3 signature cocktail recipes from The Connaught Bar

To celebrate the recent launch of the Connaught Bar's new book, let us present three signature cocktail recipes

The Connaught is a Mayfair Village stalwart, and has been since it first opened as The Coburg in 1815. If its walls could talk, they’d tell of royal visits, celebrity-filled soirées and many a Michelin-starred meal.

At the heart of the hotel is the Connaught Bar, a place that encapsulates the hotel’s famously elegant hospitality. Its David Collins-designed cubist decor serves as a stylish setting for the clinking of glasses and the flow of conversation, as the bar’s world-renowned mixologists conjure up new concoctions and pour time-honoured classics.

Now, those bewitched by the Connaught Bar (and really, who isn’t?) can bring a touch of its magic into their own homes, playing mixologist with the help of a new recipe book. Introducing The Connaught Bar: Cocktail Recipes and Iconic Creations.

Published by Phaidon, the book serves as a peek behind the scenes of the Connaught's iconic bar. In it, the Connaught Bar’s virtuoso mixologists Agostino Perrone, Giorgio Bargiani and Maura Milia share over 100 cocktail recipes – ranging in difficulty level, flavour profile and ABV – plus expert guidance on essential bar tools, glassware and spirits.

To celebrate the recent launch of the new book, let us present three of The Connaught Bar's signature cocktail recipes that feature…

Bloody Mary

Difficulty: 3

ABV: 1

Flavour: Savoury, rich

A classic cocktail enjoyed before a meal, savoured before a Sunday brunch or on its own, the Bloody Mary was originally created by bartender Ferdinand ‘Pete’ Petiot and named by jazz pianist Ray Barton around 1920 at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. While the mixture was initially a simple blend of vodka and French tomato juice, it evolved over the decades when spicy elements such as Worcestershire, Tabasco and horseradish sauces were included in the repertoire. The celery stalk was added in 1966 at the Pump Room bar in Chicago’s Ambassador East Hotel. But we started a new tradition by finishing our Bloody Mary with a Celery Air that adds another layer of texture and freshness to a timeless classic.

  • 10 ml (1/3 fl oz) fresh lemon juice
  • 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) tomato juice (if using American tomato juice, add a pinch of sugar to sweeten the juice)
  • 20 ml (2/3 fl oz) Bloody Mary Mix (below)
  • 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) gin, vodka or tequila
  • Celery Air (below) and a grating of nutmeg, to garnish

Pour the lemon and tomato juices, Bloody Mary mix and spirit into a cocktail shaker tin. Pour the mixture back and forth from the filled shaker to an empty shaker two or three times. Strain into a coupette without ice and top with celery air and a grating of nutmeg.

Bloody Mary mix

  • 20 coriander (cilantro) sprigs
  • 10 g (1/4 oz) English mustard
  • 30 drops Tabasco sauce
  • 5 cm (2 inch) piece fresh horseradish, grated
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) soy sauce
  • 600 ml (20 fl oz) Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Small slice of Naga Jolokia chilli (ghost chilli) or other fresh red chilli of choice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix for a few seconds. Strain through a paper coffee filter into a 700 ml (24 fl oz) sterilised bottle. Label and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Celery Air

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz) fresh celery juice
  • 10 g (1⁄4 oz) lecithin
  • 5 g (1/8 oz) celery salt

Place the celery juice, lecithin and celery salt in a blender and mix for a few seconds. Pour into a 500 ml (17 fl oz) sterilised bottle. Label and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.


Difficulty: 3

ABV: 1

Flavour: Balsamic, smoky

‘As far as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster’ is a quote from the 1990 film Goodfellas that inspired Giorgio in 2015 to create a modern twist on the Fanciulli – a sweet Manhattan found in Albert Stevens Crockett’s 1934 book The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book.

The drink was served as a frappé or straight up. While the original recipe added a fernet-style amaro – a popular bitter aromatic Italian spirit served as a digestif – to the traditional blend of whiskey and vermouth, Giorgio’s version highlights techniques and tastes that are essential to the modern mixological repertoire. Fresh cardamom leaves are infused into the bourbon and the pungent character of black cardamom is highlighted in our house-made syrup. The recent revival of Abbott’s Bitters offers the drink hints of tonka bean, peppermint, sweet cinnamon and warm spices (but you can opt to use Angostura Bitters, if you prefer.)

The deep notes of fig, molasses and cherry from the balsamic vinegar provide a finishing touch of mellow tartness. The hint of elicriso essence, extracted from Helichrysum orientale flowers, tops the bill with a floral note. If you can’t get this essence, sage and wormwood tincture will work just as well. As befits its name, the Goodfellas is a cheeky, lively take on a memorable classic cocktail.

  • 2 dashes Abbott’s Bitters
  • 5 ml (1 barspoon) balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ml (1/3 fl oz) Black Cardamom Seed Syrup (page 244)
  • 25 ml (3/4 fl oz) Italian red vermouth
  • 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) Fresh Cardamom Leaf-infused Bourbon (page 237)
  • Spray of elicriso essence
  • Bourbon cherry, to garnish

Place a piece of block ice in a red wine glass. Vigorously shake the bitters, vinegar, syrup, vermouth, bourbon and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Strain into the glass and spray the elicriso essence over the top, then suspend a bourbon cherry over the edge of the glass (we suspend it from a little belt that fastens around the glass).

Faraway Collins

Difficulty: 3

ABV: 1

Flavour: Sour, spicy

The long and refreshing Faraway Collins was created in 2012 to encompass the familiar flavours and aromas of London and the faraway destinations of Japan, Australia and Mexico. It began its journey as a drink known simply as the Collins, which was invented in eighteenth-century London.

The Collins was originally made with a spirit, such as gin or whisky, sugar, lemon juice and carbonated water (seltzer) – another invention that was introduced in the British capital during the 1790s. The Faraway Collins then heads eastward, stopping in Japan to meet the juice of the yuzu: a fruit that combines the strong citrus of lemon with the heady floral notes of wild mandarin oranges and a delicate lime blossom aroma. Journeying south to Australia, it acquires its aromatic sweetness from our house-made Eucalyptus Syrup (page 244), which imparts the cooling sensations of menthol, citrus and pine. Finally, this refreshing cocktail meets the intensely root beer-like qualities of Sarsaparilla-infused Soda Water, with its hints of wintergreen, liquorice, black cherry bark, sweet birch and cinnamon.

When it returns homeward from its journey, the Faraway Collins offers a deep palate and even deeper texture to a refreshingly familiar English summertime classic. Besides being a perfect garden party drink, it pairs well with grilled (broiled) chicken skewers or a light fish, such as cod, Dover sole or sea bass.

  • 50 ml (13/4 fl oz) London dry gin
  • 20 ml (2/3 fl oz) Eucalyptus Syrup (page 244)
  • 20 ml (2/3 fl oz) Yuzu Juice (page 235)
  • 100 ml (31/2 fl oz) Sarsaparilla-infused Soda Water (page 238)
  • Dried eucalyptus leaves, a lemon twist and a dried half Persian lime
  • (see page 235), to garnish

Gently swirl the gin, syrup, yuzu juice and soda water in a gallone mixing glass over ice cubes. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with dried eucalyptus leaves, a lemon twist and a dried half Persian lime.

We recently spent some time at the Connaught Bar with Stanley Tucci. Read the interview...

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