Top 10: Cocktails You Need to Drink in London This WeekendBy Alicia Grimshaw
If you have given up alcohol for Lent, pack it in and take up drinking better. Ahead of popping the prosecco cork(s) under the outdoor heaters come payday, get planning so you can well and truly drink all the spring cocktails. Whatever you’re doing this weekend – have a smashing one:
The Drink: Old Kentucky Spiced (£15)
The Blend: Vanilla-infused Old Forester, ratafia, passionfruit puree, passionfruit pulp and spiced marsala wine
The Story: Old Forester has teamed up with Mr Fogg’s Residence to create a bespoke cocktail, the Old Kentucky Spiced, a rich and unusual creation to enjoy this springtime. The cocktail designed by the team at Mr Fogg’s is made with an exotic mix of ratafia, passionfruit puree and spiced marsala; paired with vanilla-infused Old Forester to create a well-balanced and delightfully quirky flavour. Served with raisins and a sprig of basil to garnish.
Where: 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, London, W1J 6JD
The Drink: The Pandan (£13)
The Blend: Peppermint tea, passion fruit puree, Pandan infused with gomme, fresh lime juice, Thai chilli and Bulleit Bourbon
The Story: Asia de Cuba’s super talented mixologists have created a new exotic treat, aptly named The Pandan Cocktail, which centres around the tropical and versatile herb – Pandan. Pandan has an unusual aroma, which is often compared to nuts, rice and popcorn, and in its native South East Asia it is often used in desserts, sweets and savoury concoctions.
Where: Asia de Cuba, St Martins Lane Hotel, 45 St Martin’s Ln, London WC2N 4HX
The Drink: Midnight Run (£8.50)
The Blend: Flor de Cana 7yr, Cockburn’s Ruby Port, Antica Black Sambuca, Lejay Crème de Mure, fresh lime juice, blackberries and syrup
The Story: Opened in February on Kingsland Road, TT Liquor is a multi-faceted venue set across three floors. The project boasts a specialist liquor store and an intimate subterranean cocktail bar, focusing on ‘tasting experiences’. The hidden cocktail bar features an array of cocktails picked to encompass the journey of cocktails through time. Designed around four definitive eras; Bella Époque, The Noble Experiment, Boom To Bust, and Our Time, the menu draws inspiration from the culture, places and people of these periods.
Where: 17B Kingsland Road, London E2 8AA
The Drink: GMT (£8.50)
The Blend: Beefeater London Dry Gin, butterfly blue pea flowers infused with St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and egg white
The Story: Bōkan is London’s latest cloud grazing restaurant, bar and rooftop terrace. Danilo Tersigni is in charge of the 38th and 39th floor bars and he alongside Domenico Carella, a Bacardi Legacy Finalist, have created a range of innovative cocktails influenced by the Docks and its trading hub history with unique sharing vessels inspired by the Blackwell Levels. Creative signature serves include the Royal Captain with Hendrick’s gin, lavender-infused Mancino Vermouth Bianco, elderflower cordial, cold jasmine tea, grapefruit bitters, and topped with soda; Berth Wine with Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon, Lucano Anniversario, homemade cinnamon and rue herb syrup; and The Bōkan – a sharing vessel made with Reyka vodka, Crème de Framboise, pineapple juice, and topped with prosecco.
Where: Novotel Canary Wharf, 40 Marsh Wall, London E14 9TP
The Drink: Almond and Honey (£12.50)
The Blend: Dissarrono, lemon juice, passion fruit puree, honey and egg white
The Story: Perched at the top of the DoubleTree by Hilton, Tower Hill, Skylounge boasts spectacular views across some of London’s famous historic features including the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, also taking in the Shard and the glittering River Thames below. The signature cocktail menu features a range of Skylounge’s well-loved tipples with an inventive twist. The Almond and Honey cocktail is a marriage between Dissarono and fresh honey with a dash of passion fruit. The team shake it with egg white for that beautiful foam layer.
Where: 7 Pepys St, London EC3N 4AF
The Drink: 1917 Champagne Cocktail (£25)
The Blend: 1917 Hermitage Cognac, 1917 Madeira-soaked sugar cube and topped with ‘R’ de Ruinart Champagne
The Story: As part of the restaurant’s centenary celebrations, The Ivy has produced a new cocktail menu, ‘The Centennial Twist or Did the Bartender Really Do It?’ in the form of a programme for a 1920s playlet in keeping with the restaurant’s theatrical past. The new menu has been developed by Bar Manager Darren Ball, showcasing five distinct eras of The Ivy’s history through an exploration of cocktails from the last 100 years. The pinnacle of the new menu has to be the 1917 Champagne Cocktail – the true embodiment of The Ivy’s founding year, which combines an Hermitage Cognac from 1917 with a sugar cube soaked in Madeira from the same vintage, and finishedwith ‘R’ de Ruinart Champagne.
Where: 5 West St, London WC2H 9NQ
The Drink: Koko Kalada (£8)
The Blend: Koko Kanu, fresh pineapple juice and nutmeg
The Story: With everyone going nuts for coconut (see what we did there?), Koko Kanu has added a much needed tropical twist to well-loved cocktails. Koko Kanu is a blend of the finest Jamaican rum with coconut – the full-bodied rum is then charcoal filtered and blended with coconut to create a more lighter spirit. Try the Koka Kalada, a refreshing alternative to the creamy, rich Pina Coladas served at busy Spanish beach bars. The cocktail features fresh pineapple juice muddled with Koka Kanu, and finished with a pinch of nutmeg.
Where: 42 Northampton Rd, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HU
The Drink: The Cross Eyed Mary (£14)
The Blend: Vodka, tomato water, jalapeño syrup and lemon juice
The Story: BAR 45 at Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane has introduced a new Bloody Mary trolley, offering four new variations of the Sunday brunch favourite cocktail including The Cross Eyed Mary with jalapeño syrup and lemon juice; The Bloody Troot with beetroot juice and pepper vodka; and The Bloody Carrot featuring carrot juice and spices. And The Gazpacho Mary is suitable for the more traditional Bloody Mary drinkers.
Where: 45 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1PN
The Drink: Jager Mega Drive (£8.50)
The Blend: Jagermeister, Chambord, beetroot shrub, blueberry jam, lemon juice and maple syrup
The Story: Be At One is unashamedly devoted to the art of making great cocktails, whilst giving an experience that centres on the guest, not the bartender. With approximately 120 different cocktails on the menu, there’s a cocktail for everyone. The Jager Mega Drive is a Be At One exclusive serve that plays homage to the OG of video consoles – the Sega Mega Drive! Reminisce about beating the big boss with Sonic and pulverising everything in your path in Streets of Rage with this delicious throwback.
Where: Locations here
The Drink: Horse’s Neck (£11)
The Blend: Gin, Ginger Ale and Angostura Bitters
The Story: Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s most high profile cocktail experts, has a new London home and he is keeping it in the family by partnering with his two sons, Gerry and Jon Calabrese, at The Mule Bar, the new Spitalfields venue opened underneath The Holy Birds. Salvatore’s menu transports guests back to the swinging sixties, with many drinks appearing that may have fallen out of faddish fashion but still stand the test of time today. There is The Blue Hawaiian, Elvis Presley’s favourite tipple made from Rum, Blue Caruçao, coconut cream and pineapple juice, and the Pink Squirrel made with Almond Liqueur, Crème de Cacao White, fresh cream and ground cinnamon.
Where: 94 Middlesex Street, Spitalfields, London E1 7EZ