Simply put, Callooh Callay is an expression of joy and was used in Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky who, coincidentally, in the same poem, coined the term ‘chortle’, which is a portmanteau of chuckle and snort.
Callooh Callay opened in November 2008 at a time when cocktail bars in the then up-and-coming Shoreditch area were thin on the ground. Now, however, there is a fine selection of sophisticated cocktail venues.
Inside, where cocktail menus are always presented in quirky ways, while there’s an eclectic mix of furniture and décor, presented in a warm and relaxed environment.
Even on busy nights, the staff, are attentive, knowledgeable and up for a laugh, as well as being ready to recommend a serve or listen to what you might prefer.
All cocktails are priced at £12 to and span all types of spirits and cater to all palates, whether you’re into hard and challenging high-booze drinks or something more delicate and fruity.
The majority of the cocktails on the current menu merge sweet and savoury foods and flavours with alcohol.
Notable cocktails have included the Hug with Hennessey VS Cognac, Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Jägermeister Cold Brew, umeshu, sugar, Peychaud’s Bitters and absinthe; Doff the Capp with Bruxo X Mezcal, Sipsmith Gin and orange and grapefruit cordial; and Tongue Out with Chivas 12 Whisky, Merlet Peach Tea, lemon, sugar and Pedro Ximenez Sherry.
Other notable drinks from the past have included the Hawkers Cup with vodka, garden pea, black rice vinegar, summer cup, lemon and ginger ale; or the Oma Forest with gin, fino sherry, lemon, green sorrel and pine.
Beer, wine, Champagne and cider are also given a healthy amount of space on the menu.
Callooh Callay also features and attractive menu of small plates and snacks priced between £5 and £11.