St James Bar: A Taste of the World menu launches in Mayfair
Food and drinks are a diverse cultural expression of communities, sometimes differing even from neighbour to neighbour, so it’s no surprise they elicit great fascination in many, whether conscious or unconscious. Pair this with a good dose of travel lust, and one finds the origin of the concept of St James Bar’s new cocktail menu. The bar inside the distinguished Sofitel Hotel in St James always makes for a great stop in central London for a trip around the world. This time, head bartender Angelo Sparvoli has chosen as the through line particular ingredients from various countries, close by and far away.
The 18 drinks range from some more predictable bases, like the Moka (an espresso Martini cocktail with Boatyard vodka and Empirical Spirits’ The Plum, textured with coffee sorbet) to more surprising ones, such as Aggouri, inspired by tzatziki, mixing Hendrick’s gin together with cedar notes in flavoured Mastiha, Muyu Vetiver Gris, dill and cucumber.
With the launch taking place on a very wintry evening, refreshing Exotico takes us effervescently away to tropical beaches and summer vibes, light on the tongue, soothed by mango and passionfruit. The ginger beer gives a lift, while the lingering aftertaste – arriving at the very end of the sip – derives from the cordial made in-house for a tiny kick.
Overall, the presentation is kept simple to exalt the palatable notes and colourful tones of the liquors in each. That said, some small playful exceptions are made here and there, such as the chocolate tablet paint on the tumbler for BBQ. This is the ultimate smoky essence of an Old Fashioned-style concoction: the clue is in the name, then the first sensation in the nose and mouth is dry smoke, thanks to hickory and edible charcoal; and then it evolves into a robust drink, a blend of Bulleit bourbon and a touch of Talisker ten-year-old whisky – a remarkable, heady American take.
St James Bar dashingly bids bon voyage to guests set on tasting the world from the comfort of their teal blue, padded seats.
To book a table at St James Bar, 6 Waterloo Place London SW1Y 4AN, call 020 7389 7820 or visit their website here.