Kester is a very talented and highly innovative bartender who is now at No. 5. It's well worth a visit over the coming months to enjoy Kester's development of the No' 5 terrace and his "edible cocktail afternoon teas" - I know I can't wait! When I first took Bloom in to Kester we were pleasantly surprised to find two perfect BLOOM cocktail recipes. The cocktail below is called a Honey Suckle - which is a Botanical in BLOOM.
Garnish: Use elderflower cordial to dip the rim of the glass into and coat with soft granulated sugar.
Ingredients: 4 x Fresh raspberries 15 ml x Elderflower cordial 25 ml x BLOOM Gin 15 ml x Krupnik honey vodka Champagne
Method: Carefully pour Champagne into a flute about two thirds full. Shake the other ingredients over ice and fine strain on top of the Champagne.
Deliciously refreshing and fruity. Very clean and perfect for summer.
In this second cocktail Kester makes his own Chamomile syrup from the dried flowers used for tea and Chamomile is a distinct botanical in BLOOM Gin along with Honeysuckle and Pomelo.
Kester's Chamomile Collins
Ingredients: 2 x tsp Vanilla sugar
1 x Juice whole lemon
50 ml x BLOOM Gin 25 ml x Elderflower Liqueur - St Germain
25 ml x Kester's homemade Chamomile syrup
shake all ingredients over ice and pour into a collins glass over ice.
Fill the glass crushed ice and top with dried Chamomile Flowers and grated Lemon peel.
Overall the experience of No. 5 is of opulence and luxury combined with great atmosphere and fantastic drinks.
It was great to finally catch up with Sarah Mitchell (now the new Bar Manager) at Graphic last night, both Sarah and the bar are firm favourites of mine. It was Monday so I suspected some Gin thing or another might be occuring. As it was I wandered in to the the aftermath of a Harpers blind Gin tasting - about 50 were tasted in total apparently - by various Star Tenders. So more great catching up with Esther Medina, Tom Foxwell, Joe Stokoe, Roberto Fiorillo, JJ Goodman...... I also met the last (allegedly) in the long line of a great family of bartenders - Mike Nicolian - who's now working at Graphic!
Tonic Test: Gin's most common serve is with tonic and it's vital that the characteristics of the Gin are complimented by the tonic not lost by it. You could have the best Gin in the world but mix it with (crap) the wrong tonic and it's a waste of Good Spirit. We sampled 3 Tonics each with 1 part Gin to 2 parts Tonic with no ice or garnish which masks the taste. BLOOM and Schweppes Tonic - Although Bloom is delicate it's not without its wonderful charm and we want this to shine through. We all (Sarah, Esther, Mike and myself) found this combination far too sweet. I've tried BLOOM with Schweppes Tonic before and thought it very tasty and very sherberty but it did have ice and lemon in it. So this was very interesting to see how well they actually fitted together - too sweet. BLOOM and Fever Tree Tonic - This worked really well, much drier than the first and the floral and citrus notes of BLOOM were clearly present. The tonic wasn't too sweet or bitter and tasted fresh and clean. By far mine and everyone elses, favoured combination. BLOOM and Fentimans Tonic - I love the Fentimans range and had previously tried the tonic but in isolation - no Gin. This combination however did not taste like Gin and Tonic at all, it tasted like Fentimans. In fact we wondered what Gin would be able to cut through such a massive flavour profile in the tonic - Junipero perhaps? Plymouth Navy maybe? The Final Twist - For BLOOM it's got to be Lime, we tried lemon as well but we prefered the punchiness of the lime combined with the uplifted floral notes of BLOOM.
Soooo, I'll have a BLOOM Gin with Fever Tree Tonic and a Lime Twist please!
This was a while back but still worth sharing.... Shochu is the downstairs bar at Roka and one of my all time favourites. Last year I popped in with some Pandor Absinthe, both the 40% and 69%. Marcin kindly obliged and made some fantastic drinks!
Shake Pandor 40%, Lemon, Sugar Syrup and juice of Fresh Ginger over ice. Pour into Martini glass and top with Orange Foam and garnish with Orange Zest - Delicious!
Marcin also made a Rhubarb Sour, Cherry Sour - in the photo - an Elderflower Sour and an Apple Sour - all of which were great and really brought home how versatile and mixable Pandor is.