Tsukiji Sushi Mayfair
Top quality sushi is a rare treat and it was a pleasure to watch the chef plying his trade. Whether you’re a Mayfair regular or are looking for a special treat Tsukiji Sushi is worth a visit. It’s the opposite to the louder Nikkei-style places with the emphasis being on simplicity and quality. I just need to find someone to treat me to the Kyodosakusei menu now…
COYA Angel Court City
31-33 Throgmorton Street London EC2N 2AT
Tel: +44 (0) 203 9070 000
I reviewed the original COYA at the Hyde Park end of Piccadilly a couple of years ago not long after it opened. I loved its sophisticated take on Peruvian cuisine so I was intrigued to be invited to review the newly launched day-to-night Pisco Lounge and restaurant at COYA Angel Court in Bank.The restaurant is just a stone’s throw from Bank station and our first stop on arrival was the COYA’S Pisco Lounge. As you might expect it features a comprehensive Pisco library, over 40 tequilas and an extensive rum list. Sadly they wouldn’t let me move in.We went for that South American classic, The Pisco Sour (£12) made with Pisco Quebranta, fresh lime juice, sugar syrup and egg white. It’s a frothy citric drink with a hint of bite and one of my favourite summer cocktails. If I’m feeling brave next time I’ll hit the Chilli Margarita and throw some shapes to the sound of the DJ…In the restaurant you are surrounded by vibrant Incan colours and bespoke Latin American furniture which give what is quite a large space a sense of sense of character and intimacy. There is a private dining room and plenty of action coming from the Ceviche counter and the open charcoal grill.Whilst we were clocking the menu our waiter turned up bearing a pestle and mortar, 1 1/2 avocados, some red onion and chilli and a handful of sea salt. Be still my beating heart…I could hardly contain my excitement as he created the perfect Guacamole tableside. It was so fresh with the perfect balance of heat offsetting the vegetal smoothness of the avocado. With corn tortillas and prawn crackers on the side we were off to a great start.Ordering from the Ceviche menu we ordered the Langosta (£19). A succulent half lobster portion perched atop a delicate pool of gazpacho with a bit of kick provided by the tasty aji limo chilli. Our French sommelier suggested matching the dish with a light and creamy Urakasumi Honjozo Sake which was a brilliant and unexpected choice.Soft shell crab Tacos- Cangrejo de concha blanda (£12) – were impeccable with the delicate flavour of the crab enhanced and not overwhelmed by the tang of yuzu, a slick of aioli and the slight addition of chilli heat.From the Para Picar menu (small sharing plates) Fiona chose the Cerdo Bao (£6.50). Slow-cooked deliciously flakey pulled pork with chipotle and a ‘criolla’ (creole) salsa served in a spiced mayo Bao-style bun with fresh coriander. Langostino Tigre (£29) was a huge Josper-grilled (charcoal) Tiger Prawn. Taken out of the shell it was mixed with a chilli salsa creating a wonderfully rich tasting dish accompanied by a crisp, peachy Uruguayan Albariño from Bodegas Garzon.Arroz Nikkei (£36) was a standout dish for me. Chilean sea bass was served with rice, lime, chilli and a corn purée. The fish had a caramel sweetness almost like a black cod and blended with the starchy rice and corn it created a fabulous dish. With it we drank an Argentinian Susana Balbo Signature Rosé, a blend of Malbec and Pinot Noir, which had a wonderful strawberry aroma whilst maintaining a sense of minerality.Sides included Esparragos Peruanos (£7) – grilled Peruvian asparagus served with a tomato dressing, and Choy sum Chifa (£6) – stir-fried Choy sum, soya with sesame seeds both showing a real attention to detail and flavour.Mousse de Coco (£9) was a delicious dessert of a fluffy coconut mousse, Jivara chocolate and pineapple sorbet. A wonderful Urakasumi Umeshu plum sake had an intense almond nose but was not as sweet as a plum wine. Caramelo con Chocolate y Sorbete de Frambuesa (£9) was a dark and mysterious salted caramel ganache given a bit of vava voom by a pisco and raspberry sorbet. We sank a lovely glass of plummy Luccardi Malammado , a fortified port-like Malbec from Argentina to go with it.A glass of Ruinart rosé champagne was the perfect end to a meal that combined traditional Peruvian cooking with Japanese, Chinese and Spanish cuisines. There was a real vibrancy and sense of consistency to the food at COYA Angel Court. It really feels that is the Nikkei/Peruvian food axis where the action is at the moment in gastronomy and if you are looking for something deliciously different then you should try out COYA.
Peyotito Notting Hill
31 Kensington Park Road, W112EU
www.peyotitorestaurant.com/020 7043 1400
Notting Hill is fast turning into a dining destination with new openings coming thick and fast. Next into the frame comes Peyotito offering a tapas style take on modern Mexican cooking.I’m excited to have been invited to review as the menu has been shaped by Executive Chef Eduardo Garcia, the chef of Maximo Bistrot, one of Latin America’s top 50 restaurants. The restaurant majors in tequila and mezcal cocktails which is always a good thing in my book – we opened the show with a couple of Peyotito Margaritas (£11). It’s really a classic Margarita with a twist featuring Tajin lime, chilli and salt spicing around the rim to give the drink a real kick. Even more ennervating was the shot of smokey mezcal perched in a little bottle on top of the ice that gave a real depth of flavour to the drink experience.To soak up the alcohol we ordered some blue corn tortillas with a fiery trio of salsas (£4.50). I named them hot, hotter and bloody hot!…The first was a looser take on a guacamole blending avocado, lemon, lime, chilli and coriander, salsa tatemada was a poky take on roasted veg and the salsa negra kicked my gringo ass way out of the ballpark with its Habanero chile. We cooled things down with a Jitomate salad – tasty juicy Heirloom tomato, cured Nopales cactus, spring onion, salad leaves and Hass avocado (£7.50) – which was full of taste, with a zingy dressing and lots of textural interest.From the Crudo (raw) section of the menu we tried the Laminado de Hamachi (£12.50) – raw yellowtail, ginger vinaigrette, huitlacoche corn mushroom and Serrano chile. The rather poetically named huitlacoche corn mushroom added a wonderful earthy taste to the delicacy of the fish. It’s other more prosaic name is corn smut as it is a plant disease that grows on maize but with a great flavour!As I’m trying to drink less I ordered a sweet and spicy Chile and Passion Fruit Margarita (£11) that hit the sweet spot and several other spots simultaneously.Ceviche – raw fish ‘cooked’ in a citrus marinade – is a Mexican staple as well as featuring in Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines. Verde Vuelve a la Vida (£11) featured market seafood; prawn, octopus, scallop, celery with green apple and pumpkin seeds for a fresh and not too citric-tasting take on the South American classic.Also from the Ceviche menu came Pulpo a la Mexicana (£10) octopus, salsa mexicana and homemade clamato (spicy tomato sauce mixed with clam juice). Keeping octopus tender is an art form that the Peyote kitchen has clearly mastered and the sauce added piquancy to the rich flavour of the the celaphod.From the hot dishes area of the menu we ordered Cochinata Pibil (£8.50), a wonderfully smokey, salty dish of tender braised pork, axiote seeds, black bean purée and habanero sauce. Farmed sea bream is a feature on most restaurant menus because of its price, flavour and availability. In Peyotito’s Pescado con Mole Verde (£11) the perfectly grilled fish had been marinated in a homemade adobo – a sauce of paprika, oregano, salt, garlic, and vinegar – which really pimped up the flavour with a green sauce (Mole Verde) on the side adding a vegetal counterbalance to the fish. Simple food brilliantly delivered.Fiona insisted on ordering Churros con Chocolate (£5.50) – a deliciously light deep-fried pastry baton dusted with cinnamon sugar with a rich chocolate sauce for dipping. As a true gentleman I helped her finish them…With good-looking but friendly staff, an on-trend interior and fab food at a reasonable price point Peyotito ticks all my boxes. A neon sign declares ‘Tequila is to wake the living, Mezcal is to wake the dead’ and with late-night DJs for non-stop party people this is a place that buzzes well into the night. They are running a Casamigos Tequila masterclass and tasting every Tuesday evening (4th, 11th, 18th and 25th July) throughout July and from July 1st (my birthday – make a note) are opening in Ibiza.If you want to explore beyond Tex-Mex or the too often disappointing Wahaca it’s well worth a visit.
Thai Square – Putney Bridge
2-4 Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1LB
Back in the dark days of the late 1990s suburban Putney was home to Putney Bridge, a Michelin starred French restaurant catering to West London yuppies like me in a prize-winning new build. Chef Anthony Demetre went on to open Arbutus, the restaurant that kickstarted the Soho dining revival.Fast-forward to 2011 and the same Putney site became a member of the Thai Square group of restaurants. I’ve been invited to the launch of a new Executive Menu created by recently appointed executive chef Parichat Sanguthai (or Oula as she is known to her friends). Oula was formerly executive chef of the Blue Elephant in Fulham and is known for her skills in blending western and eastern culinary influences to create twists on classic dishes.The restaurant’s exterior is designed to resemble a ship with vaulted steel beams and lots of glass which creates fantastic views across the River Thames from almost every angle. The interiors combine a modernist aesthetic with antique Thai artefacts, including eight Buddha statues who keep a watchful eye on proceedings. For summer eating and drinking the 40-cover riverside terrace offers the perfect spot for al fresco dining.But enough of the PR fluff…What about the cocktails? A refreshing Siam Tra-Kai (£7.50) was a blend of lemongrass, raspberry purée and cranberry juice and the Thai Square full moon (£11) was a sweet and tropical blend of Thai rum, Passai, pineapple and passion fruit juices and fresh passion fruit.A couple of snacks were a foretaste of the meal to come. Compressed watermelon was covered with crisp deep-fried shallots and flavoured with nam pla (fish sauce) and sugar creating a wonderful layering of flavours combining pungency, crunch and freshness.The delicate sweetness of pomelo was counterpointed with the unfamiliar but delicious flavour of caramelised coconut blended with ginger and chilli for a bit of bite.We moved on to drinking a crisp, lemony Chilean Emiliana Riesling that stood up well to the herbs and spices in the food. Next up we sampled a selection of starters.The centrepiece of a wonderful Seafood Platter was a whole lobster salad infused with chilli and lemongrass. The fragrance of the spicing brought out the delicate lobster flavour perfectly. Luxurious grilled scallops were drenched in butter, garlic and chilli; prawns and chicken dim sum were light and fluffy.Grilled wild tiger prawns came with a sweet basil parfait, rocket salad and radish. I could have eaten twenty of these but I’m greedy…A spicy and fresh tasting duck salad was made up of chargrilled slices of duck breast served with Longan fruit.Baked aubergine with quail egg, sweet pepper, minced chicken breast and prawn, spicy lime dressing and truffle oil was a plate of rich, squishy deliciousness.There was a wide selection of main dishes so we all chose one and tasted some others. A tangy yellow curry had the unmistakable sweet sour flavour of tamarind; the meat from the lamb shank tangy falling off the bone with the inevitability 0f me falling off the wagon.Grilled black cod came wrapped in banana leaf and was sweetened with miso and a chilli jam. It was a good size portion, the flesh was firm but simultaneously melted on your tongue. It tasted fab.Noodles with black truffles and crispy fried prawns with cherry tomatoes, red chilli, garlic, sweet basil and soy had sweet and sour flavours and lots of crunch. The truffles were a little underpowered however.Stir-fried morning glory is a staple in South East Asia, it’s one of my favourite vegetables and always a treat.I always think that having three desserts is a good starting point. A delicate lychee mousse was topped by a wonderfully wobbly jelly, the ginger creme brulée was a perfectly constructed Asian take on the French Brasserie favourite and the coconut flan gave a tropical flavour to the Spanish classic.I didn’t get the meal I expected at Thai Square. Chef Oula is creating a new cuisine blending Thai flavours with western ingredients and techniques to create an expertly delivered original fusion that I haven’t experienced in the UK. There are plenty of Thai classics still on offer but this new Executive Menu is really worth investigating.
Brand Exchange, 3 Birchin Lane, London EC3V 9BW
I was invited to celebrate Italian Republic Day, a day close to my heart, at Brand Exchange – a business members club close to Bank station – and to enjoy a delicious Italian menu featuring Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O., ‘The King of Cheeses’.I was pretty excited as the dishes were being created by Eleonora Galasso, a charming and beautiful Italian food writer, author of “As The Romans Do” and star of Saturday Kitchen, Jamie Oliver and Paul Hollywood’s new series. Eleonora styles herself as a food interpreter and had come to shares her wealth of knowledge on authentic Italian cuisine. Her dishes were based on ‘Aperitivo’ time – that wonderful moment at about 6pm that has spread out from Milan across Italy when you pop into a bar to sample a drink and some little nibbles. Most Italians don’t eat dinner until 9pm and now some don’t even make it that far filling up on delicious Aperitivi! In case you didn’t know there are only 337 producers of Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. who each create about 25 cheeses a day from raw milk with the only additives being salt and rennet. Armed with the info we set about tasting two differently aged Parmesans. The 18 month cheese has a light colour, some crunch from crystals formed by the amino acid calcium lactate and a savoury ‘umami’ flavour. It’s great for snacking on with a glass of Prosecco, cocktails or sherry. The 30 month was less moist with a more compact texture, a greater intensity and a higher density of calcium crystals. It’s an elegant cheese with notes of walnuts and dried fruit and would be a great match with port.Our starters for 10 were some Parmigiano Reggiano Courgette fritters – rough cut courgette with mint and coriander fried in a beer batter. They were light and fragrant with the cheese adding a welcome saltiness to the batter.Aubergine rolls were stuffed with Parmigiano Reggiano, ricotta and hazelnuts and had a sexy blob of pesto on top. This dish was a huge hit with the assembled journos and bloggers and would make an easy addition to any selection of canapés.Savoury profiteroles with Parmigiano Reggiano and chicory cream were the perfect light bite – just what you want with a drink or seven. And then the main event. Spaghetti with lemon, pepper, Guanciale (pork cheeks), olives, toasted pine nuts and of course Parmigiano Reggiano P.D.O. What did we learn from Eleonora? Firstly that tossing a bowl of spaghetti in a chintzy 50s outfit is a great look. Secondly that you should undercook the pasta by about 3 minutes. Finally that by using some of the starchy pasta water for the spag tossing you give the sauce a rich creaminess that you wouldn’t achieve otherwise.You can see from the close-up that Eleonora didn’t stint on ingredients (especially the Parmiggiano) creating one of the most delicious plates of pasta I’ve tasted.As a surprise ‘dessert’ we had Cantucci biscuits with olives, Parmigiano Reggiano, pine nuts and fennel seeds. This would make a perfect savoury snack but I did crave something sweet at the end of the meal.
So what are you waiting for? Hop down to Cath Kidston and get your chintz on, buy a hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano (OK you can call it Parmesan…) and get cooking!
Galvin Bistrot de Luxe Marylebone
I’ve always regarded Galvin Bistrot de Luxe as the spiritual home of Chris and Jeff Galvin’s restaurant group. It’s a take on the classic French Bistrot both in terms of the menu and the restaurant’s interior with an emphasis on the ‘Luxe’ in relation to the food offer.The brothers have recently taken over the restaurant at the smartly refurbished The Athanaeum Hotel (see my review) and also just opened is Galvin HOP, their pub in Spitalfields. So I’m pleased to have been invited to review the beating heart of their burgeoning gastro empire to see how it’s faring. The room is classical Bistrot style; dark wood and cream with comfy bentwood chairs and Art Deco touches. Fiona and I scan the menu which speaks of largesse and good sourcing whilst sipping on a citrussy glass of NV Galvin Grande Reserve Brut (£12.50)…and some deliciously light cheese Gougères. I should also mention the bread and butter; the bread had a wonderful texture and a light malted flavour and the crust was crisp and intense. The butter had that rich freshly made taste and wasn’t overly salted.My Lasagna of Dorset crab, Nantais butter sauce (£13.50 ) was a silky, eggy (in a good way) pasta with its fluffy crab and scallop interior doused in a soothing citrusy chive and butter sauce. It’s a cardiologist’s nightmare but who cares when it’s this good. The dish is a Galvin classic and I order this plate of wobbly deliciousness whenever I can.I moved on to a glass of 2014 Galvin Chardonnay, Vincent Girardin (£7.50). It was buttery and full bodied which could probably be a description of the whole meal! The Chardonnay was a great match with my poached Atlantic cod, orange braised endive, juniper and rock samphire (£24.50). The fish was firm textured and the bitterness of the chicory was sweetened by the orange.Fiona’s 2015 Galvin Rasteau, Domaine la Soumade Rhone (£7.50) was bursting with blackberry flavours and was perfect for her beautifully plated tender honey-glazed Magret duck breast, beetroot, the highly prized Grelot onion and pomegranate (£25). The mains were both classic dishes but served with an original twist. Waxy Ratte potatoes were slathered with the iodine burst of a seaweed butter and ranks of green beans were crisp and …buttery! (£4 each).Apple Tarte Tatin and Normandy crème fraiche (£8) was a sultry take on Les Soeurs Tatin’s classic dessert; thick slabs of caramelised apple sitting on a flaky pastry base.I really like Galvin Bistrot de Luxe. It is an eminently civilised space that delivers on all levels but with a twinkle in its eye. The restaurant offers an amazing value Prix fixe with 3 courses for £15.50 at lunch and £19.50 for dinner so de Luxe dining is for once accessible to all. Galvin Bistrot de Luxe is a place for grown up fun and we all need a bit of that every so often.
29 Ransomes Dock, 35-37 Parkgate Road, Battersea, SW11 4NP
https://www.nutbourne-restaurant.com/020 7350 0555
The Gladwin brothers (henceforth to be referred to as the GeeBees your honour) are doing something more profound than just creating a great neighbourhood restaurant with a lively atmosphere and friendly service. They are creating an ecosystem for a British rustic cuisine based on cleverly sourced produce, local wines and big bold flavours. We should support them.
71 Central St. , EC1V 8AB
0203 481 5300/Palatino.london
Stevie Parle is the enfant terrible of the London restaurant scene. Still in his early 30s he has just opened Palatino, his fifth London restaurant with Rotorino, Dock Kitchen, Craft London and Sardine completing the band. Trained at The River Café, Moro and Petersham Nurseries Stevie covers a variety of styles; from global explorations at Dock Kitchen to Craft’s Britishness and now a focus on Roman food at Palatino, named after the eternal city’s Palatine Hill. Can he keep the standard up with five places? And with Isaac McHale’s new Italian joint Luca in the locality is Clerkenwell, traditionally an Italian neighbourhood, big enough for the two of them? Palatino sits on the ground floor of Fora, an office concept that combines the services you get in a hotel or private members’ club within a work space. The restaurant itself is an open airy space with a metropolitan European urban feel. It features a pasta machine, a wood burning grill and a stone oven for grills and pizza.It’s rude not to start with an aperitivo. Mine was a Cynar spritz (£6) made with the classic artichoke based amari with its trademark bittersweet flavour. Fiona’s Sgroppino with Lemon sorbet, prosecco and vodka (£10) was more frivolous, like a fizzy limoncello. Good antipasti are one of the greatest pleasures in life. Salt cod crudo came with sultry segments of blood orange and my favourite Cappezana olive oil (£8). The dish was beautifully gentle with the richness of the oil caressing the tongue and coalescing the citrus and maritime flavours into a serenely synchronised flotilla of pleasure. I was disappointed that carciofi alla Giudia (Jewish deep-fried artichokes- a Roman staple) wasn’t on the menu; but fried sage and honey vinegar (£3) were slivers of herby crispness given a sweet kiss by the vinegar. Puntarelle, crunchy slivers of greenery, were given a piquant edge by anchovies and vinegar (£5).After antipasti it’s time for primi and that means pasta. Maltagliati (£6.50) are made from offcuts (maltagliati means poorly cut) from other pasta shapes. These were silky but with a real bite, and slathered with wild garlic – I could have eaten a bucket load. By now we had moved onto a bottle of Nebbiolo, Langhe, G.D Vajra, Piedmont, 2015 (£52). It had a lovely balance of tannins and cherry flavours. Bream came with onions, pine nuts, raisins and vinegar (£17.50) – the fish was rich and sweet with a hint of sourness from the vinegar and in a clever touch strips of radicchio to add a hint of bitterness.Fiona’s Saltimbocca; veal, prosciutto, spinach, sage and Marsala (£14) came in a rich meaty jus with the veal being tender and full of flavour. Fried potato gnocchi, Parmesan and garlic (£4) could have spent a couple more minutes in the pan as they were slightly doughy. I want them crisp! Swiss chard (£4) felt healthy and fennel, castelfranco (this year’s trendy Italian bitter leaf – stock up…), pomegranate and lemon salad was heavy on the castelfranco but not in a bad way.
“And the award goes to….”
Cocktails and the movies have been co-stars for 100 years.
Hollywood has always loved a cocktail. Bars are often used as critical plot points (“Here’s looking at you kid”), and the drinks sometimes become the stars of the screen themselves – who can think of The Big Lebowski without smacking their lips at the thought of a White Russian?
The days of grimy soulless multiplexes are numbered. Luxury cinemas, with sofa seating, table service and fully stocked bars are popping up across the country, restoring some long-lost Hollywood glamour to a night at the flicks. Where you once gorged on Maltesers while being kicked in the back, you now find yourself eating a bowl of calamari, appreciating the directors’ lighting and sipping on a cocktail.
Going to the cinema is escapism, a permission slip to take time out. A well-made drink is a romantic ritual that also closes the door on the humdrum. Both are visual treats and sensual experiences. That’s the magic of film and the magic of a good cocktail.
Here are seven silver-screen classic cocktail recommendations for sipping at the movies.
- Old Fashioned
The oldest documented cocktail with its Rat Pack allure is perfect for big screen viewing. Just the right amount of sweetness with a good strong kick, which if made with a high quality block of ice, won’t dilute, warm up or lose consistency as fast as other drinks, especially if a high ABV bourbon like Wild Turkey 101 is used. Also, the liquid levels mean you won’t be nipping off for a comfort break at the crucial moment!
50ml Wild Turkey 101
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3-4 dashes Angostura Bitters
Place the sugar and Angostura bitters in a mixing glass and muddle with a little whisky. Add ice and stir, slowly adding the Bourbon over a 2-3 minute period. Strain the cocktail into a rocks glass containing a snuggly fitting block of ice. Pare an orange peel and express the oils from the back of the peel over the drink. Rub the peel around the rim of the glass and drop the peel into the glass.
ICONIC HOLLYWOOD MOMENT: Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love
Named after the most featured skyline in film, the classy Manhattan has been around since the 1860s and has survived mobsters, recessions and prohibition. The first drink to make use of vermouth as a blend, the Manhattan inaugurated an avalanche of American cocktails and symbolises the American dream. It packs a lot of flavours to keep you entertained if the film doesn’t. You can drink it in an old-fashioned or martini glass, or perhaps in a hot water bottle, as Marilyn did in Some Like It Hot. And the cherry is tasty to nibble on when the calamari runs out.
50 ml Wild Turkey 101
25 ml sweet vermouth
3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
Stir the ingredients in a mixing glass with plenty of ice for 45 seconds, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
ICONIC HOLLYWOOD MOMENT: Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot
- Pina Colada
A bit of a guilty pleasure this one. The Pina Colada was invented in a luxury hotel bar in Puerto Rico for wealthy tourists in the 1950s, but somehow along the way it’s been made to carry parasols, cherries, half a pineapple garnish… But made with a quality Jamaican coconut rum like Koko Kanu, its smooth sweetness is a holiday in a glass with a comforting texture to replace the film-watching ice cream. It’s time to restore its faded glamour. After all, Hollywood legend Joan Crawford apparently claimed the Caribe Hilton’s creation was “better than slapping Bette Davis in the face”. Just leave out the cherries and the umbrellas.
50 ml KOKO KANU
25 ml Pineapple juice
20 ml single cream
4 chunks of pineapple
5 ml lime juice
Blend all ingredients in a mixer and serve in a Pina Colada glass. Garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and two pineapple leaves.
ICONIC HOLLYWOOD MOMENT: Rupert Holmes’ The Pina Colada Song has been featured in multiple films such as Mars Attacks 1996, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 2013, Shrek 2001 and many others.
The Negroni was created in Florence in 1919 when an Italian nobleman, Count Camillo, asked for a slug of gin in his Americano. It has had many screen moments. Orson Welles famously said about the Negroni: “The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.” Federico Fellini, the Italian movie director produced a commercial for Campari, called Oh, che bel paesaggio! (“Oh, what a beautiful landscape!”) Bitter, but with huge flavours, some people will never learn to like it. But for those who like their palate stimulated as well as their eyes, this drink will offer many rewards.
25 ml Campari
25 ml Cinzano 1757
25 ml gin
Fill a short rocks glass with ice, then layer up the three ingredients (adding the gin first to enjoy the colour change as the darker spirits are added). Garnish with an Orange zest.
HOLLYWOOD CLAIM TO FAME: Vivien Leigh supped them on the veranda in her 1961 hit The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone, which also starred a young Warren Beatty. Expect to see it in more films soon as its popularity continues to rise.
- Tom Collins
The Tom Collins is the most classic of gin cocktails, (so classic there’s a glass named after it) and an American favourite. The king of cooling drinks, it will refresh you through the steamiest of scenes and keep you looking interested in the dreariest. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, sour and strong when made to the right recipe. Ensure glass is well topped with ice to keep dilution to a minimum.
50 ml Bulldog Gin
25 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
12.5 ml sugar syrup
Add the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup to a Collins glass full of ice and top up with soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a maraschino cherry. Add more ice if there’s room.
ICONIC HOLLYWOOD MOMENT: Drunk by Robert de Niro in Meet the Parents, 2000 and Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch, 1955
- French 75 Cocktail
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns, in all the world…” Casablanca is set around a lot champagne cocktails; the French 75 ordered by Ingrid Bergman by far the coolest.
With three parts gin and one part sugar, this drink is bitter sweet (like the film’s ending) and will hold your hand through an epic drama. Named after the French M1897 75mm artillery gun by British soldiers who created the drink from the only ingredients they had – London gin and local champagne – it can weather the storm.
37.5 ml Bulldog Gin
12.5 ml lemon juice
6 ml sugar syrup
Shake the first three ingredients with ice. Pour into a champagne saucer and top up slowly with champagne. Garnish with a lemon zest twist.
HOLLYWOOD CLAIM TO FAME: Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, 1942
- Vesper Martini
Probably the best known movie cocktail, the Vesper Martini was dreamt up by Ian Fleming at Duke’s Bar in St James and made famous in his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. In chapter seven, Bond directs a casino barman through his specific recipe and he later names his invention after the beautiful double agent, Vesper Lynd. It is, famously, ‘shaken, not stirred’, which aerates the drink, making it ice-cold and longer lasting for a blockbuster. It is quick and easy to make if parking was tricky and you find yourself at the back of the queue.
60ml Bulldog Gin
10ml Lillet Blanc
Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a lemon zest twist.
HOLLYWOOD MOMENT: Eva Green in Casino Royale, 2006