Floral flavours will be flowing in London this month as bars concoct special cocktails to celebrate the annual RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
At Dukes Bar at Dukes Hotel in St James’s, legendary head bartender Alessandro Palazzi has harnessed the flavours of Elephant Strength – the navy-strength expression of Elephant Gin – to create a drink called Red Savanna (pictured top). It mixes the 57% ABV gin with ratafia, orgeat, sugar and lemon juice, garnished with mint. It is available throughout the Chelsea Flower Show which runs from May 23 to 27.
Red Savanna by Alessandro Palazzi
50ml Elephant Strength Gin
25ml Ratafia (from the Abruzzo region of Italy)
10ml Fresh organic lemon juice
5ml Sugar syrup
Splash of Orgeat syrup
Shake the ingredients well and pour into a cocktail glass. Finish with a sprig of mint.
A few minutes’ walk away, the simply named Chelsea Flower Show cocktail is on offer at the St James Bar in the Sofitel London St James Hotel in Mayfair. Priced £16, this aromatic drink has been developed in partnership with Edgerton Pink Gin, which is combined with violet syrup, rose liqueur, passion fruit juice and lime juice to create a distinctively pink cocktail with floral notes.
During May, the bar’s guests can enjoy the cocktail with a special elderflower, violet and poppy-scented afternoon tea, which is also available in the hotel’s Rose Lounge and French brasserie, The Balcon. Throughout the Chelsea Flower Show, the Rose Lounge will be full of flowers carefully chosen to represent Edgerton Pink Gin and the hotel’s afternoon tea pastries.
Vineet Bhatia London – the Chelsea restaurant opened last year by chef Vineet Bhatia – is offering a cocktail called the Appleroll (pictured above), available until the end of May. Priced £14, it is made with Belvedere Pure Vodka, Aperol, Passoã passion fruit liqueur, apple juice and soda, served with a frozen elderflower lollipop.
The Botanist in Sloane Square in Chelsea has teamed up with Williams GB Gin to create two botanical cocktails inspired by the Chelsea Flower’s show 2017 theme of “Floral Safari”. They will be available at a jungle-inspired pop-up in the square from Monday May 22 to Saturday May 27, running from midday to 8pm.
The two signature cocktails will be the refreshingly sweet and earthy Jungle Julep, a delicate blend of Williams GB Extra Dry Gin, rhubarb syrup and fresh basil, and the Savannah Spritz (pictured below) which features Williams GB Extra Dry Gin, lemon, orgeat and raspberry liqueur, topped with sparkling wine. Both are priced £10.
Over in Shoreditch, Indian restaurant Darbaar has created the Lotus Flower cocktail (pictured bottom), inspired by both the flower show and its new Lotus Bar which is due to open in Broadgate Quarter in the City at the end of May.
Available throughout the Chelsea Flower Show, the Lotus Flower is a mix of lotus-infused rum, lime juice and hibiscus syrup. It demonstrates the kinds of cocktails that will be on the menu at Lotus Bar, using ingredients such as spice-infused spirits and Indian ingredients like jamun fruit and turmeric.