Beer has seeped into every crack and crevice of London’s food and drink scene. From beer pairings with tasting menus to beer-flavoured desserts, the amber stuff isn’t restricted to pints in the pub anymore. But the Lobby Bar at the London Edition Hotel on Berners Street has taken it one step further and popped some hops into a mojito.
The Lobby Bar’s twist on the classic minty cocktail is called El Draque in homage to Francis Drake, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe. Mint and lime were ingredients that were easily procured on his travels, and often kept on board to ward off scurvy, so the Edition knocked up a tipple that also celebrates London’s beery heritage (each of the group’s hotels has a culturally specific cocktail menu).
“We wanted to nod to the classic mojito, but with our own Edition twist, so we also used IPA – another drink that owes its development to the golden days of sea exploration,” says bars manager Andy Shannon.
In addition to the customary lime, a Trois Riviere Agricole rum is added, as it would have been recognisable to the French Caribbean communities that Drake encountered in that period. “Pirates and sailors didn’t have time to age their booze, and agricole is made straight from the sugar cane juice, and not molasses like ‘normal’ rum,” says Shannon.
Then a pimento cardamom cordial – again, inspired by spices that Drake could have picked up – is made in-house before service. If you want to go the extra mile, you can make it at home by boiling 50g of pimento seeds, 15g of cardamom seeds, 1kg of water, 1kg of sugar and 10g of citric acid in a vacuum bag for around an hour. Add a hoppy IPA and freshly squeezed lime juice, then finish it off with a wheel of lime, a pinch of pimento powder and snapdragon flowers.
Another local touch is an eco-friendly one, too. In addition to a ban on plastic straws, the Lobby Bar also serves its cocktails on recycled coasters made from reused plastic bags collected from the southern English coast. We’re sure Drake would have approved of a sparklingly clean sea shore.
Available at The London Edition, 10 Berners St, W1T 3NP