Music, Magic, and Drama. No, we’re not talking a Britney-themed hen night to Vegas taking in a little David Copperfield on the side. We mean the concept behind the stunning new menu from The Beaufort Bar. And damn, it’s quite the show.
Everything about this beaut of a bar in The Savoy oozes a sense of lavish performance anyway. The sh*t ton of gold leaf that glows against the sexy black walls. The connection the hotel has with the Savoy Theatre, which was actually around first. Even the bar stands on a former stage with a velvet curtain pulled back in seductive drapes.
Music, magic and drama - what memorable night doesn’t have them all? Assistant bars manager Joe Harper and head bartender Elon Soddu have worked their socks off to find drinks that slip into each element. The new menu is all about highlighting those links and evoking sultry sensations from these show-stopping themes.
Music is light and bright - think Champagnes and sparkling cocktails. These are those effervescent drinks intended to get the night going with a bit of lighthearted frivolity. But hey, you can also go big if you fancy - splash some serious cash on Dreams, coming in at £90 (it’s got Cristal Champagne, go figure).
Then there’s Magic - a collection of cocktails that are both intriguing and mesmerising. Mystifying techniques and some seriously unique ingredients can be found here - Electric Bitters, sakura foam and kombucha are all on the programme. These are complex drinks for cocktail buffs that focus on gin, tequila and mezcal. BarChick likes.
Finally: Drama. No, not akin to when you’re on a night out and your mate sees her ex with that girl from his work, resulting in a Grade A meltdown. More the sensual kind - deep and dark whisky drinks to sink into at the end of the evening.
So what did we drink?
Don’t be fooled by the fact this contains tomato and celery shrub - it’s nothing like a Bloody Mary. Instead, you’ll get a tequila-laced highball containing a pale red liquid with great clarity. It combines vermouth, verjus (sour grape for a little tang) and then Audemus Umami Spirit. The result? A fresh, slightly savoury drink that works away at those tastebuds - the kind of drink that’s wonderfully hard to identify and so you just keep taking curious sips, one after the other, until - whoops it’s gone. Better order another one - we did. It’s that good.
It contains yoghurt syrup, but it’s not dairy. It’s got Ruby port, but it’s not too sweet. There’s lime, but you won’t get a whack of citrus. Yep, another expertly balanced cocktail worthy of its Magic title. This pretty pink gin number has a faintly tropical hit from the coconut liqueur - think a gentle waft of suntan lotion on a summer’s day rather than a procession of steel drums at a crowded Sandals resort. The taste reminded us of sherbert sweets, but the texture is slightly silky for that luscious mouthfeel. Fallen Fairies is a whimsical cocktail that plays with your head. In a good way.
Coffee and Champagne - two of our favourite things, but actually how often do you see them together in a cocktail? Not nearly enough, damnit, if The Dramatist is anything to go by. The punch of cold brewed coffee joins the spiced caffeine intensity from Mr Black’s coffee amaro and flirty fizz of Louis Roederer Champagne. It’s the threesome you didn’t realise you wanted to join. Add in the sweetness of vanilla syrup and bolster it all with Jack Daniel’s Savoy Single Barrel Whisky and you’ll see why this cocktail is under Drama. It’s like taking a bite of rich, sticky fruitcake then chasing it with thousands of little boozy bubbles. Which, if you've never tried it, is a pretty banging combo.
This cocktail just looks the part - you'll want to order it for the long-stemmed coupe alone. Then there's the luscious, amber coloured liquid swirling inside. This is before we've even got to that insanely enjoyable Smokey Monkey whisky. That moment when you smell woodsmoke on a crisp autumn night? Now imagine it playing on your taste buds. Yum. If you think you can sense a slight aniseed complexity you'd be right - absinthe is waiting in the wings. And see if you can pick up on that fruity, toffee-apple tastiness. The team have used 30&40 Aperitif de Normandie - one delectable blend of calvados, pommeau and rum. Essentially, Ashes to Ashes evokes all the thrills of bonfire night, in a glass. As with all the cocktails we tried, BarChick gave this drink a standing ovation.