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The Summer Menu

London's Seasonal Cocktails
  • The Connaught Bar

  • Agostino Perrone, the Connaught Bar

  • The American Bar

  • Erik Lorincz, the American Bar

  • The Lobby Bar

  • Pedro Paulo, the Lobby Bar

  • The St. James Bar

  • Alessandro Cogoni, the St. James Bar

  • The May Fair Bar

  • Marios Elias, the May Fair Bar

CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

Southern England, the capital of the United Kingdom, a short hop by plane, ferry or train from the European continent.

WHY GO

The sun has set on the British Empire but London remains one of the world’s most influential cities — it’s not only a major financial center but one of the world’s great capitals of culture as well.

HOW

London is served by no fewer than five airports, from the very major Heathrow to the small and central City — but the most humane way to travel remains the high-speed Eurostar train from Paris or Brussels.

TABLET TIP

It’s a legendarily expensive city, but London offers a few budget-friendly rewards. Most of the state-run museums are free to enter, and there are few better no-cost cultural itineraries than a morning tour of Tate Britain, a nice walk along and across the Thames, and an afternoon browsing the collection at Tate Modern.

London, May, 2013

In London, the world capital of the after-work drink, when the flowers bloom, so do the hotels’ cocktail menus. A shot of daisy-infused gin, some puréed yuzu and basil, a little floral liqueur — such is the stuff of the season’s best drinks. For some help composing pastel-tinged cocktails to match the lingering summer sunsets, we asked five experts for their closely guarded recipes.

Erik Lorincz, the American Bar
Long one of London’s most highly regarded hotels, the Savoy has recently re-opened its doors after a three-year renovation. Following in the footsteps of such shaker-wielding legends as Ada Coleman, Joe Gilmore and Harry Craddock (inventor of the White Lady and author of the seminal 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book) is Erik Lorincz, the master bartender whose journeyman years were spent at the Sanderson and the Connaught. Now he’s been trusted with the menu of the equally legendary American Bar, where he’ll spend the coming months taking orders for his Summer Garden. It’s a drink so light, refreshing and perfect for warm weather that, were this any less august an establishment, one would almost be tempted to strip down to swimwear in order to fully get into the spirit of it.

•45 ml Bombay Sapphire
•30 ml lemon juice
•15 ml simple syrup
•60 ml unfiltered apple juice
•4 fresh raspberries
•Fresh mint leaves

Agostino Perrone, the Connaught Bar
Restored by designer David Collins (in a bit of a Cubist mood), with black banquettes and a palette of old rose, the Connaught’s bar, in tony Mayfair, delights purists with the quality of its Martini — gently stirred, never shaken (with apologies to 007’s famously eccentric taste). A native of Como, “Ago” Perrone adds a dose of Italian liquore — Galliano, amaro, maraschino, Gancia Dry vermouth — and scours the markets for fresh, seasonal ingredients. His recommendation for a summer day? The Mulata Daisy, his refined reinterpretation of the humble daiquiri, combining vanilla and floral notes with the richness of crème de cacao.

•45 ml Bacardi Superior white rum
•20 ml lime juice
•1 spoonful superfine cane sugar
•1 spoonful fennel seed
•15 ml Crème de Cacao Brun
•10 ml Galliano

Pedro Paulo, the Lobby Bar
Opened in 1998, One Aldwych may be the youngest of this bunch, but it’s a grand dame all the same, as demonstrated with panache by the beloved Lobby Bar. Each month, head bartender Pedro Paulo’s menu follows the “Mixologist’s Muse” wherever it might lead, crafting new recipes to suit the season’s mood. The current collection features the Floral Revival, a fresh and fruity drink with subtle anise notes atop a base of vodka and pink vermouth.

•50 ml Zorokovich 1917 vodka
•25 ml Martini Rosato
•20 ml grenadine syrup
•15 ml lime juice
•15 ml lemon juice
•5 fresh pomegranate seeds
•3 drops of absinthe

Alessandro Cogoni, the St. James Bar
Last November, the bar at the Sofitel London St. James — a space inspired by Coco Chanel’s Paris apartment — featured four competing cocktail creations inspired by the London perfume house Penhaligon’s. Alessandro Cogoni, the young winner of the Sofitel’s bar competition, has taken inspiration from the hotel’s own history as one of London’s great old banks to create the bittersweet Good Hope. In centuries past, the bankers who worked in this same room frequently had to cross the Cape of Good Hope to do business in India, a long journey that certainly would have called a stiff drink, or a few. Cogoni’s inspired cocktail is thus a mix of classic British and Indian flavors.

•50 ml Tanqueray No. 10
•10 ml Chambord
•5 ml Fernet-Branca
•15 ml lemon juice
•15 ml egg white
•15 ml cardamom & Kaffir lime syrup
•3 dashes Angostura bitters

Marios Elias, the May Fair Bar
Haute couture palace par excellence, the May Fair has an assured style which is illustrated by the fashion-inspired “collections” of its cocktail bar. After the last Fashion Week’s burst of footwear-inspired cocktails — the Strappy Sandal, the Velvet Mule, the cherry-liqueur Red Stiletto — mixologist Marios Elias came up with Martini and Champagne-cocktail “flights,” designed to travel from Amsterdam to Milan. This summer Marios invites you to spend the warm months with his new Royal Mojito, from his molecular-inspired “elements” collection. But while it’s a playful drink, he’s deadly serious about keeping the recipe a secret…

Dante Nolleau

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CHEAT SHEET
WHERE

Southern England, the capital of the United Kingdom, a short hop by plane, ferry or train from the European continent.

WHY GO

The sun has set on the British Empire but London remains one of the world’s most influential cities — it’s not only a major financial center but one of the world’s great capitals of culture as well.

HOW

London is served by no fewer than five airports, from the very major Heathrow to the small and central City — but the most humane way to travel remains the high-speed Eurostar train from Paris or Brussels.

TABLET TIP

It’s a legendarily expensive city, but London offers a few budget-friendly rewards. Most of the state-run museums are free to enter, and there are few better no-cost cultural itineraries than a morning tour of Tate Britain, a nice walk along and across the Thames, and an afternoon browsing the collection at Tate Modern.

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