How a cocktail evening led to one of London’s coolest bars

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“When world-renowned bartender and rum connoisseur Georgi Radev made cocktails for a small drinks party, it sparked a life-changing friendship and the beginnings of a new business.

Steve Kyprianou, who hosted the gathering on his Highbury roof terrace, said: “Georgi arrived with suitcases full of every kind of fresh tropical fruit, syrups, mixers and spirits and made the most sensational cocktails. A couple of weeks later I went to the Spirit of Tiki event that Georgi organised. It was amazing – he had transformed Regent’s Park into a tropical paradise! I talked to Georgi afterwards and he told me of his lifelong dream to open a bar. That’s when we joined with my close friend and neighbour Sam Robson to make it happen!”

Laki Kane’s décor features palm prints, bamboo, old bongo drums and a swinging chair.  Each table is named after a different Polynesian, Indonesian, Thai or Caribbean island. There’s a laboratory on site where Georgi infuses rums with fabulous flavours and the bar service is superb – guests can call staff at the press of a button. There’s a simple menu offering delicious Thai food.

Their cocktails, which feature no-refined sugar, are phenomenal. They press their own sugar cane juice in-house and import the most unusual tropical fruits including jackfruit, soursop and cupuaçu. They are thought to be the first bar in the world to have their own micro rum distillery open to the public, on-site.

Laki Kane comes from the Polynesian translation for “Lucky People”. The bar opened amidst considerable industry hype. Georgi is known worldwide, and the business received extensive publicity.  He has a strong following in America and Europe, with many of their guests travelling to visit them.”

Marisa McGill