Exotic ingredients in Nightjar’s new menu


kenko teki swizzle at nightjarNightjar in Old Street, London, has launched a new cocktail menu featuring exotic ingredients.

It has been created by bar manager Marian Beke, head bartender Luca Cinalli and their team, sourcing fruits, teas and other products from around the world, in many cases for their health-giving properties. The list also includes a new section of lower-alcohol alternatives.

Featured ingredients include rare fruits such as the longan berry, durian and yuzu as well as rooibos espresso, oolong and pu-erh tea, umami foam and homemade umeshu. The new menu carries a glossary of the more exotic elements brought to the table.

Marian said: “The huge amount of research, preparation and hard work the team has invested in this menu demonstrates our commitment to continuous quality improvement as well as delivering a truly unique experience to our customers.”

As always, Nightjar’s new menu encompasses high-quality twists on rare and revived cocktails from the pre-Prohibition era to today as well as original recipes. They continue to be illustrated in the bar’s own Belle Epoque-style playing cards.

In the Signature section is the eye-catching Kenko-Teki Swizzle (pictured), which takes its name from the Japanese for “healthy”. It contains Japan’s Nikka Whisky from the Barrel, matcha green tea, buckwheat rice syrup, alfalfa and a green coffee bean infusion, garnished with a perfumed fan.

The Rosehip Julab is another beautifully presented cocktail served in a Turkish coffee cup with rosehip-infused Zubrowka bison-grass vodka, kewra aromatic water, green tea kombucha and gin botanical syrup, garnished with ajowam and fennel seeds that can be chewed alongside the drink.

The menu also references the great canon of well-known cocktails, such as the Blood and Sand, Zombie, and Mule, as well as forgotten classics such as Hobson’s Kiss.

Edmund Weil, who owns the bar with Roisin Stimpson, said: “We want Nightjar to be a place where cocktail enthusiasts and novices alike will feel at home and yet know that they will be able to enjoy an abundance of unique and innovative flavours.”

Nightjar’s menu also now offers a range of “simple but delicious” low-alcohol alternatives, such as the St Germain Pressé, Milano Torino and Sherry Cobbler. The bar’s cocktails are priced from £9 to £12.

Other features of Nightjar include the most extensive range of premium absinthes in the UK, including Un Emile 68, La Coquette, Napoleon III Verte, Enigma Verte, Enigma Blanche, Jade Edouard, Jade PF1901 and two Liqueurs de France exclusives, LDF Suisse Verte Pas Autorisee and Blanche Traditionelle Brut d’alambic.

In addition, Liqueurs de France has supplied barware, such as an Art Nouveau Lady Fountain, a wide range of spoons reproduced from Belle Epoque designs, including one based on the Eiffel tower, and glassware from the period.

Over the last two years, Edmund and Marian have sought out and bought rare examples of almost all the major spirit classes at auction and through specialist dealers, for sale in Nightjar at “affordable” prices.

Its rye whiskeys include Hannisville Rye from 1863, Rittenhouse Rye from the 1930s and the pre-Prohibition Monticello Rye, while bourbons include Hannisville bourbon from the 1860s, Walker’s Deluxe Bourbon from the 1930s and Echo Spring Bourbon from the 1920s. It also has a Scotch whisky, Dow’s Pigeon Blend, from the 1920s.

Rums include Rhum Moko from around 1900 and El Chico Cuban Rum from the 1930s, while Marnier Lapostolle is a cognac from about 1910. Its vintage gins include Hannisville Old Tom Gin from 1910 and Old Mr Boston Sloe Gin from the 1940s.

As well as a Pimm’s No 1 from 1905, the vintage liqueurs include Bolskummel from the 1930s, Nassau Orange Liqueur from the 1940s and Fox’s Cherry Brandy, also from the 1940s.

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