Cocktail stories: Snickers Old Fashioned, Little MerciesBy Georgie Collins
London’s Little Mercies uses peanut-infused whiskey to create its smooth take on a classic.
Little Mercies is a north London gem of a bar; a favourite of locals and anyone willing to overlook the additional bus journey it takes to get there from Finsbury Park station.
It’s all exposed brick, concrete counters and Scandi vibes in here. It appears minimal, but that is no reflection on the drinks offering.
Since opening in 2018, Little Mercies has been creating drinks that are so much more than they appear on the menu, with many serves created via modern techniques such as fat-washing, using contraptions like centrifuges and water baths – all of which are used in the creation of the much-loved favourite: the Snickers Old Fashioned.
Bartender Benji Davies gives us the drink’s origin story: “The Snickers Old Fashioned started with peanut whisky, an ingredient we were playing with before the pandemic – a fun party shot we could offer our guests.”
With time on their hands for imagination and experimentation, the team spent a portion of the lockdown toying with the idea of turning the playful ingredient into a cocktail that would feature a like-for-like flavour profile of the well-known chocolate bar. “It sounded easier than it was. We would be lying to say it went right the first time… or even the fifth.”
The cocktail begins with Jack Daniel’s and smooth peanut butter, infused for an hour in a water bath at 60°C. The mixture is then spun in a refrigerated centrifuge at 4,200rpm at -10°C for an hour and a half, separating the mixture according to density, and leaving the peanuts at the bottom, the whiskey in the middle, then the solidified butter and oil at.the top.
Further freezing overnight allows for the oils to then be strained. The peanut whiskey is then mixed with dark chocolate liqueur, sugar syrup, cocoa nib vodka distilled on site, and salt to bring it to life.
“The result is a cocktail that looks and drinks like an Old Fashioned but is soft and smooth and nutty,” says Davies. “Everything you expect from a drink called a Snickers Old Fashioned.”
Looking for more serves explored in our Cocktail Stories series? Check out this modern take on a classic S’groppino.