The week in pictures
This week in the world of drinks: We sample Sexy Fish’s new cocktail menu, the Champagne Drappier family visits London, and Douglas Blyde samples the ‘Metaverse Dream’ cocktail.
We headed over to Sexy Fish in Mayfair to enjoy the seafood restaurant’s new Trinity cocktail menu. Trinity launched exclusively at Sexy Fish London and Sexy Fish Miami on 6 March, while popping-up for one-night only at four host bars across the globe, in South Africa, Colombia, Australia and South Korea.
The limited-edition cocktail list has been lovingly curated by Xavier Landais, director of bars at Caprice Holdings, alongside his team of bartenders, and will feature twenty show-stopping new creations, including sixteen alcoholic and four non-alcoholic variations. Utilising an array of select spirits including vodka, gin, whisky and tequila, the menu plays on flavour, aroma and texture.
Pictured, Cameron-James Wilson, the creator of “Shudu”, the world’s first digital supermodel. Wilson joined guests at Piccadilly’s handsome Swans Bar at the Grade II-listed former Midland bank which is now home to Maison Assouline, to celebrate the release of one of the publisher’s bravest and furthest-reaching travel-oriented titles to date: the “Metaverse Dream”. A corresponding cocktail of that name stars Glenmorangie Original, Midori, Muyu Chinotto Nero liqueur, eucalyptus and South African buchu, finished with a potable QR code linked to the metaverse… This standout drink from the ephemeral Assouline Travel Cocktails appendix was devised by Bar Manager, Gábor Onufer (formerly of Claridge’s and Boutiq Bar, Hungary) in conjunction with Head Bartender,András Forray (NoMad, Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour). Described as “a travel guide to the metaverse”, the title, written by Gregory Landegger and Paul Dawalibi, promises readers “a visual guide to the immersive digital worlds of the future.” (metaversedream.gg / maisonassouline.com/swansbar)
Michel and Hugo Drappier visited in London this week to host a Champagne workshop in the stunning Barbican Conservatory, where members of the trade gathered to taste old vines, rare grape varieties and Champagne aged under the sea.
Following on from Prowein, where he exhibited prototypes of his now world-famous wine preservation device for still wines, first called “the wine mosquito”, the charismatic founder of Coravin, Greg Lambrecht, was in London this week, trying a bottle of English wine which had been preserved under Coravin Sparkling™ for a record 354 days since having half its contents poured – despite the system being intended to guarantee sparkling wines for a maximum of four weeks post opening. The cuvée in question: one of 600 bottles of the now sold out 2018 Saignée from Chilterns producer, Hundred Hills which Lambrecht had first tasted on-site at the estate and even signed with his name, date and contents left. The results, unleashed with a promising pop at The Connaught Bar, were surprising and heartening: the deeply hued wine possessed an obvious sparkle, visually and on the palate, with recognisable fruit, oak and what Stefan Neumann MS once termed “Sarawak pepper” character of the cuvée still present – and a vibe of acidity. Said Lambrecht: “the longest-ever Coravin sparkling preserved wine – your rosé is delicious and an honour to revisit after so much time.” Meanwhile, Hundred Hills’ hospitality manager, Rupert Crick said of the success, it “bore testament to some cracking engineering by Greg – during my career as a sommelier, I watched as the possibility opened up of serving incredible wines by the glass without worry or hesitation, such as those made by the like of Coche-Dury and Château Rayas. I’m thrilled to see that possibility extended to the great sparkling wines of the world, though perhaps they won’t be kept for quite so long.”
Lambrecht also met representatives from the premium sake brand, TOKU to assess, blindfolded, how a bottle from the first batch of 1,500 bottles had fared over one month under Coravin screwcap versus a freshly opened one on the mezzanine of the flamboyant Bacchanalia under the watchful eye of Darren Ball – Group Head of Wine for Caprice Holdings. Cong Cong Bo of Amphora, Cambridge, who was recently listed as one of the most influential women in hospitality by CODE, conducted the trial on the Junmai Daiginjo from Hokkaido, which is born of the cold, matured cold, then transported cold over some 8,888 kilometres from Japan to London diners and bar-goers, again buoyed by the results. Although increasingly popular in Japan, Coravin is not widely applied to sake in the West – the Pivot system being the option when a screwcap thread is not present. Lambrecht will be back in London for the Wine Fair, to exhibit a development which is as yet under wraps…
Have you been out and about this week? Know somewhere we should visit? Let us know!