Has there ever been a time when an expertly crafted cocktail has been more needed? There’s no better way to take the edge off a long, hard day. But while you may not be able to pay a visit to your favourite London bar right now, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring its spirit into your own home. Here, two of the head bartenders at the award-winning Connaught Bar share the recipes for their signature cocktails, guaranteed to smarten up your next digital cocktail hour.
Tucked away off the lobby of the renowned Connaught Hotel in Mayfair, the Connaught Bar has long been considered one of the finest bars, not just in London but globally – indeed, it currently holds the ranking of the second best bar in the world, behind Dante in New York City, as well as the ‘Best Bar in Europe’.
It’s not hard to see why. Sophisticated and understated, with gleaming marble floors, wood-panelled walls and soft lighting, it draws a refined crowd who admire the sophisticated approach to quality cocktail making. Their most popular drink? The signature Martini, made with their own Connaught Bar Gin, originally created to mark the bar’s 10th anniversary. While in the bar it is made and served from a sleek black lacquer trolley, poured into engraved crystal glasses, its simple ingredients make it easy to recreate at home.
The bar’s Director of Mixology, Agostino Perrone, and Head Mixologist, Giorgio Bargiani, have shared their top tips for knocking up your own version of the beloved classic, as well as two other (relatively) straightforward cocktails.
70ml gin or vodka
15ml dry vermouth
3 dash of bitters* (We use Connaught lavender, cardamom, ginger, bergamot or tonka signature aromatic bitters – to recreate an aromatic bitter at home, infuse an amaro liqueur or high proof spirit with your preferred spice or herb and leave it to infuse for 48 hours)
One of the world’s most iconic cocktails, the Martini is a staple serve at the Connaught Bar thanks to the personalised touch added to its making and the unique service delivering it.
Add the dash of bitters to your frozen Martini glass. Stir vodka/gin and vermouth in a mixing tin or glass with ice chunks and serve straight up in your Martini glass. Garnish with olive or lemon.
Mex Mix London
30ml tequila blanco (Tapatio, Patrón, Fortaleza)
10ml fresh lime juice
30ml fresh pink grapefruit juice
100ml top of Triple Ginger Fix8 Kombucha
1 pinch of salt into the glass
This cocktail is inspired by an iconic drink, the Cantarito, traditionally mixed for family gatherings in Mexico and usually served in a ceramic cup.
Pour all the ingredients into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with citrus wedges.
200 ml gin (Connaught Bar Gin, Sipsmith, Tanqueray No. Ten)
200 ml Galliano L’Aperitivo or Martini Bitter
200 ml Martini Ambrato
50ml ml Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto
The Cardinale is a classic cocktail, a dryer and lighter version of the Negroni. We add citrus aromas to enhance it with a summery note and give it a Mediterranean touch.
Pour all the ingredients into an empty bottle, peel a whole lemon and add the peel to the bottled cocktail. Store in the fridge to infuse for a day. Before serving, shake the bottle and pour the drink directly into a rocks glass filled with cubed ice.