Monday, 10 September 2012

Presenting… The LCS at The Hide Bar

This special evening was all smoke and mirrors…well smoke and bubbles at least. The Hide Bar team had got their hands on some new equipment and they wanted to play, with an audience to play for. Enter The London Cocktail Society. The evening was all about twists on the classic based on four base spirits; we started with gin.

Paolo made 6:1 martinis with Bermondsey Gin – we were, after all, on Bermondsey Street – and a Noilly Prats and a squoosh of lemon scent from their antique atomizer. This was not the gin I would choose for a martini but one of my favourite drinks nonetheless.

Then. THEN. They took the martini and added it into what I can only describe as a time-capsule-soda-stream. You put the liquid into this glass cylinder, attach the CO2 can and add till full. Shake firmly. And there you go, fizzy martini. “Was it good though?” I hear you ask. It was interesting, the bubbles softening the alcoholic kick but did nothing more than that. Then our bar tender added a few martinis to a decanter and then with the help of a rubber pipe smoked that drink with freshly lit wood chips. Block up the top. Swirl it around a bit. (Don’t worry, it won’t over smoke). And how did this one perform? It had hints of black BBQ char and finished with a smokey bacon note. Don’t get excited, it was not that tasty. And lastly – a fizzy smoked martini. This sat undrunk once tried…

So onto the next classic spirit that was tequila and the classic margarita. The process of fizzing, smoking and fizzy smoking was the same. The result was very different. This is because tequila already spends some time in charred barrels during the aging process so the smoke automatically integrates better. The best of the lot was the straight up smoked.

NB Despite this being a one-off event, The Hide Bar has many unusual drinks on the menu including a smoked tequila drink so pop along if you are intrigued.

Next the team presented a Mint Julep and a Rum based Old Fashioned. Unfortunately I had other commitments that evening but I was informed the smoked Mint Julep was the triumph.

A lot of fun. A lot of great Christmas present ideas for cocktail and food geeks. As for the taste, I am yet to be convinced that my classics need these specific twists. 

(Many many thanks to Mark at for the photos - mine got lost in transit!) 

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