Have you always dreamt of being a 1920s gangster from the States, or did you just grow-up watching Bugsy Malone every Sunday afternoon at your grandmother’s? Whatever your circumstances, we might have found the joint for you. Hyde & Co is a prohibition-style speakeasy inspired by the great cocktail bars of New York City.
The cocktail bar is in the vanguard of Bristol’s cocktail scene. Having opened its doors back in 2010, it set a new tone for what the city’s bars could and should be. Since then it has become one of Bristol’s best, and worst kept, secrets for its award-winning cocktails and an atmosphere like no other.
If you weren’t sure what you were looking for, you would easily miss Hyde & Co on a night out. Hidden just off of Clifton Triangle, its inconspicuous entrance is set deep into a flat grey wall. Only a subtle white sign gives it away. Inside, after pressing the doorbell, the low-lit bar with 20th century decor and well-dressed bartenders, will have you convinced you’ve stepped into another time and place. It’s an unexpected find in an area often occupied by students and stag dos.
A quick glance at the drinks can be equally surprising. The current menu aims to celebrate “the weird, the wild and the delectable.” A delicious array of otherworldly flavours are on offer. Such as the Stolen Rose that mixes Japanese gin and Icelandic vodka with cardamon, lime and rose. Or New Dawn that brings together a Jamaican rum with coffee liqueur, cold brew and cacao – a real diversion from the tropical tastes we often associate with rum. They also serve all our prohibition favourites, including Negronis, Martinis and Manhattans. As well as stocking an extensive wine list and local beers.
But while you may come for the drinks, it’s the atmosphere that will keep you returning. The cosy cocktail bar is often as lively as it is relaxed. But it is always friendly and never takes itself too seriously – except when it comes to the cocktails. There’s even a piano in the corner that gets a lot of love too! It’s no wonder that Hyde & Co has numerous awards under its belt for its boundary-pushing cocktails. While its sister sites, like The Milk Thistle and The Raven, have been equally successful on Bristol’s cocktail scene.
Hyde & Co also run regular tasting events, including foraging cocktail experiences. In collaboration with Healing Weeds and Silent Pool Gin, you can take a tour of Brandon Hill and discover wild ingredients like hogweed and elderflower. Afterwards, you will return to the bar and sample your finds in specially created cocktails. Get comfy on those sofas and just relax.