Artesian at the Langham celebrates female bartenders with all-women takeover
“Celebrate Her,” read the shining big letters on the shelf behind the counter of the Artesian bar. To conclude the takeover series, which has seen some of the world’s best bars alternate in one-night residencies at the Langham, manager Anna Sebastian wanted a significant event. With a cocktail list carefully selected and prepared by renowned and talented female bartenders, the extra date of the pop-up was a special occasion to highlight and salute the women in the bar industry.
It is an exciting time to be part of the world of bars, but still the majority of wanna-be mixologists are male, according to Ms Sebastian – and that cannot be attributed to the fact that female bartenders are not capable or not interested. What is missing is in fact a network of support and sharing, which this all-female takeover at the beginning of November aimed, in a way, to establish. Top girls travelled from the US and Europe to join the Artesian team to prepare some exclusive concoctions and toast the leading women of the industry and those game-changers to come.
Selecting our drinks for the night was not an easy task, given the interesting combinations of these cocktails, which were mostly inspired by the past’s greatest tipples. We decided to start with Brains & Beauty by Charlotte Voisey. The hint of Champagne lightly finished the mixture of Hendrick’s Gin and apple bitters – as did the tiny flower garnishing the top. More colourful in hue and flavour was the Bourbon-based The Future Is Female by Natalie Jacob; the drink was sweeter but with a nice kick from the Angostura bitters.
It would have been a shame to miss a classic such as Hanky Panky by the legendary Ada Coleman, head bartender in the mid-20th century at the Savoy Hotel. Gin, Vermouth and Fernet Branca blended smoothly for a heady cocktail that deserves to be more present on London’s bar menus.
As host of the event, the Artesian team came up with a new concoction to toast a memorable last takeover. Celebrate Her was a slick creation combining Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon and Cranberry Bubbles, served with a single ice cube.
Tracing a continuous line from former pioneers to today’s leaders in hospitality – with everything set against the elegant venue of the Langham – the all-female takeover offered a refreshing opportunity not only to showcase but also to acknowledge and honour the feminine leverage in the city.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina and Cristiana Ferrauti
To book a table at the Artesian Bar, 1C Portland Place London W1B 1JA, call 020 7636 1000 or enquire on their website here.