In the build-up to the Olympics, bars and pubs were being warned by the organisers at Locog to avoid any mention of the Games. So no writing “Watch the games here” on a chalkboard or adding Going For Gold Cocktails to the menu. Fortunately, it looks like trading standards’ so-called “brand police” have been too busy watching Team GB win gold medals over the past week, and many bars have come up with special cocktails to celebrate the Games and Team GB.
Three themed cocktails have been crafted by Mario la Pietra, head barman at Bassoon Bar at the Corinthia Hotel, London. The Gold (pictured above) mixes gin, white grapefruit and champagne, served in a flute glass with edible rose petals, gold flakes and white grapefruit zest to finish.
The hotel’s Northall Bar is home to The Corinthia Silver, a gin-based cocktail featuring rhubarb bitters. The mix is strained into a Collins glass with a splash of soda, topped with Kummel Mentzerdoff, with a garnish of fresh rhubarb, dehydrated lemon and cherry. At the hotel’s Massimo Restaurant & Oyster Bar, The Corinthia Bronze comes in a chilled wine glass with ice, holding prosecco, Cocchi Americano and Cinzano Orancio with soda water, fresh fruit and lemon zest.
In The Bar at the Dorchester Hotel, a special Going For Gold cocktail has been created by bar manager Giuliano Morandin and his team of mixologists. Available throughout the summer for £16, it is inspired by the symbolic Olympic laurel wreath and mixed with a little patriotism, using laurel liqueur and new London-made Gilpin’s Westmorland Extra Dry Gin. Giuliano adds: “It felt appropriate to garnish the cocktail with fresh laurel leaves, and red chilli rondelles add a sporting kick.”Going for Gold
15ml Gilpin’s Gin
20ml Laurel liqueur
20ml Lemon juice
15ml Steamed chilli agave
15ml Lillet Blanc
Build the ingredients over crushed ice, topping up with the ginger ale. Garnish with laurel leaves and chill rings.
A special “Olympiad” cocktail menu has been introduced at London restaurant and bar Benares, using ingredients inspired by the gold, silver and bronze podium positions. The recipes were created by bar manager Giovanni Spezziga, previously at W Hotel and One Aldwych. Gold is represented by Morning Glory, silver by Looking Forward To Next Time and bronze by Cool Runnings, all pictured below.
25ml Chivas 18 Year Old
15ml Martini Gold
5ml Benares syrup
Pour the syrup into a rocks glass and gently stir the Chivas with ice. Add the Goldschläger and Martini Gold and some ice and keep stirring. Garnish with gold leaf, cherry and an orange rind twist on a bamboo stick.
Looking Forward To Next Time
35ml Olmeca Tequila Plata
35ml White crème de cacao liqueur
Stir all the ingredients and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with horse neck and silver leaf.
35ml Ron Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
15ml Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
5ml Benares syrup
Dash of liquorice bitters
Pour the syrup into a julep glass. Gently stir the rum with ice in the glass. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir vigorously. Garnish with a sprig of mint and shaving of dark chocolate, star anise and cardamom seeds.
The new summer drinks menu at London bar and restaurant Bunga Bunga in Battersea includes La Torcia Olimpica (pictured left), created by general manager Robin Kay. Coming with its own stand, it is served in a yard-long glass, with enough for four to share. It combines Grey Goose vodka and Saliza Amaretto Veneziano, shaken with pink grapefruit juice and finished with homemade mandarin bitters plus Terra Serena rosé prosecco. Bunga Bunga has been transformed into an “Italian players lounge” with a board keeping count of Italian medal wins and regular broadcasts of the Italian national anthem.
Olympic-inspired cocktails are also being served at African restaurant and bar Shaka Zulu in Camden, north London. The Cape Town Share is a sharing cocktail for four people, celebrating Olympic athletes from Africa, and contains a blend of Santa Teresa Claro rum, Chairman’s Reserve spiced rum, lime, watermelon, pineapple and coconut.
The five flaming cocktails on the bar at Anise, part of Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen, in the City of London avoid the use of the “O” word but are clearly inspired by the Olympic rings. The Ocean Blue mixes vodka, peach schnapps and blue curaçao, while the Hot Passion combines Pitú cachaça, passion fruit, mango puree and elderflower cordial. The Black Temple is made up of gin, Chambord, blackberry puree and blackcurrant cordial, and the Playmate is a playful mix of Sauza tequila, Midori and Apple Sourz. The Velvet & Silk is a smooth combination of rum, strawberry puree, raspberry puree and cranberry juice.
In Archer Street bar in Soho, themed cocktails being added to the menu include Bulls-eye, made by building Martin Miller’s Gin over crushed ice with raspberry liqueur, rose syrup and fresh lemon juice, topped up with ginger ale. The bar is also offering the Flaming Arrow combining Ketel One vodka with lychee liqueur, shaken with fresh mint, cucumber, apple juice, fresh lime juice and gomme. Archer Street has also spotted another opportunity: with many of the West End’s theatres closing during the Olympics, it is hosting performances by musical theatre stars and has created a pop-up theatre in its basement.
Drinks company Bibendum has not only provided the wines at the Olympics venues but its portfolio features at The Fringe 2012, the pop-up private member’s club only 100 metres from the London 2012 Olympic Park at Stratford. In addition to supplying all the wines for the bar, Bibendum is bringing a taste of Trinidad to east London with a Caribbean-inspired tiki bar (pictured) featuring its Plantation rums. The tiki bar is managed by top London bartenders Joe Stokoe, formerly at All Star Lanes and The Box, and Paul Mant, formerly at Mahiki and Quo Vadis, and is operated by bar consultants Sweet&Chilli. The cocktail list focuses on classic rum-based drinks including the Mojito, Daiquiri and Mai Tai alongside some of legendary tiki bartender Don the Beachcomber’s most famous creations. Two cocktails are made with another Bibendum agency brand, Crystal Head Vodka. The rum cocktails feature Plantation 3 Stars, a new white rum created by Bibendum’s Paul McFadyen and Plantation’s owner Alexandre Ferrand. Located in a four-storey 19th-century warehouse, the club is open every day from 8am until September 9.