The K Bar’s newly launched ‘Reflections’ cocktail menu, created by Spanish mixology marvel Adrian Gonzalez Parrondo (formerly of Berners Tavern, Vault at the Ned, Amazonico, and Barcelona EDITION Hotel) and head bartender Jonatan Bou Guardiola (formerly at underground cocktail bar Pears and Apples and rooftop restaurant and bar Jin Bo Law) is thought-provoking from beginning to end.
The presentation of the menu is as much a spectacle as the cocktails themselves. Upon opening what appears to be a simply elegant black jewellery box, you’ll discover an artisanal menu reflected off the mirror within. Each of the 16 creations draws inspiration from diverse eras, countries, cultures, and customs, all concocted using house-made picklings, sherbets, bitters and infused liqueurs that transcend the ordinary.
Journey to the Land of the Rising Sun with the Shibuya, a bold cocktail that marriesBusker Single Malt with subtle notes of sesame, Saura vermouth, and aromatic bitters. The cocktail is served in a Japanese Miso soup bowl, cleverly reflective of the Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken pottery is mended with tree sap and the fractures are embellished with gold to highlight that what is broken can be fixed.
Venture back 230 million years with the Panthalassa, a cocktail that channels the spirit of the vast ocean that once enveloped the supercontinent of Pangea. Herbal tones of Botanist Gin melt with warming Darjeeling, whilst the sweetness of violet and stone fruits is complemented with a touch of spirulina. It’s served with a bubbling top of London Essence soda water to create a mesmerising bright blue elixir, adorned with butterflies encased in ice, evoking the beauty of a world untouched by time.
The Koh I Noor cocktail draws regal inspiration from one of the world’s most renowned and debated gems as well as the most precious item featured within the Crown Jewels. This cocktail is as multifaceted as the diamond it celebrates and is made by combining Belvedere vodka that’s been fat-washed with Cheddar to create a velvety umami taste, Mancino Secco vermouth infused with nori seaweed for depth, wasabi bitters for a hint of spice, and crowned with a garnish of cheddar tuile.
The Daria I Noor cocktail, named after the sister stone of the famed Koh I Noor, is a stark contrast to its counterpart, showcasing the diversity that siblings can embody. This clear, crisp concoction blends the smoothness of Ramsbury gin with the subtle tang of dry sherry, complemented by the sharpness of pickles. It’s a drink that aptly demonstrates elegance in simplicity, proving that even within the same family, each member can possess its own distinct and remarkable character.
The Pluvio cocktail is a tribute to the simple joy of petrichor – the fresh fragrance of rain on dry earth. This tranquil experience is distilled into a glass through the botanical notes of Hendrick’s Flora Adora combined with an earthy Petrichor Cordial, offering a moment of peaceful reflection in each sip.
Nestled within The Kensington Hotel, The K Bar is a treasure trove of clandestine conversations, languid libations, and ‘just one more’nightcaps. The ambience is set by its elegant décor: the oak panels, polished brass accents, mirrored walls and slate floor lend a strong, sophisticated feel that is matched by the creative and classic cocktails mixed by the passionate and talented team.
There is something of an exclusive modern gentlemen’s club feel to the sumptuous leather panels, green marble bar, reflective antique mirrored tabletops, underlit lamps and deep-buttoned, velvet-upholstered bar stools, but this is a venue for both business and pleasure. The leather wingback chairs, and teal and burgundy liveried sofas provide a more sedate feel – perfect to sink into for a long, leisurely evening, celebrating with a special cuvée from one of the bespoke wine fridges or swapping stories over an artisan gin or fine whiskey from the extensive selection of spirits.
Take time to reflect at The K Bar.