During the first socially-distant, self-isolated wave of the pandemic, the smells of banana, nutmeg and cinnamon dominated kitchens up and down the country. Baking your own banana bread was a form of escapism; a cult activity that became as much a part of everyday life as masking up — or losing a Zoom quiz.
But, as we enter a post-pandemic world, the flavour of this lockdown bake shifts from ‘bittersweet’ to simply ‘sweet’. And, as it turns out, the winning combination of autumnal spices and rich banana translates rather well into cocktail form. This ‘Banana Bread 1933’ cocktail is the creation of The Artesian Bar at The Langham — and offers a refined, punchier alternative to autumn’s ubiquitous ‘pumpkin-spiced’ drinks.
"Baking your own banana bread was a form of escapism..."
It has the peppery bite of a rye whiskey such as Woodford or Sazerac Rye, and is softened by a smooth but not overly sweet sherry. At The Artesian Bar – one of the World’s 50 Best Bars and a true London landmark – head bartender Giulia Cuccurullo uses Oloroso sherry to introduce dark and nutty flavours. The new cocktail is inspired by the shared experiences that brought the nation together over the past year, she tells Gentleman’s Journal, and distills a delicious shared lockdown memory into liquid form.
The wider menu at The Artesian Bar features 18 unique cocktails, each with its own autumnal identity. As the leaves and temperatures fall outside, it’s the perfect place to celebrate the much-anticipated return to socialising. But, if you’re still holed up at home, here’s the recipe to have a go at mixing it yourself…
How to mix The Langham’s ‘Banana Bread 1933’
- 50 ml Woodford Rye
- 15ml Sherry
- 10ml Banana Syrup
- 5ml Vanilla Syrup
- A pinch of Salt
- 1 dash of Orange Bitters
- Orange and Grated Nutmeg to garnish
- Stir all the ingredients together in a large glass.
- Strain into a rock glass with ice.
- Garnish with a twist of orange peel and a grating of nutmeg on top.