Mix it up

Philip Salter
Follow Philip
Cocktails from expert @philip_salter

Liquid Lavender

MOST people think we humans have five, or possibly six, senses; most people are wrong. Although there is no consensus, most scientists now include equilibrioception, proprioperception, thermoception and nociception – your sense of balance, spatial perception, heat and pain. Even more fascinating is how our senses interact. Consider human echo-location, whereby some blind people have developed a sophisticated system of clicking with their tongue – not entirely different to bats – to help them “see”. Remarkably, neuroscientists have revealed that a part of the brain usually associated with sight is stimulated in the process. In fact, all our senses are intricately connected. For the purposes of imbibing, taste and smell are the most important and both need stimulating for the best experience: they are two sides of the same pharynx. Although different receptors are at work, these are mixed in the brain to make flavour. Anyone hoping to make delicious cocktails needs to think as much about smell as they do taste.

Besides being a good excuse to escape the office, this week's Chelsea Flower Show is a chance to stimulate all the senses. If you happen upon the Laurent-Perrier Garden, you’ll notice that lavender features prominently in the champagne house’s design. John Higgins of The Blue Bar at The Berkeley has taken inspiration from this to create Liquid Lavender, a deliciously subtle floral cocktail that stimulates the senses without the assaulting them.


15ml Linie Aquavit
5ml Fleur de Lavender
5ml Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur
5ml Manzana Verde Liqueur
15ml Pressed Apple Juice
5ml Sugar Syrup
2 Dashes Rhubarb Bitters


Fill a Boston tin ¾ full of cubed ice and add ingredients
Shake 15-20 times until chilled
Double strain into a chilled flute
Stir and top with more crushed ice
Garnish with a violet rose petal