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How to Start All Over Again With A Vengeance

Our journey continues with Mia Johansson of Bar Swift in London’s Soho. We return for our second chat after we left her behind the bar at her hugely popular pop-up at Callooh Callay.

Little did she know that she was about to receive the phone call that would change everything. Swift was still in its shell, about to be born, and, man, would it soar – Best New Bar at both Tales Of The Cocktail and Time Out London Bar Awards 2017. In 2018 it was named GQ Bar of Year and is currently ranked 46 World’s 50 Best Bars list. That is what I call, not only back but, back with a vengeance.

February 2019 saw the launch of Swift’s new menu, the biggest change since the bar opened two years before. Sara Stode, who was my guest last year, had been working with Mia and Bobby to create artwork for the four new sections of the drinks menu:

Bar Swift's new menu

‘Delicate’ features light flavoured ingredients such as cucumber and blossom flowers, alongside fresh linen and dragonflies, whilst in contrast ‘Bright’ not only depicts punchy flavours such as chilli and citrus fruit, but bold colours. ‘Stiff’ nods to boozier, stirred down drinks with cigar smoke and a dramatic landscape, whilst ‘Rich’ depicts the decadence of heavier style cocktails with chocolate, cherries and a lipstick kiss.

Mia explains, “Swift’s signature style has always been pared-back presentation, and this is something which will very much remain, however we wanted to create something which would guide guests on the style of drink they’re choosing in a very visual way. The images not only convey the flavour profile, but also the feeling and emotion that the cocktails evoke.”

There will also always be oysters on the menu!

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