Though it feels like it’ll never end, winter is finally, nearly, over.
It’s the first day of spring on 20 March and legendary Mayfair club Annabel’s has just the cocktail to warm your cockles. The nightclub – supposedly the only one the Queen has ever frequented – has reinvented itself as a day-to-night private members club, drafting in general manager of bars Frankie Santos to spice up the drinks offering.
Following a glittering career at the Chiltern Firehouse and The Ritz, where he was the youngest bar manager in the hotel’s history, Lady Garden is the signature cocktail to be enjoyed in Annabel’s garden room. Are cheekily named creations more popular with customers? “Most definitely, yes,” he says. “When you have a name that means something else, a double-entendre, it adds a bit of fun and becomes a topic of conversation.”
Despite using a heady mixture of gin, martini, vermouth and dry sherry, it’s a surprisingly delicate cocktail. “Micro herbs and floral notes are the key in this cocktail, representing everything that is in a garden.”
And it isn’t just scrumptious, it’s sustainable, too, as the garnish is made using dried hibiscus flowers that have been recycled in-house. “Any flowers that are not good enough to garnish on other cocktails or dishes get dried, ground and used elsewhere, like with Lady Garden.” He has one last piece of advice: “Have fun while you do it! Don’t completely stick to the recipe, as everyone has different taste so try to find your own balance.”
Lady Garden is £14 at Annabel’s, 46 Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 5AT or visit annabels.co.uk
- 30ml gin
- 15ml Contrato Bianco with hibiscus leaf
- 20ml Cocchi Americano
- 5ml Tip Pepe
- 3 dashes of cherry bitters
- 1 peel of lemon oil
Method: Lightly shake ingredients, then garnish with dried flowers along the glass