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Murder Inc founders open new bar

The Royal Cocktail Exchange in London’s Fitzrovia soft-launched at the end of last year.

The Royal Cocktail Exchange in London’s Fitzrovia
The new bar is the third venture from the bartending trio

Olly Brading, Andy Mill and Elliot Ball are the founders of the Cocktail Trading Company in London’s Shoreditch and Murder Inc in Soho.

The new venture has three spaces, with a ‘cocktail exchange’ on the ground floor, a development bar downstairs and a workshop offering masterclasses on the top floor, which will launch in late spring. The two lower floors have capacity for 40 guests each.

The Royal Cocktail Exchange in London’s Fitzrovia Vesper for insta
Cocktails are innovative takes on classics, such as the Cherry Blossom Vesper

The ground floor is ‘warm, welcoming and light’, with its decor inspired by the materials used in the transportation of alcohol, such as oak walls and cork ceiling tiles.

Meanwhile, the basement bar is darker and more ‘secretive’, with charred oak panels used to emulate the charring of a whisky barrel.

The bar is said to be a new direction for the trio, offering ‘grown-up adventure and refinement’.

Sam Boevye has been appointed general manager, and created the pre-launch cocktail list with another Murder Inc alumnus, bar manager Rory Sorrell.

The cocktails pay respect to the classics while innovating, such as the Dry Aged Manhattan, which blends WhistlePig PiggyBack Rye, cacao husk vermouth and yellow mustard miso.

The Royal Cocktail Exchange will also be serving up the Bell Pepper Daisy, with ancho lychee and bell pepper agave, and the Mango Lassi Flip, consisting of spiced mango, cream and egg yolk.

Food will also be available, with the menu featuring a selection of topped flatbreads called ‘Cheeky Naan Doughs’.

“Every new bar is an opportunity to refine our take on hospitality, to reinvigorate and grow what we love about food, drinks, and hosting,” said Brading.

“The Royal Cocktail Exchange started as a joke about how everything gets better with a splash of Champagne and led us to realise that ‘bubbles on top’ is a big part of our approach to hosting, and that really, truly, making people feel like royalty – being able to see that in them – is 100% the most rewarding thing you can do in this job.”

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