We have launched a new cocktail menu consisting of twenty six drinks; the new list follows Hawksmoor’s second win for Best International Restaurant Bar at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans earlier this year.
Hawksmoor’s cocktail ethos is the result of six months of travel, tastings and tinkerings by world-class teams of bartenders led by Liam Davy (Hawksmoor Head of Bars) and legendary cocktailian Nick Strangeway who created their original list back in 2006. On their travels, they came across a word coined in Renaissance Italy that seemed to sum up their approach: sprezzatura – a certain nonchalance, so as to conceal all artistry and make whatever one does seem uncontrived and effortless. The result is a set of deceptively simple-seeming drinks that belie the hours of painstaking research and technique that has gone into them. There is a complete change in aesthetics of the menu, glassware and garnishes and a commitment to sustainability: the new menu cuts the use of imported fruit by 60%, minimising waste and focusing on UK and local suppliers as much as possible. Additionally, overall ABV is lower and there is also a bigger selection of non-alcoholic drinks.
The new list is divided into five sections. Highballs, Fizzes and Spritz features drinks like Ginza Highball, a carbonated in-house whisky highball that includes a splash of Empirical Spirits’ koji and kombucha-laced Fallen Pony, English verjus and lemon verbena. The next section, Cocktails & Dreams revives and refines unfashionable faded stars such as the Pink Squirrel, where Fords gin is ‘washed’ with a delicious, 40%-cocoa white chocolate from Original Beans, mixed with passionfruit and Campari and sprinkled with Campari dust. Another highlight, the Reformed Pornstar (Absolut Elyx, passionfruit, jasmine tea, Champagne) sees the Pornstar Martini, that pinnacle of sweet, silly London excess meet a vey old fashioned clarified milk punch – the result is an elegant and sophisticated drink that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The Hawksmoor Classics section showcases favourites from past years reworked and brought up to date. The Full-Fat Old Fashioned becomes the Fuller-Fat Old Fashioned, which still requires a painstaking process of infusing butter into bourbon in a water bath, but now has the added luxury of beurre noisette and a hint of the cigar box courtesy of sandalwood and cedar oil. Another favourite, Tom & Jerez No. 2 takes the flavours of the original (gin, almond, pear, sherry) and, using almond blossom-infused amontillado and pear eaux-de-vie, reimagines them as an elegant, clear, bone-dry aperitif. The only drinks that return to the list intact are the Shaky Pete’s Ginger Brew and its temperate cousin Steady Pete’s Ginger Brew.
The Flyby Five section in the new menu highlights the places that have inspired the team with drinks like Douglas Fir Silver Bullet (Hepple Vodka, Douglas Fir, Kummel, dill), a bracing aperitif made with vodka from Northumberland moors infused with Douglas Fir needles and freshened with dill. Finally, the Temperates section includes Mother Mule, a booze-free take on a Moscow Mule made with Mother Root, a delicious ginger drinking vinegar made in South London.
“We’ve travelled from Scotland to Copenhagen, Stockholm to Haggerston, constantly looking for inspiration. I think what we’ve achieved is the most delicious drinks list I’ve come across, and we’ve aimed to make it more creative, more sustainable and more technical, but most importantly, because it’s Hawksmoor, it’s really fun and I hope our customers will love it!”
Liam Davy, Head of Bars.