db drinks: Mr Foggs, Mayfair

Attracted by its penchant for storytelling and creative cocktails db heads to Mr Fogg’s in Mayfair, discovering a bar crammed with curiosities and a drinks list as far as the eye can see…


The concept: Hidden down an alleyway in Mayfair it would be easy to overlook Mr Fogg’s in Mayfair, where a well-heeled doorman signals its existence. Themed around Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days hero Phileas Fogg, Mr Fogg’s is designed to bring out the explorer in us all with cocktails inspired by Fogg’s adventures to exotic, far flung locations, accompanied by brief recollections of his travels.

The décor: The bar is designed to resemble Fogg’s front living room and is stuffed with trinkets from his travels. Alligators, penny-farthing bicycles and billowing hot air balloon parachutes are just some of its most striking features. Its hodge-podge collection of mismatched stools and leather sofas make for an eclectic, endearingly ramshackle, spot to sip a cocktail and immerse yourself in a bygone era. True to form, even the loos are fitted out with ornate old-fashioned lavatories typical of the 1800s.

The cocktails: Inspired by the adventures of Jules Verne’s protagonist, Phileas Fogg, in his 1873 novel Around the World in Eighty Days, 80 cocktails making up its extensive list split into gin, whisky, rum, brandy, vodka, Tequila and vintage. All of the 80 cocktails come with an anecdote written by Phileas Fogg. The Illusionist for example comes with this backstory: “My dear friend Harry Keller, the greatest illusionist and magician of our time, is a man of irreproachable taste and refinement who’s penchant for alcoholic indulgence lead to the creation of this sorcerous exhibition of delectable demonry.”

It also features a selection of vintage cocktails, whereby bar manager Francesco Medici has used vintage spirits to recreate classic cocktails from around the world. Among the cocktails on offer is the Vintage Brandy Crusta, created in the 1850s by Joseph Santini at his Jewel of the South saloon in New Orleans. Named after the sugar around its rim, the Brandy Crusta is a forerunner to the Sidecar and first appeared in Jerry Thomas’ 1862 Bartender’s Guide. Mr Fogg’s version includes 1960 Hine Cognac, 1940 Bols Dry Curacao, fresh lemon juice, caster sugar and Angostura bitters.

Signature sip: Highlights include the Smoking Carriage (£18), which is served in a black box billowing with dry ice. The drink itself is a bittersweet blend of Dictador 20-year-old rum, Lapsang Souchong syrup and chocolate bitters. Finish the night with a rich and sweet Venetian Coffee (£14) – a blend of Russian Standard vodka, Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, Illy espresso liqueur, orgeat syrup and espresso coffee – served in a tea cup.

The food: While its cocktails are the main attraction, Mr Fogg’s bar menu is extensive, offering an array of tantalising treats. In keeping with its globetrotting theme, guests can tuck into one of two Archipelago platters featuring cheese and meats from across the globe, alongside a selection of “crostino” accompanied by tempting tidbits such as N’duja (spicy sausage pate), or pork lardo. A selection of toasted sandwiches are also available at a reasonable £8, while for the princely sum of £95 you can tuck into two toasted sandwiches with a half bottle of Krug Grand Cuvée, a dish appropriately named Krug & Toasties.

Who to know: Francesco Medici, head bartender and bar manager, is responsible for many of the serves featured on the menu. Managing the bar’s slick turnaround on drinks, the very dapper Medici is the man to help you navigate the bar’s myriad of cocktails.

Don’t leave without: Signing the bar’s leather-bound guest book – a permanent mark of your visit.

Mr Fogg’s Residence, 15 Bruton Ln, London W1J 6JD

Click through for a taste of its cocktails…

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