Politicians... we get it. You're sick of them. But bear with us. The epic new menu at Churchill Bar & Terrace is showing a different side... a side that's not making us want to lose the will to live.
In fact, it's showing a bunch of sides of one politician in particular. Winston Churchill - the man, the legend, the.... lover? Trust us, this is more appealing than it might sound.
Shades of Winston Churchill is a collection of banging cocktails that are inspired by different facets of Churchill. And just like Nigel Farage with the truth, it's seriously inventive. What's more, each drink is paired with a classic British food duo - 'cos us Brits like to snack as we sip, ta very much.
We thought we'd do our civic duty and swing over to the elegant, oak-lined bar at the Hyatt Regency hotel to try the new menu. The ballots have been counted - and we can reveal BarChick's winners.
Let's face it, Churchill is probably the most famous cigar smoker out there. Apparently he got hooked after a visit to Cuba. While we're more about Havana's rum scene, we can't deny this cocktail is pretty smokin'. For one thing, it comes in a seriously dreamy martini glass with a bubble of aromatic smoke that you blow away before you drink. That's the kind of theatre we like when we order a round. The cocktail itself mixes tequila infused with roasted green pepper, vermouth, tomato shrub and grapefruit, plus salted cacao husk brew. As lip-smacking as a packet of salt & vinegar crisps in the pub when you forgot to eat dinner. Only instead of reaching for the last crisp, you can't stop sipping this baby. For the food pairing, they've only gone and matched it with deep-fried halloumi cheese bites. With a balsamic glaze. Now we're not saying you should order this drink for the snacks alone, but we wouldn't judge.
Did you know that as well as being partial to a bottle of Champagne or eight, the ex-prime minister also enjoyed getting green-fingered? He famously spanked a lot of dough on his country mansion Chartwell, and we like to think much of that was butterfly-related. Yep, he was mad about his butterfly garden. Apparently he attempted to reintroduce extinct species and even put on famous garden parties in which butterflies played 'a very important part'. Consider us intrigued. The Gardener cocktail contains celery, peas and carrots. While this might sound more savoury stock than tasty sip, give it a go. Egg white makes it silky smooth, and it's fresh light, and delicate. Props for the nibbles too - we're never gonna say no to arancini. Especially not of the roasted carrot kind with mayonnaise. Now, how do we get invited to one of these butterfly parties?
Here's a little fact for the next pub quiz - Churchill received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953. Busy guy. He was also a prolific writer and wrote a novel under the pen name of 'Winston S. Churchill'. Umm... we assume his prose was a bit more creative than his alias. Order The Writer and celebrate his literary achievements with this cocktail in dessert form. Chase Rhubarb & Apple Gin is combined with custard mix and rhubarb and ginger jam. Then there's lemon for some zing and egg white for that smooth finish. It even looks like our fave pick n mix sweets, only overindulging in too many of these will have you seeing double. That pretty accompaniment on the side? No, it's not a fancy fascinator for the next wedding you're invited to. Baked English custard, poached rhubarb, and rhubarb ribbons ramp up the nostalgia even more.
Bearing in mind that he was quite a busy guy, and also that air travel wasn't the easiest back in the 40s, Churchill certainly got around a fair bit. In fact he travelled farther and more extensively than any other wartime leader. What a jet-setter. Still, we're imagining he had the same cravings for home we all get, and that's what this kickass cocktail is all about. No one can deny the ultimate comfort food is jacket potato with beans, fact. The Traveller is actually garnished with a baked bean. Resting on a dry mashed potato shard. Genius. What's the cocktail made from, we hear you cry. How does Baked Potato infused Ketel One Vodka sound? We'll get us a bottle of that, thanks. Add in pinto beans orgeat, some acid pandan leaf soda and dill tincture, and this is one drink we'd definitely travel for.
You can enjoy Shades of Winston Churchill at Churchill Bar & Terrace until the end of March. We'll see ya there.
Hyatt Regency, 30 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H 7BH