And the Bars to Drink them at
This glorious summer is bound to burst into epic thunderstorms at some point. But while the weather holds, and even when it doesn’t, the long nights demand cocktails. These potent elixirs are celebratory and decadent. Perfect for when beer is too voluminous, or you just want to get straight to the point.
On terraces, patios, and decks around the country we’ve been chucking back martinis and G&Ts with reckless abandon. Now, to honour these spirited beverages, we’ve assembled a list of one classic and three unusual cocktails, served at top-notch London bars . Let the good times roll.
Three ingredients in three equal parts. The Negroni is beautifully simple. And dangerously strong. The combination of gin, sweet Vermouth and Campari does polarise opinion, but it’s still one of the world’s favourite cocktails. Always served with ice and a slice of orange, the Negroni floods the mouth with floral notes and bitterness.
There’s no better place to enjoy the Negroni than the 125-year-old American Bar in The Savoy, on the Strand. The epitome of retro glamour, American Bar has played host to A-list stars throughout its history, and is a wonderful place to visit for a treat. Not cheap, but worth it.
Fermented foods are growing in popularity and kombucha is the latest addition to the list of life-changing concoctions. The lightly sparkling tea does boast some serious health credentials: probiotic and nutrient-rich, kombucha is great for your gut and could even increase your energy levels. Could adding it to a cocktail be the healthiest way to booze?
JARR Kombucha, next to CRATE in Hackney Wick, is determined to find out. You can buy JARR at Harrods, but also at their walk-in kombucha bar, straight up or in cocktails made with the original, ginger, and passionfruit varieties, blended with locally-made spirits, juices and botanicals.
Sustainability is shaking up the food and drink industry. See our blog post on sustainable cocktail bars in London to find out more. Scout Bar is one of the establishments leading the way. The menu is a lesson in creativity and will thrill serious cocktail fans. Scout uses only ingredients found on the British Isles so any of the cocktails would have passed the sustainability test, but BIRCH, PLEASE! really caught our eye.
It’s made with fermented birch sap, tarragon and sugar kelp water, buttered Woodford Reserve, and buckwheat vodka. A Screwdriver this ain’t. Ordinary - stick that in your pipe and smoke it.
Let’s be honest, Cahoots is a tourist attraction. And a busy one at that (book well in advance). But unlike Madame Tussauds, it’s actually fun. The vintage tube-themed bar in Soho harks back, loosely, to the Blitz when good old British pluck kept morale high even as London’s residents picked their way through the chaos left behind by the Luftwaffe.
Our choice from the very long menu is the Judy Garland, a zesty blend of gin, Aperol, grapefruit and camomile tea, which is served in a cup and saucer. Chin up chaps, it’ll be over by Christmas.