Styles: Review: Map Maison

A good friend of mine invited me out to try the spectacular cocktails* on offer at an establishment in Haggerston serving afternoon tea and cocktails, ‘Map Maison’.

My fiancé informs me that this might be a play on ‘mal maison’ although I’m not convinced. Either way, a quick scan of their website reveals the intention behind the name was to offer an international yet welcoming theme, both to its staff and guests. If that’s the explanation, then I’m not convinced by that, either.

The cocktails were expensive, meaning they became the only thing we sampled here. My friend had been twice before and had been impressed both times, and recommended we try one of the cocktails with a Japanese whisky base. The most expensive two, coming in at £14.50 each, were clear showstoppers just by the names and contents alone. She bought the first, ‘Tsuta fairytales’, while I sampled the second: ‘Kanji in the evening’.

‘Tsuta’ means ‘ivy’ in Japanese, though there was no explanation here – similarly, I was perplexed as to why my cocktail had been named as it had. However, it still looked impressive on arrival.

Smoky cocktails and a happy Jessi. I took a video of my cocktail’s reveal – see my Insta

“Kanji in the Evening” consisted of Hakushu Distillers Reserve, yellow chartreuse, blood orange, pink pepper, pomegranate & smoke.

Taste-wise, I loved it. I’m not sure how much pink pepper and smoke made it outside of the ornamentation, but it made for a very refreshing and pleasant cocktail.

Overall, I think we spoiled ourselves slightly by going at a slightly odd time of day. Had we come later in the evening, I could imagine the vibe being a lot more fitting, though perhaps much busier.

Jessi (friend/indoctrinator, pictured above) also mentioned the impressive drinks cabinet behind her, where sometimes they unlock the doors and let you hold the expensive whiskys…


In conclusion, definitely worth it for a fancy one!


*I wanted to say, ‘cocktacular’. Suffice to say I decided against that particular attempt at wordplay, but not enough to not include it as a footnote.

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