Alongside discontent for slow walkers, love of afternoon tea and a finely tuned ability to glare at other commuters, it seems as if gin will always be part of London. And the next chapter in this never-ending story has just begun with the opening of Hotel Café Royal’s new bar, Green Bar Botanicals & Tonics.
Taking inspiration from the Café Royal Cocktail Book compiled in 1937, the new bar will celebrate London’s history of using botanicals in gin production and mixology with a new ‘Gin Journey’ menu created by their expert mixologists.
The menu will see unique takes on the classic gin and tonic, with a wide range of local gins used and garnishes from across the globe. For example, Dodd’s Gin handcrafted in Battersea will be combined with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic, fresh chillies and lemon peel. It’ll also feature six Tanqueray gins including some rate limited editions – expect to find the likes of Tanqueray Old Tom Gin, Tanqueray Bloomsbury and Tanqueray Malacca. Keeping with the blend of local and international inspirations will be the Kumquat Bubble, a signature cocktail of Tunes Bar in Café Royal’s sister hotel, The Conservatorium in Amsterdam.
Other drinks will include Portobello Road No.171 with Fever Tree Indian Tonic, blood orange and rosemary; Half Hitch with 1724 Tonic and cinnamon; Elephant Gin with Thomas Henry Indian Tonic, fresh ginger and lemon grass and Monkey 47 Sloe Gin with Fever Tree Indian Tonic and orange peel.
If gin isn’t your thing, you should perhaps question why you’re in a gin bar, but also gin won’t be the only thing they’re serving. Paying homage to their location and the bohemian intellects who frequented the Café Royal, the Green Bar Botanicals & Tonics will be serve an Absinthe Experience where guests can sample a selection of spirits and cocktails including La Fée, Jade and Pernod. There’ll also be Café Royal signature cocktails such as Mezcal Royal and the Royal Blazer.
To accompany will be a menu of small plates and light lunches with dishes such as tuna tartare cones, salt and pepper squid, Parma ham croquettes with aioli and Caviar aged with pink Himalayan salt, Cornish lobster club sandwiches, grilled sirloin steak, tuna niçoise salad and Dijon mustard baguette.
London’s affair with gin may have sometimes been toxic, but we’re back on track and long may this love affair continue!