The best in autumn cocktails from super London restaurants
The clocks have gone back, leaves are falling, and the chill in the morning air is definite indication that the heady days of summer will soon be a distant memory. Yep, we’re in autumn – that transitional period between seasons, when we can’t quite start getting excited about Christmas (despite the nonsense of some stores that have started selling advent calendars -for shame!).
Still, it’s nice at this time of year to have something to perk us up. Well, enter the ‘seasonal menu’ – a selection of drinks that embrace change and mix things up a little. Starbucks do it with their gingerbread latte, so why can’t cocktail menus have a shuffle around when the cold snap begins? We’ve tracked down three places that are offering a bit of a twist on what you’ve come to expect of their normal selection.
This much-applauded Asian restaurant offers some of the best ramen in town, but also has an incredibly well thought out and delicious cocktail list. You can’t NOT try one of their mojitos – the perfect accompaniment to rich, salty broth, since they are so wonderfully fresh and clean. Their Yuzu Mojito is a fruity, flirty burst of a cocktail, combining the standard ingredients with the addition of strawberries and yuzu citrus umeshu, for a drink that has just the right amount of sweetness. We also highly recommend their Mojito Loves Japan, and the inventive and exciting concoctions such as their Wasabi Martini and the Umeboshi Smash.
And now to add to the exotic offerings, there’s a limited edition menu that makes the most of some of the best harvest of the season, as well as just providing the drink equivalent of a roaring fire on a nippy day. The Pumpkin Sour combines whisky, pumpkin puree and angostura bitters into a frothy and slightly spiced delight, while the Zen Dream is the perfect thing to sip pre-dinner, and uses homemade rosemary and cucumber infused sake, rose wine and soda. Plus we always adore a well made Amaretto Sour, and the limited edition one from Shoryu is no exception. Trust us, order one of these with a big bowl of steaming ramen and that’s your autumn evening sewn up!
Drake and Morgan:
Whether it’s the stylish chic of The Parlour, the whimsy of The Fable or the laid-back-sophistication of The Happenstance, then D&M establishments know how to deliver a mean cocktail. And as well as offering some winter-warming dishes on their new menu they have also shuffled about with the cocktail list. Die hard fans don’t worry – you can still get your mitts on the famous Skinny Hummingbird Cosmo (garnished, in true D&M attention to detail, with a tiny feather), and there’s the wide selection of classics and favourites, but now a whole new section has appeared to tease and tantalise our taste buds with flavours of the Fall.
One of the first that is sure to catch attention is the Autumn Ramble, a sharer for two of Gin & Sloe, muddled winter berries, a splash of cider and gingerbread syrup. This delicious drink conjures images of misty morning walks, the smell of bonfire on the air and a warm fireside to return to – it tastes as good as it sounds. Another temptingly named option is the All That Glitters, for those that want something a little sweeter with a pinch of spice – the combination of Ketel One vodka, cloudy apple & ginger and golden vanilla sugar, it will have you dreaming of blazing November sunsets. We were also entranced by the DIY Negroni and the divine Smoking Gun Julep that has been created by Pietro from The Happenstance. Crafted with Bulleit rye, spiced rum, lapsang souchong tea, fresh mint and a dash of angostura, and is a cocktail treat not to be missed. In fact, you might have to schedule quite a few visits into your winter diary, since there are ten seasonal cocktails that all deserve a try.
Steam and Rye
Summer has gone, and with it the amazing nostalgia of the lolly-pop concoctions at Steam and Rye (if you didn’t try one of their drinks with a retro Twister ice-cream sticking out of it then shame on you!) But fear not as those cocktail-creatives have got a whole new batch of loopy drinks to serve you, and they’re as imaginative, ingenious and tongue-in-cheek as the rest of the menu.
One that’s bound to father a few fans is the Juan Direction – a mix of Olmeca, lime, agave, grapefruit and peach zeo, which comes accompanied by a One Direction tattoo. Good lord. The #Selfie taps into the mindset of our generation (and perhaps our penchant for pics with cocktails) and is a tasty mix of Langleys Gin, violette bitters, lemon juice, bubblegum and egg white. Plus, we bet you’ve never had a garnish that is a Polaroid picture of whoever ordered the drink now, have you? Thought not.
And for something a little sweeter go for the She’s My Cherry Pie – one of the best dessert cocktails we’ve had in a long time, it’s Amaretto, cherry Marnier, diet coke and cherry ice cream and a Bakewell Tart popped on the side. As indulgent as a fluffy new cashmere sweater.
So, there are our tips for some of the best menus to try if you’re looking for somewhere to get a great meal and a superior cocktail, or if you simply want to stop by for the limited edition libations on offer. They almost makes the chilly mornings worth it.