Want to see Luke, Gracie and the rest of the Poetic License team in action? Head to the Poetic License Distillery Bar, the first distillery bar of its kind in the north of England and the beating heart of the Poetic License distillery.
“The still is actually straight at the back of the bar,” says Mark Hird, founder and owner of Poetic License. “You can see it from pretty much any table.”
A distillery bar this certainly is – look hard enough and you’ll spot distiller Luke pottering around in the back with his latest batch of Northern Dry or Graceful Vodka – but with its warmly industrial fixtures, extensive food menu and cocktail list, it’s so much more.
As Mark explains: “We really wanted to offer something unique, a special experience – somewhere people could enjoy good quality cocktails, craft beers and soul food.”
With its proximity to the sea and unobstructed view of stunning Sunderland landmark, Roker Pier, there’s no better place to spend a long afternoon. Whether you’re relaxing in the warmth of the friendly bar area with friends or taking in the brisk sea breeze solo on the gorgeous terrace, you’ll find something to suit the mood on the extensive cocktail list.
From classic, perfectly mixed cocktails to wild, seasonal specialties, the bartenders at Poetic License put the spirits distilled here to excellent use. Try a classic Martini – made with the distillery’s seven- times distilled Graceful Vodka – or the breakfast version, with orange marmalade and Northern Dry Gin. There are choices galore.
For Mark, a classic Negroni is just the thing to sip as you kick back and take in the view – “It’s all about the gins, and a Negroni is great with our Northern Dry,” he says – while Luke prefers something a little more unusual.
Luke says: “A White Lady with our Old Tom gin is a little different – most versions use dry gins, but using our Old Tom makes it ever so much better.”
While the spirits may take centre stage, the wine and beer lists are nothing to scoff at – in fact, the Poetic License Distillery bar stocks a wonderful array of craft beers, including the delicious brews created by Sonnet 43, itself just a short drive away.
If you start feeling peckish, there’s no reason to give up your table with a view. The Poetic License Distillery Bar has an ace up its sleeve: totally delicious food.
“It’s all stuff we enjoy eating,” Mark says of the extensive menu, which includes everything from fish and chips to BBQ. For more social snacking, order a selection of small plates to share with your friends and family – perfect for a long evening spent in good company.
“You grab a cocktail and then some picky bits – that’s what we call them up here – and just enjoy a tapas-style of drinking and dining in a lovely, social environment.”