The trouble with this whole cocktail loving malarkey is it takes up all of our time. Which is no bad thing but we occasionally feel we haven’t seen as much of our friends and family as we’d like. So this month we decided to throw a p.a.r.t.y. at Cocktail Towers and invited a few of them round…
Maybe because our last TCL soiree was on a Saturday evening, maybe because we wanted to make things difficult for ourselves or maybe because we wanted to start the week with very heavy heads we decided to throw this particular bash on Sunday afternoon. Not one of our cleverest moves it has to be said but on the plus-side, it made the food part a little easier to deal with. We went for a cold Sunday roast vibe with masses of roasted chicken and beef, loadsa spuds, a big bowl of crisp green veg, plus a tomato and onion salad for extra colour – all laid out buffet style throughout the day. That was Ms S’s department; Mr G made it his business to keep the drinks flowing. And a very good job he made of it too.
Inspiration for his choice of long cocktails came from Victoria Moore’s excellent How To Drink book. Our 18 guests were treated to jugs of fruity and delicious Strawberry Grog (fresh strawberries, ginger beer, cloudy lemonade and gin) and a more potent cocktail mixed with champagne, orange juice and Campari. That’s not to mention the wine they arrived with plus the vanilla martinis we mixed up before sending them home.
A couple of days later we were invited to Harrods for the launch of L’Essence de Courvoisier, a super-premium, pre-order only cognac retailing at, wait for it, a cool £1,800 a bottle. We were gutted we were unable to make the dinner hosted by London’s most talented jeweller Stephen Webster the night before but made up for it by chatting to creator and master blender Jean-Marc Olivier at this exclusive event.
You don’t have to be a connoisseur to taste this is top-of-the-range stuff. “It’s a timeless blend of the finest cognacs from the last two centuries,” Olivier told us. And he’s right. Over 100 rare ‘eaux de vie’ from Grande Champagne and Borderies – some from the beginning of the 20th century, some from the 21st century – come together in an exquisite drink bursting with toffee, dried plum and apricot notes. Maximum respect to anyone who finds this little baby nestling in their Christmas stocking.
The Met Bar was our next destination, more out of curiosity than anything else. Back in the nineties/early noughties it was the only place to be seen drinking cocktails and we haven’t really heard anything about it since. Ladies and gents, may we inform you that’s about to change now that Danny Murphy is at the helm. We sat talking to him about his fabulous menu and many inspiring ideas while we sipped the best cocktails we’ve sampled in quite some time.
Our month ended in fine style at the Love London party at the Merlin Entertainments London Eye. We had mucho fun meeting Pearly Kings and Queens, drinking London-inspired cocktails and eating delicious miniature versions of Brit classics like pie and mash, roast beef and Yorkshire puds and fish and chips. If all that wasn’t enough, we were among the first lucky bods to try out the fantastic 4D Experience, a new attraction at the Eye. We always knew we loved this great city and seeing it in 4D confirmed why. The fact we’d over-indulged in champagne and free-flowing cocktails had absolutely nothing to do with it.
Words to the wise (or just plain curious)
“A good drink – the right drink poured at just the right moment – becomes not just a thirst-quencher but part of our social fabric.”
From How To Drink by Victoria Moore. howtodrink.co.uk