dangerous mistress’s seductive embrace. For a sexy first date, novices might risk Karpo’s subtly absinthe-d coupes - Fourth Degree (a Bermondsey’s Jensen Old Tom gin martini); Violent Femme (£7.50) or Corpse Reviver no.2 served with equally addictive spiced pecans. Still not tempted? There’s a range of non-Abs Fab alternatives and retro cocktail manuals for inspiration. But if you do yearn to see the green fairy, ‘Karpo diem!’ - says the guy with half an ear for Latin.
23 Euston Road NW1 7843 2221www.karpo.co.uk