Can't Afford London Cocktail Week? Make Some Of The City's Best Drinks At Home Instead
The Debrief: We speak to big time cocktail experts at The Artesian, Dabbous and the Experimental Cocktail Club to find their recipes for the best drinks
When they’re not concocting something that gives us flashbacks to Year 9 chemistry class, what do London’s most respected bartenders drink themselves? Do they get sick of the sight of artisan spirits? Do they abstain all together? Do they heck.
We asked three of them for their favourite failsafe cocktail so you can order one during London Cocktail Week – or just get creative with your NutriBullet. A good night all around.
So full-on was the hype surrounding owner Ollie’s cooking when Dabbous first opened in 2012, that his right-hand guy, mixologist Oskar Kinberg could have fallen by the wayside. But man, he’s good. Tom Cruise in Cocktail good. So when he says he’s been ‘drinking a lot of Manhattans lately,’ we say, it’s time to pop your cherry…
What’s in it?
25ml Cocchi di Torino
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1ml Maraschino liqueur
Oskar says: First you’re going to need a really good rye whiskey. Depending on your budget, I’d either go Whistle Pig or Michter’s. Use a good sweet vermouth – for me the only option is Cocchi di Torino. Add two dashes of Angostura bitters. I’m probably the only bartender in London to willingly admit to having a sweet tooth, so to satisfy this I like to add a few drops of Maraschino liqueur. Stir it which ice for about 45 seconds till it tastes good and is chilled. Garnish with a tasty cocktail cherry.
St Germain Des Pres
From Cuban cigarette infused bourbon to tequila with red pepper puree (*shudder*) London’s original speakeasy, ECC (Experimental Cocktail Club) is definitely for acquired tastes. So we were super curious (and slightly terrified) to hear what co-founder Xavier Padovani’s go-to drink was. True to form, he chose something creamy, spicy, and er, ginny. Chin, chin.
What’s in it?
40ml Hendrick’s Gin
20ml Saint Germain Elderflower liqueur
20ml fresh lime juice
20ml elderflower cordial
1 egg white
5ml fresh cucumber juice
1-2 dashes spice tincture
200g red bird’s eye chillies
1 bottle Wray & Nephew rum
Slice chillies open, then infuse in the bottle of rum for up to 72 hours. Strain to remove the chillies and seeds.
Xavier says: When creating this drink, make sure to dry shake the ingredients before adding ice. This will really give the egg white the ability to create a frothy, creamy texture. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, without ice, and shake vigorously. Then, top up with ice and shake again for about 20 seconds. Double strain into a chilled coupette and garnish with a slice of cucumber.
If The Artesian at London’s Langham Hotel is the ‘World's Best Bar’ (as it’s been voted the last three years), it’s safe to say head bartender Simone Caporale is quite nifty with a swizzle stick. Favouring simple methods but complex tastes, he’s currently a big fan of Mescal sours. ‘The result is earthy and grassy with a mellow smoky aroma,’ he says. And the next day is a total write-off.
What’s in it?
50 ml Mezcal
25 ml lime juice
15-20 ml sugar syrup
Simone says: Serve this on the rocks but also it’s great in a pitcher with lots of ice to chill it down and dilute it. You can always use agave nectar instead of sugar syrup.
London Cocktail Week runs from 5-11 October. Experimental Cocktail Club: London. Paris. New York. Ibiza. published by Mitchell Beazley, £20
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