Hanami


In line with the new season ahead, Lucrezia Frosutto, Head Mixologist at PocketSquare Skyline Bar and Terrace, shares an eye-catching serve, Hanami – a floral cocktail inspired by the bustling Columbia Road Flower Market. 

Hanami is part of a collection of eight ‘East London market-inspired cocktails’ that make up the new cocktail menu at PocketSquare, which sits on the ninth floor of the Hyatt Place London City East Hotel in Whitechapel. From the bar’s location in the heart of east London, the team and I looked to the area’s local markets to inspire the latest menu. The cocktails dip into East London’s history and contemporary culture to showcase the stories and wares of the city’s much-loved markets. 

The cocktails each pay homage to a different market; from the historical Roman Road and Old Spitalfields to the food lovers’ havens of Brick Lane and Whitechapel. A favourite cocktail on the menu is the floral Hanami, influenced by the renowned Columbia Road Flower Market, known for being a hot spot for Londoners and tourists. Every Sunday the market overflows with people, flowers and the calls of East End florists. 

Hanami captures the colours and scents of the flower market, balancing delicate floral notes together with green tea and citrus. The cocktail’s name – Hanami – refers to the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, and this is something that I wanted to capture in this elegant drink.  

The Roku Gin based cocktail brings together an in-house made flower cordial, bitter honey aperitif Beesou and a dash of lemon juice topped up with green tea soda. Roku Gin is perfect for this cocktail, with its distinct taste of Sakura flowers lending floral notes to the drink.

The flower cordial is created in-house with loose leaf Hibiscus tea, caster sugar, water, orange peel and star anise. In creating the cocktail, there was a focus on simplicity and harmony of flavours, with the hint of orange elevating the flavours of the main ingredients.

Drinking the Hanami is an all-round floral sensory experience, from the hint of lavender essence to the sweetness of the floral cordial and balancing green tea. As a cocktail inspired by flowers, it also had to be a visually beautiful cocktail – a striking pink-orange in colour, the drink is garnished with a sugar strip featuring edible flower petals. Served in a martini glass, the drink is garnished and finished with a final spray of lavender. 

We look to incorporate sustainable practices into each of the cocktails on our menu by reusing ingredients, reducing single plastic packaging and making many of the ingredients in-house. Lavender and hibiscus are both used for the infusions to add flavours to the cocktail, and are later used in the garnish. Loose leaf tea is also used to avoid single plastic packaging and to move towards an eco-friendlier process. 

As a major fan of cocktails, I believe Hanami has the right balance where you can enjoy a light, floral, but not too sweet, cocktail, with the slight bitterness of the green tea soda making it perfect for an aperitif. Sustainability is key at PocketSquare and we wanted to get creative by reusing ingredients; our lavender and hibiscus are used again in the process as a garnish, for a finishing touch on the Isomalt strip completing the cocktail. All the cocktails on the market-themed menu have playful garnishes as a further nod to the goods the stalls are known for.

At PocketSquare, guests can feast on a Sicilian aperitivo menu alongside their cocktails. With the delicate Hanami, we suggest ordering the Fritto Misto; crispy tempura seafood and courgettes with black ink aioli. 

HANAMI 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 40ml Roku Gin
  • 20ml homemade flower cordial
  • 10ml Beesou
  • 5ml Lemon Juice
  • Homemade green tea soda
  • Homemade lavender essence 
  • Sugar strip with flower petals – lavender and hibiscus

METHOD:

Mix Roku Gin with flower cordial, Beesou, lemon juice and top up with green tea soda. Serve in a martini glass with a sugar strip topped with edible flower petals to garnish. Finish with a spray of lavender, and serve!

www.pocketsquare.london 

Previous Hospitality’s Powerhouses 
Next Syrup’s Time To Shine