Cocktails and vinyl – Glass visits cocktail bar FAM

CENTRAL London is littered with cocktail bars, and it always seems the best ones are tucked away down a side street or hidden behind a mysterious door. There’s an unspoken element of exclusivity surrounding cocktail culture and it’s not uncommon for bars to expect a guest to follow a strict dress code or make a booking way in advance. Pretentiousness is giving cocktail bars a bad name as it seems you can’t simply pop in and enjoy a few delicious drinks on a whim anymore. Luckily, if you fit the criteria of the casual cocktail drinker and you don’t feel like dressing up to enjoy your favourite drink, then FAM Bar ticks all the boxes.

The wall of vinyl at FAM

Situated behind London’s busy Oxford Street, FAM sits on the corner behind Selfridges neighboured by great restaurants and shops. It’s the perfect pit stop if you fancy a break from shopping or simply some delicious cocktails in the evening. Having only opened its doors in December, FAM have already established themselves in the drinks scene as their knowledgeable staff offer a friendly and relaxed attitude to cocktails.

From the outside FAM could almost be mistaken for a pub as its decor is stylish with a rock and roll ruggedness. One of its defining features is the record collection which is proudly displayed on the wall next to the bar. The record collection may seem like a trendy decorative novelty, however they are very much real, and guests are welcome to pick an album off the shelf to be played in the bar. Before I had a chance to take my seat and look at the menu, I was immediately drawn to the record wall where familiar albums covers pulled me in. Eventually, it was the young face of Tom Jones on his It’s Not Unusual album which jumped out at me and prompted me to put my request in.

A glance at the cocktail menu boasts all the base flavours of sweet, sour and savoury. Cocktail extraordinaires Megs Miller and Dré Masso are behind the flavours of FAM, and bar thrives off serving great signature drinks as well as nailing the classics.

FAM Margarita

I start with the basics and order a Margarita off the menu which is served up with a FAM twist. As I take my first sip I’m hit with both citrus and tequila in equal measure and I release a sigh of relief as I’ve had some back luck with Margaritas recently. The strength of the tequila is mighty but extremely pleasant. A mixture of both highland and lowland tequila is behind the cocktail’s fullness and the edge is taken off with a touch of Devon flower honey.

Bacon and cheese toastie

As I skim the menu trying to decide what to have next, What’s New Pussycat comes on in all its glory and the room is suddenly filled with joy. Along with a drinks menu, FAM have a small food menu curated by Tim Ross-Watson which features a mixture of classic bar snacks such as olives and nuts along with some of his favourite nostalgic snacks like the bacon and cheese toastie.

The Ten Push Ups cocktail

When visiting a cocktail bar there’s the temptation to order what you’re familiar with however, at a bar like FAM, their specials always lead to a pleasant surprise. I pushed myself out of my usual white-based-spirit comfort zone and ordered the Ten push-ups cocktail. It came in a stylish 1920s cocktail glass and its dark appearance is due to a dark rum, café liqueur, espresso and house-made falernum blend. The creamy head followed by the coffee and rum makes for a great finish as it’s almost like a drinkable dessert.

FAM offers a no-fuss cocktail experience like no other. If you ever find yourself heading to Selfridges to do some shopping, it’s worth popping into FAM Bar before because you’re guaranteed to leave in a better mood.

by Katrina Mirpuri

FAM Bar, Corner of Picton Place and, Duke St, London W1U 1LG