They serve beer and wine, but only to those missing the point. Peruke & Periwig is one of the new-ish wave of cocktail-first bars gradually drifting across the capital city, bringing with them house crafted syrups, impossibly-named liqueurs and painstakingly themed menus. A recent Wednesday evening found P&P and their menu in a musical mood. “Born to Rum” – based loosely on the El Presidente – packs a boozy and complex punch, starting with Havana 7yr Rum and proceeding through Benedictine, Apricot Brandy, Punt e Mes, Plum Shrub and the lingering notes of Peychaud’s Bitters.
The crowd – enjoying the audible but not deafening strains of Bruce Springsteen – was a mix of regulars, first-timers and apparently even the odd staff member. Cocktails, unsurprisingly, were the topic of conversation around the short bar.
“Boulevardier of Broken Dreams” is a hot take on the Boulevardier – itself a remix of the Negroni, with whiskey in place of gin in the classic gin-campari-vermouth triad.
For those veering away from Trad, there’s plenty worth humming along to in the Rock & Roll section of the menu (“On the rocks with a little roll”). “In the Navy” is a navy grog which, as with all craft cocktail navy grog, is better than navy grog can surely ever have been. “Pretty Fly For a Mai Tai” has more ingredients than a Mai Tai could possibly need, but just about gets away with it.
Also available, amongst others: Pop (“Fun, sweet and easy going”), Soul (“For tastes that require a little more”) and Blues (“For those who enjoy it a little sour”). “Tequila Me Softly” is a labelling highlight, “Pass the Dutchie” (starring sage infused tequila) a triumph on the taste front.
The (perhaps) vintage portraits and wigs on the walls suit the three stories over basement Georgian townhouse (raucous taproom on the ground floor, seating only lounges upstairs). There’s food, which is fine, and on the comparatively quiet weeknights bartenders are only too happy to discuss the finer details of their trade.
Multiple visits confirm that they have plenty worth sharing – but perhaps one more trip is in order, just be safe?