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Week in pictures: 7-15 December

This week in pictures sees a premium Cognac launch, a special delivery to Douglas Blyde, an exclusive cocktail at The Donovan’s Bar, Ferrari Trento celebrating the end of the F1 season, and The Churchill Arms turns the lights on.


(Image: Influencer Irene Kim (left) with Pernod Ricard’s Laura Fernandez (right))
This week, db Asia editor Eloise Feilden headed to Cognac for the unveiling of Maison Martell’s most premium expression yet, L’Or de Jean Martell – Réserve du Château Chanteloup.
The new Cognac, crafted by blending 1,400 individual eau de vie, was revealed during a 22-course Gala dinner hosted at the family chateau, with food by Michelin star chef Alexandre Mazzia. Influencers and  press from markets including the UK, US and Singapore were in attendance.


Cellar Society

Douglas Blyde received an Avengers-style special delivery to his door of Sloe Gin crafted by high-end catering firm, Cellar Society. According to Managing Director, Bertie de Rougemont, 2021 was a bumper year for sloe berries on Hampstead Heath. “We picked them in September and then they have been quietly maturing in demijohns with London Dry Gin and sugar ever since. The proportions are a secret but it’s an old family recipe that uses too much of everything and which, over two years, has produced this dark and delicious vintage liqueur.” De Rougemont recommends the elixir is deployed in a Sloe Gin Sour or Sloe Gin & Tonic.

Donovan’s Bar

Known by doting guests and industry fans as the ‘Maestro’, Salvatore Calabrese  is one of the most reputed experts on spirits, purveying cocktails imbued with liquid history at his five-star hotel bars, Velvet By Salvatore Calabrese, and The Donovan Bar at Brown’s.

Believing ‘a bar is like a great theatre’ his fascination for bartending began at age 11. He went on to create the famed straight-up martini at Duke’s when it had just six tables, then the world’s oldest, and at the time, most expensive cocktail, ‘Salvatore’s Legacy’ at The Playboy Club. Over a decade on, at £6,500, this remains London’s most lavishly priced mixed drink. To learn about it, I caught up with a surprisingly fresh-faced Calabrese at Bar Magritte (pictured in the carousel) at Brussels’ Grand-Place hotel, the morning after he entertained some 400 guests at launch.

Apparently priced below cost, meaning with every serve, Calabrese actually loses money, ‘Salvatore’s Legacy’ combines ingredients which collectively total over 700 years of history. The Maestro stirs Clos de Griffier Vieux Cognac from 1788, being ‘the year before the French resolution’, says Calabrese, 1770 Kummel liqueur, 1860 Dubb orange liqueur, and 1930s Angostura bitters, then serves it in a Baccarat coupe from the 1800s. The £5,500 result is best enjoyed amidst Terence Donovan’s 1960s-era photographs at Donovan’s bar. Just don’t mention the regular, Dimitris, who managed to knock one of the rare bottles of Cognac to its demise when the drink debuted at Playboy Club. As Calabrese recalls, ‘bloody hell, per square metre, my bar had one of the most expensive floors in the world!’

While a drink costing thousands of pounds is not everyone’s priority, Calabrese’s Aviation still captures a past epoch for less outlay. At £350, it stars 90-year-old gin, crème de violette, and maraschino liqueur, while the £23 Deep Blue is more contemporary, uniting English whisky, French brandy, citrus, and almond…

Ferrari Trento

Looking back on its successful F1 season, chairman and CEO of Ferrari Trento, Matteo Lunelli, summarised the season as ‘more glamorous and electrifying than ever’, with highlights including: 72 Jeroboams of Ferrari Trento sprayed by winners on the podium across 5 continents and nearly 100,000 corks popped worldwide.

The Churchill Arms

It is that time of year again when London’s most festive pub turns on its lights. Fuller’s The Churchill Arms in Kensington is always worth a visit to take in the Christmasy spirit.


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Johnnie Walker

Two new Johnnie Walker Black Label cocktails that have been created by local brand ambassadors specifically for the festive season.

Kate McGraw from Australia & Andy Walch from Switzerland were inspired by their local festive culture to create Midnight Maple – an ideal aperitif option – & Apfel of my Eye – a warming post-dinner choice that can easily be pre-batched.

Midnight Maple includes Johnnie Walker Black Label, Maple Syrup, four dashes of christmas pudding bitters, which includes Angostura Bitters, raisins or dried apricots, two cinnamon sticks, as well as a knob of ginger and garnished with a slice of orange.

The Apfel of my Eye includes Johnnie Walker Black (infused with 20 raisins), vanilla syrup, cloudy apple juice, fresh lime juice and garnished with a cinnamon stick and apple.


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