VOC, King’s Cross

With sherry bar Pepito next door, this similarly diminutive hangout is further reason to visit redeveloped Varnishers Yard. VOC is short for Vereenigde Oo-Indische Compagnie (aka the Dutch East
India Company) and the cute candlelit cocktail bar takes its inspiration from the Far East for sensational sakés, stirs, barrel-aged infusions and punch. Beautifully presented in covetable
stemware, summery bergamot grog is infused with galangal, fresh tobacco leaf and Earl Grey tea, while ‘Walsingham’s interrogation’ (Tanqueray and mint lengthened with apple juice and ginger)
uncovers a secret ingredient – chywanaprash (a sweet-and-sour Ayurvedic tonic oft referred to as ‘the elixir of life’). Otherwise, homemade raspberry shrub matured in vintage-style, wax-sealed
bottles is a bushy-tailed zinger. The Italian head bartender’s passion is tangible and his attention to detail pays dividends.

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