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Barhopping to taste test ‘molecular’ cocktails

on 30/04/11 at 11:10 pm

“There’s a new breed of cocktail coming from London’s mixologists,” said a member of the FT Weekend politburo. “They’re communist, they’re molecular – you must taste them.” Orders are orders. So we decided to assemble our Yoof Panel (average age: 22) to get the most contemporary verdict possible. The Carnivorous Undergraduate (CU) and the Digital Native (DN) were joined by two debutants – the Recovering Anthropologist (RA) and the Theatrical Impresario (TI). But could we unleash a group of young men and women on a drinking spree in London unsupervised? They might end up occupying Fortnum & Mason, after all. So we sent along the Gluttonous Pig (GP) as gauleiter. A bit of re-education was necessary, since it turned out he thought cocktails should only be consumed in the Savoy’s American Bar while listening to Noël and Gertie. Once we’d brought him 80 years up to date, the team was despatched into the night to three über-trendy bars.

First stop was the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell. The lobby of this hotel has been enhanced with a bar whose design owes as much to the art of the apothecary as that of the bartender. Ancient recipes for tinctures and cordials are mixed with modern spirits. Our top cocktail here, Twinkle, blends Wyborowa vodka and Perrier-Jouët champagne with elderflower cordial: “refreshing pick-me-up after a marathon” (GP); “a sweet summer wind” (GU). We also liked the Nettle Gimlet – Beefeater gin with nettle cordial: “original” (RA); “ambrosial” (DN). Less to our taste was The Flintlock, which combined Beefeater 24 gin, Fernet-Branca, gunpowder tea tincture and dandelion and burdock bitters: “medicinal” (RA); “stripped my throat” (DN).

{Full story via Financial Times}

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