My favourite landmark in London – The Shard, is often (mostly) a spot I choose for a tipple or two and so when an invitation arrived in my inbox to try the new cocktails at Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard’s Gōng Bar, the highest hotel bar in Western Europe, I was intrigued and both excited in equal measures, as their cocktail selection is always over and above a normal cocktail menu offering – with lots of creativity!
I was absolutely right as the new cocktail menu, which is called ‘A Miscellany of Inventions’ is just phenomenal and acknowledges the various impactful innovations that have influenced society and transformed the world that we live in today.
A Miscellany of Inventions Cocktail menu is divided into five categories; floral and delicate, fruity and citrusy, bitter and sweet, punchy and long finish and non-alcoholic, so that there is something to suit everyone from the 12 wonderful cocktails and 3 mocktails to choose from.
I kicked off the evening with a Director’s Cut which celebrates the birth of the motion picture. Who doesn’t love a good movie night? Inspired by the snack that we love most when at the cinema, the cocktail is served with the cutest bucket of buttered popcorn. The cocktail itself is a blend of Don Julio Blanco, elderflower and lime. Paired with a view from the 52nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel, it was absolutely dreamy!
The cocktail menu itself is just so original and unique as it explains each invention that inspired the idea of each cocktail. For the Directors Cut cocktail, inspiration was derived from the Lumière brothers, who invented the first commercially viable projector in France back in 1895 – which gave birth to the cinema we know today.
The next cocktail that I tried, Cooperman, honours the invention of the barrel and I love the presentation of this cocktail, which is a blend of Nikka single-barrel Whisky, Ginjo sake infused Mastiha with melon and citrus for some fruity notes.
On reading more about the inspiration behind the barrel, the menu educates that the wooden barrel was first used by the Celts for hauling liquids and bulky goods. It’s now commonly used for ageing and flavouring wines and spirits, such as whiskies and rum. Adventurers also travel in barrels as they plummet 188 feet over Niagara Falls!
Look no Hands celebrates the invention of the bicycle, which I absolutely adore as it is served complete with a tiny bamboo bicycle. It is all these extra touches that makes enjoying a cocktail at The Shangri-La so special and memorable! The drink combines Copper Dog Whisky, triple sec, an IPA reduction and Fernet-Branca and is delicious!
Whisky Sour lovers will love ‘Scan me,’ a blend of Michter’s Bourbon, Manzanilla, Pomegranate Molasses, Maple and Egg White. Inspired by the barcode, something that we encounter on almost a daily basis when shopping, the barcode itself was invented by Norman J. Woodland and Bernard Silver in the US in 1952. It was based on Morse code that transpired to thin and thick bars. The barcode we know today was first printed on a pack of chewing gum in 1974!
Those were the cocktails I tried on the evening and I will definitely be back to try the others, especially ‘Over the rainbow’ which looks amazing and served with a mini hot air balloon, and Ctrl+Alt+Del, as the invention of the computer is the reason why I can work freelance today!
Head bartender Christian Maspes and his team created this epic menu and he said:
The cocktails bring to life inventions that have been real breakthroughs. It is hard to imagine the world we know today without screwdrivers and computers, and movies and guitars. Creating a new invention is like taking a leap of faith and being open to the possibilities and the same goes for the creation of a new cocktail. We really enjoyed bringing our ideas to life and we look forward to entertaining our guests with our unique creations.
If you are looking for a fabulous bar to enjoy some spectacular cocktails whilst soaking up the stunning view of London with fantastic service, head to Gōng Bar on Level 52, Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard – it is one of my favourite cocktail bars!
It is also the perfect place to go on a date as the cocktail menu is definitely the perfect conversation starter and ice breaker too!
If you go, let me know which of the ‘inventions’ was your favourite!
For more information visit: www.the-shard.com/restaurants/gong/
For more information on the cocktails visit http://www.gong-shangri-la.com/bar/cocktails/