Down a flight of stairs from Bridge Street, Double Deuce Lounge could well be a movie set. With its red leather booths, wood-panelled walls and Jackie Brown font, the underground bar is steeped in the glitzy flair of the mid-1970s.
“The bar is influenced by blaxploitation films from the ’70s [and] Boogie Nights and that whole look,” says bar manager Claudia Morgan. “It’s meant to look very lounge-y, relaxed, and the whole idea is also very ’70s-porn-chic.”
And while the latter might not be the vibe you get from action film franchise John Wick, the bar can still transport you into that world. Specifically, 40 years before the setting of the first film.
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With its set-dressed style, Double Deuce is an ideal spot to celebrate the release of Prime Video’s new three-part series The Continental: From the World of John Wick. Keanu Reeves’s titular character won’t be making an appearance, but fear not: the series still follows one of the franchise’s most beloved characters. It charts the origins of Winston Scott (Ian McShane in the original films, Colin Woodell in the prequel) in gritty 1970s New York and how he becomes the proprietor of The Continental, the mysterious luxury hotel that doubles as a safe haven for assassins. Expect jaw-dropping action, a new crew to root for, retro fashion, a groovy backdrop and more.
With The Continental’s ’70s setting for inspiration, Morgan has designed a bespoke cocktail to mark the series release. Called the Check-In, the drink nods to an era-appropriate classic, updated to help tell the character’s story.
“I wanted to base the cocktail on Winston and also take from a classic [cocktail],” she says. “The ’70s classic I took inspiration from is a Rusty Nail, which is traditionally Scotch whisky with Drambuie.”
The Check-In, though, takes subtle bits and pieces from the character. “[Winston] drinks a fair amount of really decent cognac – he’s got quite a refined taste, an expensive taste,” Morgan says, explaining the addition of Hennessy VS cognac. “He’s drinking tea in John Wick 2, so I thought about adding English breakfast tea and creating a syrup with that.”
She then adds sherry – mostly as an era-appropriate choice rather than anything story-related – and hopped bitters to round the drink out, before garnishing with a lemon coin. “[It] represents the gold coin that the assassins use,” says Morgan, nodding to the signature currency in the John Wick films.
The result is a slightly sweet, delicate take on the Rusty Nail that Morgan thinks is also a little Old Fashioned-like. If you fancy trying the Check-In, Double Deuce Lounge is serving the cocktail Wednesdays to Saturdays from September 20 until October 1, and the first 20 people who order it each night can get one on the house.
In traditional John Wick style, it should add a little edge to your evening. “It’s something I would consider assassins drink,” Morgan says.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Prime Video. The Continental: From the World of John Wick is launching on Prime Video on the evening of September 22.