Three new cocktails from Tony Conigliaro

New on the menu: Southland

The popular saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” so when we heard that there were to be some changes to the excellent cocktail menu at The Zetter Townhouse we might have had cause for concern. After all, having made several visits we have more than a few favourites. That said, we love the idea of seasonal updates and we especially love seeing what new elixirs Tony Conigliaro has created.

There are three new drinks about to make their début at The Zetter Townhouse and we were fortunate enough to try them last night in the genial company of Mr Conigliaro himself.

First up was the Gooseberry Kir Royal (Homemade gooseberry cordial, Perrier Jouet Champagne). An attractive drink thanks to both a subtley pink hue and being served in an unusually short stemmed flute, it had a soft aroma of the countryside which followed through in a taste which was pleasantly dry up front with a surprisingly sweet finish.

Next came the Fig Leaf Collins (Beefeater gin, lemon, sugar, fig leaf tincture and soda). A truly original drink – but then, let’s be honest, we’ve never drunk fig leaf tincture before. The fig is subtle but definitely there and the drink is incredibly well balanced – dryish with a lovely clean, long finish. Incidentally we love the commitment of the team at ZTH as they all went fig scrumping in their free time to arrive with fig leaves galore for Tony to work his magic on.

Last on the list was the Southland (Eucalyptus syrup, Martell VSOP cognac). Looking delicate in a small 3 1/2 oz coupe glass, with an enticingly golden glow,  it had a rich taste with lots of herbal depth and an agreeably full in the mouth feel.

There were some excellent canapes acompanying the drinks too – including slow- cooked pork belly with aromatic ash along with smoked trout, citrus ketchup teff blinis from chef and long time collaborator Bruno Loubet (who worked with Tony some 12 years ago at Isola). Whilst these might not be working their way on to the menu they were  a welcome reminder that the quality of the dining is right up there with the supreme drinks.

Throw in some entertaining anecdotes from Mr Conigliaro and the good company of the other guests and it was an all round fab evening. More importantly, we loved all three of the new cocktails and will sleep easily as they ease out a few drinks from the current menu, though we are delighted to report that the superb Master At Arms is going nowhere, which is hugely fortunate as it’s a favourite of ours and of Wilhelmina*.

St. John’s Square, 86-88 Clerkenwell Road, EC1M 5RJ. T: 020 7324 4401 thezettertownhouse.com

*Who is Wilhelmina?

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