"...As for alcohol, well, that’s up to the customer. You might have a cherished bottle of small-batch bourbon that you think would go well in a sour, or a 25-year-old rum that you want turning into punch. You might equally have a novelty glass Kalashnikov full of plum distillate that your bad uncle brought back from one of his “hunting trips” to Moldova and you have never got round to drinking. The point is you bring the proverbial milkshake to the yard, pay by a sort of premium corkage fee and get to have the “unique experience” of having your bottle mixed up for you. That’s what the kids want these days, isn’t it? Experience?
In a way, it’s a pity Dan can’t keep a few liqueurs and wines to hand, but the licence (or lack of it) forbids this. BYOC operates on the terms of any BYO restaurant. That makes it closer to a genuine “speakeasy” than most places in London..."
"...Tucked away beneath Covent Garden, B.Y.O.C’s like all of those other intimate, candlelit speakeasies you tend to frequent. You know the type of place: illicit, subterranean drinking dens with exposed brickwork, where lone barmen clink bottles as WWII jazz gently emanates from vintage gramophones, and where patrons buy cocktails for £15…
Yeah, BYOC’s just like those places. Only the cocktails here are free. All you have to do is reserve a table by email, pay £25 on arrival, and then head along with a bottle of your preferred spirit. Or, if you have two or three preferred spirits, perhaps one of each?
Table reservations last for two hours, during which time the bartender will combine your booze with the contents of his antique Italian drinks trolley (which contains everything from fresh syrups, pressed juices and spices to herbs, salts, home-made cordials and bitters) in order to create individual cocktails, all designed to match your flavour profile and “individual preferences”.
Like drinking doubles, presumably..."
"...Quite possibly the first speakeasy to eschew the whole "serving you booze" thing, BYOC (Bring Your Own Cocktail) is a hidden bar that doesn't actually sell any alcohol -- instead, you bring the bottle of your choice with you, and they'll make it into a bespoke cocktail on the spot with their array of "syrups, fruit juices, spices, herbs, salts, and homemade cordials"..."
"...BYOC is secreted away, totally unsigned, underneath a fresh juice bar in Covent Garden. It's a tiny, candlelit basement with a scratchy jazz soundtrack, entered by a door behind the juice bar's service counter, and to that end it's a convincing 'speakeasy'. But that's not the whole story: BYOC doesn't sell alcohol - you Bring Your Own Cocktail. Or rather, for £20 per person you bring a bottle of spirit or liqueur and the bartender will make you bespoke cocktails with it for two hours. The bar is actually a vintage trolley full of juices, herbs, spices, incense, bitters and ice.
The caveat is that the quality of the drink you get is dictated by the talent of the bartender on duty and their ability to deal with esoteric liquids brought in alongside more predictable vodkas, whiskies, rums and gins. In practice, tables lend what they have brought to each other, making for a fairly full arsenal. More importantly, it's run by the manager of a well-known and respected bar (which can't be named), so you're in pretty safe hands. Is it gimmicky? No doubt. Does it make for gimmicky drinks? No. Btw it's reservations only..."