Waste, in London and every megacity, it’s in the air, and it’s everywhere. Waste is a much a feature, and a problem of our growing cities now as ever before. How do we balance giving people the lifestyle they ought to have, against the needs of our environment? To our species, and ourselves as individuals, it is the question of our time. For the environmentally conscious explorers in London and worldwide, there is one bar that seeks to answer this question, Nine Lives.
Opening late Spring and beaming through the summer, this hotspot maintains a sustainable ethos, with reuse and recycling incorporated in a truly complimentary manner into the experience of its patrons. The name Nine Lives refers to a spirit of salvation and reclamation – with nothing wasted and everything lovingly sourced and selected with intention.
Upon arrival the ‘vintage doorman’ John Sioux escorts you to the hidden basement of a stunning Victorian building in London’s quirky Bermondsey; this is a destination as well as a neighbourhood hangout. Styled to be modern, seductive and yet playful, wicca chairs contrast soft velvet seating, washed natural walls are cascaded by tropical plants, private booths are surrounded by sheer copper surfaces, and shuffleboards in the games room riff off die marble tables.
The Sweet & Chilli team (Allan Gage, Emma Hutchison and Tom Soden) are the brains behind this new project where music, drinks and design all revolve around the same ethos. The sound system is itself reclaimed,and oozes a rich sound providing the perfect soundtrack to drink and mingle to. Every Saturday Nine Lives hosts guest DJ’s such as Earthboogie, Throw Down, Kulito and The Hotel Lobby playing their sets.
The tipples and liquid concoctions are curated by Tom Soden, and are categorised into Shorts, Talls, Tarts, Lowriders & Loops. Loops are drinks where the team have reused key ingredients and given them a new lease of life. Take Lemons for example; the bar uses their skin, oils & juice in cocktails and then redistills the pith to produce essential oils which are used in liqueurs and hand soap. Next the discarded pith/skin/pulp is PH balanced for composts, finally the bar uses the compost to fertilise their backyard herb garden.
Recipes are reinvented from past favourites, ingredients are repurposed to reduce waste, disposables are removed from the bar’s operation, even the embroidered staff uniforms have been discovered in London’s best vintage shops. The bold intention here is to drive a positive and sustainable movement within cocktail culture.
From the menu our favourite shorty cocktail was MOBY DICK, which is coconut washed whisky and salted caramel. This cocktail is so light and moorish you could knock it back for breakfast. It’s also dairy free which I love because most of the salted-caramel washed drinks I want to devour are forbidden for me due to my dairy allergy.
For a long drink the OMU KURU (Watermelon, campari and cucumber soda) hit the spot. It’s so refreshing and seductive at the same time. Beware because they feel light like your drinking water! We also loved the Lowrider cocktail STINGRAY (Port, Rasberry Liquer, Citrus acid & mint). It was rich, tart and full of pow!
This hotspot would be remarkable simply for its drinks, remarkable for its music, and remarkable for its ethos, but pulled together they make for something truly unique and exciting.
Open Tuesday-Saturdays weekly!