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TIPPLE & FARE

Food, drink and fine dining The comings and goings of the culinary classes

Four of the Best: Bartenders’ favourite cocktails

A selection of drinks preferred by cocktail maestros

 

Bartenders are particular sorts. The Mojito is a drink that annoys many as it takes a long time to make and consequently is a real hassle in a busy bar. Ask for one at your peril on a Friday night.

 

In settings such as Dukes Hotel in St James’s, martinis are made on a trolley with vodka or gin straight from the freezer. At Salvatore Calabrese’s bar at The Playboy Club, this ‘King of Cocktails’ will even create a unique drink for you (for a fee).

 

Here, we ask four of our favourite bars for their own favourite drinks. Try ordering one and you’ll join the ranks of their favourite customers:

 

La Brasserie’s Julep

Alejandro Flores and a La Brasserie JuelpAlejandro Flores of La Brasserie in Brompton Cross is becoming renowned for his weekly cocktail classes on a Sunday evening. His favourite drink combines Tanqueray gin, fresh lemon, Earl Grey tea, gomme syrup and soda water. It’s refreshing, easy to make and in his view “better than a Mojito”.

 

Hotel Rafayel’s alternative take on a Kir Royal

Hotel Rafayel cocktailsIn Battersea and with views of the Thames, the Hotel Rafayel on the Left Bank’s bar team favour their own take on the standard Kir Royal. Here, fresh strawberries are simmered for ten minutes in vodka, sugar and vanilla liqueur before being left for 48 hours prior to serving. Served with champagne and vanilla and priced at just £9.50, this is a drink that “is perfect for a celebration” and “great value”.

 

Sandra and Pavel’s Smoked Whiskey Sour

Pavel and Sandra's smoked whiskey sourThe talented duo that are Sandra and Pavel at Belgraves – A Thompson Hotel in Belgravia love making smoked whiskey sours with Lagavulin 16, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg whites and tobacco bitters. Whilst some favour sampling this cocktail outside on the cigar terrace, better still, why not be entertained by them at the bar?

 

The Rib Room’s “Perfect Palette”

Brahim's Perfect PaletteBrahim at The Rib Room Bar in Knightsbridge’s drink of choice is a damson bramble named the “Perfect Palette”. Made with Bombay Sapphire gin, lime juice, sugar syrup and a drizzle of damson gin, this drink was created in honour of London’s new contemporary art festival, Art 14.

 

 

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