Welcome one and all to the recap of the third day of London Cocktail Week 2015! Wield a red or white wristband and enjoy the discounts/events that LCW has to offer!
This year the Hoodooist will be bringing you #YourDailyDoseOfHoodoo, a daily review of each day of London Cocktail Week ’15.
Today we look at October 7th: Where the Hoodooist and friends tackled Mayfair and Marylebone!
The Sheraton Park Lane Hotel’s Smith and Whistle is a relaxed hotel joint with a distinct love for Irish whiskey, and Jameson’s in particular.
Besides their Caskmate’s cocktail, they were even hosting a raffle to win a bottle before going home! But their Original Sin is not to be a missed. A beautiful crimson cocktail topped with a spicy stout foam. The first sip through the foam brings out flavours of warm spices from cinnamon, nutmeg and star anise – until you get to the cocktail of Jameson’s Caskmates whiskey, red wine reduction, and more of that homemade spiced syrup.
Expect to find an immediate hit of light warm spices (enhanced by the burning cinnamon garnish), the wine reduction’s dark fruits and raspberry, finally ending with the Caskmate’s Madeira, fresh and honeyed fruit, and vanilla. A beautiful cocktail – even the Hoodooist didn’t mind its sweetness.
Smith and Whistle raised the bar high before continuing on!
The ROKA Mayfair kept up the standard so far with the long Sakura Highball. Nikka From the Barrel whisky met Cocchi’s Barolo Chinato vermouth, Sakura cherry blossom tincture, topped off with a plum soda.
The nose is bittersweet and tempting, the first sip immediately brings out the Nikka’s fruit, winter spices and toffee along with the plum soda, before quickly setting onto a long wave of the Barolo Chinato’s orange peel, cloves and dried fruits with the bitter kick, ending on a bed of cherry blossom.
With excellent service and chat from the bartenders, beautiful surrounds, and bar snacks that are devoured in moments, this is an excellent highball drink, highly recommended.
Into the winding side streets that lead us into the busy lane housing Cartizze, which seems more at home in a hotel than the lane that houses it, the Amor y Amargo is served at the table. Being rather busy, it took its time, the sweet drink caused a little debate.
Amaretto liqueur, Cynar, apricot liqueur, vanilla sugar, lemon, topped with prosecco. Some enjoyed the drink, the Hoodooist couldn’t taste much over the amaretto, lemon and a hint of apricot. It seemed to lack dimension, and blurred into a one-trick drink. Of course, if this is one’s style, a sweet tooth might enjoy it.
When a friend at the table ordered a second, they were informed that only the first drink is subject to the LCW 5 pound offer. Something *no other bar so far in the history of the 5 years of cocktail week* has inflicted on wristband wearers.
Next door, the Cartizze’s sister bar, Mews of Mayfair, offered the Sesame Street: Glenmorangie 10yr infused with apricots, sesame oil, topped with egg white and sesame seeds.
A major improvement from next door, the spicy nose is refreshing, the palate is instantly hit with sesame, followed by vanilla and bold fruits of the whisky, retreating once again into sesame and ending with bright apricots.
An enjoyable drink and a huge improvement, with multifaceted flavours, though a friend retorted, “I keep thinking of chicken yakitori.”
Recently opened dinner and shisha bar, Noir W1, next door to Selfridges, serving up the Golden Shuffle: Courvoisier Exclusif cognac, yuzu juice, lemon, cocoa nib infused white truffle honey, egg white and black walnut bitters.
Tastes like a regular Sidecar.
Somewhat detectable honey.
After a bite and some key lime pie in Marylebone, Hoodooist and co. find themselves at an old haunt that once had a long and beautifully complex menu.
Purl offered up the Absolutely Dirty for LCW: Absolut Elyx vodka, sherry (fino, perhaps?), capers and black olive bitters.
Only approach if Dirty Martini fan. After the first kick the face with black olives, you will feel a sharp slice of the sherry, followed immediately after by the black olives and a hint of caper.
The Hoodooist, a major fan of the bone-dry gin Martini, not so much a fan of this. At least didn’t enjoy the wincing with each sip.
As aforementioned: Only approach if Dirty Martini fan.
The Hoodooist remembers there are at least three more days to go, and has a lie down.
With a really high standard set up by the Smith and Whistle, and Roka, and a fun twist at Mews of Mayfair, the Mayfair March was a day of high highs, and low lows. Some, like the Cartizze and Purl, have targeted very specific audience palates that the reader must consider.
Alright! That’s our recap of Day Three of London Cocktail Week 2015! I do hope it may have helped you one way or the other, dear readers, on our quest through the most magical week of the year.
Remember to check out Highball Hoodoo every morning of London Cocktail Week for more reviews of the LCW cocktail offerings, parties and events!
Get #YourDailyDoseOfHoodoo each morning from 5th to 11th October!
*Tune in tomorrow for our coverage of Dalston and Whitechapel!*