This week is one of the best weeks to be around London, simply because of all the creativity buzzing in one place.
Its London Cocktail week and what this has in store for the cocktail enthusiasts out there, is a week long period of enjoying some of the best mind in the country, mixing up their prized cocktail favourites.
Our week begins with Islay’s very own The Botanist Gin, as they bring in 6 bar masters from around the UK to show us their cocktail skills.
The expert bartenders involved were The Blixen themselves, Three Six, Six also from London, Mr Coopers of Manchester, The Milk Thistle from Bristol, Finnieston of Glasgow and The Bon Vivant from Edinburgh.
Prior to their cocktail blending each of the supremely skilled bartenders were set out into the wild, to forage the ingredients for their creations themselves, then use The Botanist infuser to finish their tasty pieces.
The Vermilion Botanist – Blixen
The first cocktail of the evening presented to us by the amazing venue themselves, Blixen. Their Vermilion Botanist cocktail consisted of; blackberry & lemon verbena syrup followed by some Lemon juice. Sounds simple we know. But from a taste point of view it screams sheer sweet fruitfulness, with a sharp edge to give your taste buds that celebratory hi-five.
The Botanist Hunt – Three Six, Six
We have to admit this cocktail caught us by surprise the most, simply by its long list of ingredients. The list of contents included; pineapple weed, soy sauce seasoned shiitake mushrooms, hawthorn & honey syrup, lemon juice, fresh thyme, blueberries, shiitake mushroom jelly, then topped with forages flowers. Yes the mushroom addition is for real but don’t let it fool you, the end product was absolutely mind blowing (and in the best way). With the favours working together you get a real sweet flavour coming through, finessed with the strong taste of the mushroom to balance things out. An absolutely brilliant cocktail.
The Botanist Wild Crafter – Bon Vivant
A cocktail that came with a few funny tales to add to the fun. The Botanist wild crafter comes infused with sweet cicely liqueur, gorse flower, ginger syrup, lime juice, crab apple, and bramble spray. A rush of freshness and fruits will wash your palette in ways you wouldn’t have anticipated. With the gorse flower in the mix, prepare to be welcomed to a more floral palette experience.
The Botanist Rose – Finnieston
As the ingredients will suggest, this is as fresh tasting as they come. Take some vermouth, rose-hip infused shrub and elder-flower lemonade. What we love about this cocktail the most, is its unassumingly fresh aroma concluding with a bitter finish, not to mention the great garnish perched on the roof of your cocktail.
The Botanist at Harvest Time –by MR Cooper’s
Hogweed seeds are the fundamental game changer in this mix, due to the burst of flavours it releases when opened. Along with hogweed you will also find the added components of pommeau infused with unripe apples, some lemon, sugar syrup and soda. The finale will include a brief blast from the blowtorch, to caramelise the syrup coated apple for a nice boost of flavours.
The Botanist Breakfast – by The Milk Thistle
Alarmingly refreshing considering its mix of The Botanist gin and vermouth. The hogweed opens the senses up with a multitude of flavours, romanced with elderflower cordial, lime juice and orange bitters.
To get an grasp of the wicked inventions of some of the best bartenders around, head down the the Blixen to enjoy a sweet end to London Cocktail Week with The Botanist gin.