Top 10 London summer cocktailsBy Lauren Eads
Suspended in Time
The ever innovative Artesian at The Langham hotel launched its new cocktail menu recently, unveiling a collection of serves inspired by an erotic cookbook written by Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí. Mixologists Alex Kratena and Simone Carpale dipped into Dalí’s Les Diners de Gala in search of ideas and took a perfumier’s approach to the cocktails, giving scent, presentation and garnishes important roles.
Suspended in Time comes served in an ambrette and bergamot-scented net attached to a diamond and sapphire ring. It comprises Star of Bombay gin, lime, niaouli, yarrow and palmarosa.
Where to find it: The Langham, Portland Place, London, W1B 1JA
With festival season in full swing Matt Whiley, the liquid alchemist in charge of Peg + Patriot at the Town Hall Hotel in Bethnal Green, created a selection of cocktails inspired by the likes of Lovebox, Glastonbury and Burning Man. This creation pays homage of London-based festival Lovebox and features a mix of the herbaceous plant lovage, Lisle St gin and citrus. Known at the Talented Mr Fox, Whiley’s other cocktail creations feature ingredients such as Monster Munch and salt beef bagels, which are distilled at the bar in a rotary evaporator.
Where to find it: Peg + Patriot, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF
Pan-Asian restaurant Bam-Bou in Fitzrovia serves up cocktails with an Oriental twist at its Red Bar. Among its serves is the pretty-in-pink Assam – a blend of tea-infused Beefeater gin lemon curd and Campari, served with an edible flower. If you are a whisky fan stick around for a night cap. The Red Bar boasts one of Europe’s biggest Japanese whisky collections.
Where to find it: Bam-Bou, 1 Percy Street, London W1T 1DB
Grant me a Journey
The Donovan Bar at London’s Brown’s Hotel revealed a quirky collection of new serves last month which showed that no container or garnish was off limits when it comes to its cocktails.
Its new menu includes 23 cocktails, including Grant me a Journey made with 21-year-old Glenfiddich, stirred with violet liqueur, rose and gomme syrups, lemon zest and Donovan bitters. The cocktail comes topped with edible spring flowers and is served in vintage tea cups on a slab of wood taken from a Glenfiddich barrel, with a macaroon on the side.
Where to find it: The Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel, 30-34 Albemarle St, London W1S 4BP
Each visit costs £10 with the experience lasting 50 minutes, offering the alcohol equivalent to one mixed drink. The bar will remain open for the next six months.
Where to find it: Alcoholic Architecture, Cathedral Street, Borough Market, London
The Horse’s Neck
The Nightjar in Old Street launched an exotic drinks menu this summer, inspired by ingredients from far-flung lands. Devised by head bartender Marian Beke, its range of serves use ingredients including Sichuan pepper infused Tokaji, mustard seeds, rose oil, bergamot, wasabi and persimmon.
The Horse’s Neck is a reinvention of the Mule created in the 1890s, the Nightjar’s version comprises Woodford Reserve Borubon, Remy Martin VSOP Cognac, wasabi, ginger beer, bergamot and rose oil, topped with irish moss and horseradish shavings.
Where to find it: The Nightjar, 129 City Rd, London, EC1V 1JB
Gin O’Clock On The Dock
This bright pink tiki-inspired cocktail is one of 80 launched by Mr Fogg’s bar in Mayfair as part of an Around the World in 80 Cocktails menu inspired by the travels of its namesake, Phileas Fogg.
Inspired by the flavours of Jamaica, the Gin O’Clock on the Dock comprises Tanqueray London Dry Gin, Plymouth sloe gin, Wray & Nephew Overproof rum, homemade orange liqueur, rice juice, lychee, lemon juice and sugar syrup, and comes topped with a fuchsia pink orchid flower.
Where to find it: Mr Fogg’s Residence and Tavern, Bruton Lane, London, W1J 6JD
Riding on a trend for exotic cocktails in London, Israeli-born chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s new restaurant in Spitalfields is serving up a baby pink Sumac Martini blending Kettel One vodka, sumac, falernum, lime and pomegranate juice.
Where to find it: Spitalfields Ottolenghi, 50 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LJ
Taking inspiration from the exotic far east, Mantras blends David Beckham’s Haig Club whisky with coconut cream, cardamom, turmeric, limoncello and homemade saffron syrup.
Where to find it: Gong at the Shangri-La, Level 52 The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London, SE1 9QU
Far East with U’Luvka Vodka
Coq d’Argent’s Far East cocktail was the unanimous winner for best cocktail at the recent Cocktails in the City event, comprising U’Luvka vodka with a rare green Shochu, finished with coloured spices and an edible flower.
Where to find it: Coq d’Argent, The Poultry, 1 Poultry, London, EC2R 8EJ