The bar team at the chic and elegant St James Bar at The Sofitel London St James have once again come up with a fabulous new cocktail menu to see you through to the end of the year with 14 musical themed drinks to suit any occasion which replace their superb winter cocktail collection.
Each member of the bar team has created a musical themed cocktail inspired from some of their favourite songs, many of which will bring back memories of classic songs of yesteryear.
The menu has an innovative touch to it, having been lovingly created and designed to look like a CD case and also includes a lyric book which showcases the different recipes and the bar teams’ take on that particular album cover – which you need to take a close look at – as you will see the cocktail ingeniously superimposed! The case also doubles up as a coaster, with a CD that can be pulled out on which you can place your cocktail glass. Clever stuff!
The first cocktail I try is named ‘One More Time’, inspired by the French electronic music duo Daft Punk and is made with a twist on a French Martini, made with Fair Vodka, Fair Pomegranate liqueur, cherry tomato shrub, lime juice, tangerine oil, plum bitters and topped with a floral homemade foam.
My second musical cocktail is none other than the ‘King of Pop’, which is a refreshing wine-based cocktail inspired by the legendary Michael Jackson and aptly presented in a white gloved hand. Apparently, his favourite tipple was a glass of white wine which the bar team have mixed with Galliano, dry Noilly Prat, sugar syrup and lime oil which combined give an unsuspecting jelly cola bottle candy flavour.
Next up is ‘Spice of Californication’, a spicy, smoky and intensely vibrant cocktail inspired by the classic song from the Red-Hot Chilli Peppers. One sip of this cocktail and you are sure to be magically transported to the sunny shores of California. Made with Vida Mezcal, Cointreau, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, chilli syrup and agave syrup. Beware as this cocktail packs quite a punch!
The final cocktail on this particular visit is ‘Celebration’ inspired by Kool & The Gang and goes down as my favourite for a hot summer’s evening, as it is a summery Pimm’s No.1 based cocktail added to fortified raspberry eau de vie and topped with some rosé Moët & Chandon.
Whilst there was no way I could try all 14 cocktails in one visit, otherwise I would never have made it home, other ones on the playlist that catch my eye include ‘Space Cowboy’ for fans of Jamiroquai, with Copper Head Gin The Gibson Edition as its base, plus lemon juice, rose syrup, maraschino liqueur absinthe and Taylor’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port. Ray Charles fans will love ‘I’m All Yours Baby’, made with Dutch Old Genever, cacao brown liqueur, coconut syrup, Taliisker and topped with a delicious homemade coffee foam.
Frank Sinatra’s favourite tipple was a very cold Martini and Jack Daniel’s on ice and so this particular cocktail, named ‘His Way’, is made with a splash of Jack Daniel’s, lemon juice, plum cordial, peach liqueur, Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth, and topped with Whiskey Barrel aged Bitters.
Head bartender, Rémi Garcia, comments, “We have engaged not only your senses of taste and smell but of hearing and sight too. The musical themed menu combined with the ambience of the St James Bar ensures that enjoying a cocktail is a full sensory experience.”
So next time you are in the Piccadilly area and in need of refreshment or place to meet someone, try the elegant and inviting St James Bar, with its Coco Chanel ambience and rich textures and colours, where you will find an eclectic mix of locals, business people and hotel guests. The service is warm and friendly, and the jazzy background music is unobtrusive.
If you prefer to sit at the bar and watch the bar team in action, you will find the salmon skin covered bar stools most comfortable and the funky and solid bar top is made of Amethyst from India. This is the kind of place Coco Chanel would have come to, which is the idea behind its creation and décor and is somewhat reminiscent of Paris in the 1920s and 1930s with a twist of French and British influences which can be seen in the creation of their fun cocktail menu.
St James Bar, Sofitel London St James, 6 Waterloo Place, London, SW1Y 4AN, England.
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 2238
The St James Bar is located to the right of the lobby as you walk into the Sofitel London St James, which is on the corner of Waterloo Place and Pall Mall very close to Piccadilly Circus Tube station (Piccadilly and Bakerloo Lines). The Bar is open from Monday to Saturday from 8:00am to 12:30am and on Sunday from 8:00am to 11:30pm.
Price Band: All 14 cocktails are priced at either £16 or £17.
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.
Photographs by Simon Burrell