Oh, say can you see – the American Bar in the Stafford Hotel has a new cocktail menu and it’s all about the US of A. Invoking the American Dream, the team at the Stafford, led by my friend and one of the first guests ever on Lush Life podcast, Benoit Provost, has created sixteen new cocktails, adding to their already extensive cocktail list. Each cocktail is themed around those “who pursued and achieved their own particular dreams.” I think we managed to try every single one of them in one sitting, but I’ll only describe a few of my highlights, since you must experience them for yourself!
Given it’s the 50th Anniversary of men landing on the moon, I had to begin with the Man on the Moon cocktail. Smoky and mysterious, this whisky based cocktail is really best experienced table-side, although this short video gives you an idea of what you can expect. It’s not all style over substance though, because the combination of Monkey Shoulder whisky infused with ginger, fennel soda, honey, and lemon juice is a master class in mixology. I know I would rather be sitting here in the Stafford enjoying this cocktail, rather than up there floating in space!
Continuing with the idea of conquering unknown lands, my next cocktail was the Frontier, a homage to the vast space between New York and LA (really anywhere west of the Mississippi River!). Arriving on a bed of hay and tasting smoky and fragrant in equal measure, The Frontier somehow manages to evoke bbq, bison and Daniel Boone with its mix of Corte Vetusto Mezcal Espadin, Hendrick’s Gin infused with jalapeño pomegranate, and lime juice! Danny Boone wished he had a sip of this when heading through the Cumberland Gap!
I couldn’t quite leave the theme of those seeking new pastures, so I had to try the Ellis Island. As both the great–great-grandaughter of immigrants to the USA and a more-or-less recent (15 years!) immigrant to the UK, I had to end this post with what is the most spectacularly presented cocktail on the menu. Brought to the table in a hand-blown glass globe with a tiny ship floating in the center, the Ellis Island is filled with dark spirits swirling gently like the sea on a calm day. Then it is poured from the globe into your etched glass. The combination of the Bayou Select rum, Mozart liqueur, Ippocrate vermouth, peach and chocolate bitters makes it one of the best variations on a traditional Old Fashioned I have tasted.
There were thirteen more cocktails yet to try, just as there were 13 original states before all that trouble when American Revolution began! Don’t miss this menu at the American Bar – remember what Bono said, “America is not just a country, but an idea.”
American Bar at the Stafford Hotel, 16-18, St James’s Pl, St. James’s, London SW1A 1NJ