London: Spring Into Cocktail Season

The Distillery

Spring is in the air in London, this means, time for cocktails!  

Let’s start with the most innovative way to “sleep it off:” the three new guest rooms atop The Distillery in Notting Hill. They have charming open views over Portobello Road, and are equipped with retro vinyl record players and Rough Trade-curated playlists and, naturally, an extensive mini-bar. Book a room ahead and then imbibe in either of the two new restaurants: The Resting Room, with one-of-a-kind spirits from around the globe (poured directly from barrels rested above the bar), a cocktail menu from Master Distiller Jake Berger, and traditional English ‘comfort grub’ with a modern twist such as Ox Tongue Bruschetta and Wood Pigeon; and GinTonica, a riff on Spain’s Basque region with a Spanish-inspired bar and kitchen, vibrant and relaxed with numerous kinds of G&Ts. The Distillery is also home to the Ginstititue, offering masterclasses in gin, and is the site of production of Portobello Road Gin. For gin lovers, this is your Mecca.

Smith and Sinclair, the Willy Wonka’s of booze, have opened The Flavour Rooms, a two-level pop-up in partnership with Tanqueray London Dry Gin on the famous Carnaby Street through April 2. Upstairs will showcase Smith & Sinclair’s alcoholic and edible creations including its signature cocktail candies, alcoholic bubbles, cocktail-infused vapors, alcoholic Dib Dabs and more. Move downstairs, for the Tanqueray Experimental Garnish Bar, a one-of-a-kind cocktail bar serving a bespoke collection of four Tanqueray cocktails which guests are encouraged to get creative with their own edible garnishes; choose from edible perfumes, gin oils and “spherification” balls that pop in the mouth. Try it all for £12 which includes edible cocktail, mixed cocktail, choice of garnishes from the 'help yourself' garnish bar and the Edible Vapor Orb experience.

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For a twist of “Perception” head to The Langham’s Artesian, a bar that has been named world’s best on numerous occasions, and now has a new master barman, Gabor Fodor, and director of bars, Dino Kolestas; both of whom have worked around London’s most celebrated establishments. Excited to make their mark, they’ve created a brand new menu of 20 drinks building on Artesian’s reputation for originality around the theme of “Perception.” Our favorites of the new tipples: the earthy yet refreshing Mind Your Step, a rich and fruity mix of Ron Zacapa 23 Rum, Heron aged Pisco, tropical sour sop & orange blossom served in an (intentionally) broken glass, garnished with edible shards! Other highlights: unique twists on well-loved drinks, including Creative Maths, a light and aromatic Rye Collins served with a Prairie Organic Martinez in two separate miniature copper stills; also a delectable range of non-alcoholic beverages with flavors from around the globe, our top pick is Throw Some Dough is a clarified fizz of tomato, carrot, chili, onion, oregano & quinine with a dash of chili, aka the best Virgin Mary you’ll ever taste.  

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