Saturday, December 13, 2008

Cocktails - at last!

If you're tempted to celebrate the season in a less traditional way, I can recommend recreating one (or both) of the wonderful Whitley Neill concoctions, from The Lobby Bar at One Aldwych.

Bar star, Roberto de Vivo, takes the inspiration for his Lost Cherry from fellow Italian, Alessandro Parllazzi, at Dukes Hotel.
To prepare this fragrant 'dirty' Martini, you'll need:
40ml of Whitley Neill
15ml Noilly Prat vermouth
10ml Rose liqueur
15ml Maraschino infused with fresh cherries

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker, shake enthusiastically; double strain. Garnish with a large maraschino cherry (which will sink appropriately to the bottom of the glass).

Roberto uses La Poutroie rose liqueur but it may not be so easy to track down (although Gerry's in Soho is worth searching). I've located a delicious-sounding example by Briottet, at £13.99. Although, I haven't tasted the Briottet exponent, personally, I'm sure it would be a brilliantly unusual adjunct to the cocktail enthusiast's repertoire and also fab poured over a good vanilla ice-cream...

Caroline Weise's deeply spicy Africa is richly warming and perfectly seasonal. You'll need:
1 star anis
15ml lime juice
50ml Whitley Neill Gin
25ml Amaretto
15ml sugar syrup
a cinnamon stick

Prepare by 'muddling' the star anis with the sugar syrup and lime juice; add the other ingredients. Shake and double strain. Garnish with a 'curl' of orange peel and a cinnamon stick.

If you can't find star anise in the herb & spice section of your local supermarket, you'll be able to buy it (loose, by weight) from your nearest branch of Neals Yard Remedies.


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