If you want to be reminded just how big London is, take yourself to a bar or restaurant teetering at the top of one of the city’s many skyscrapers.
And forget Aqua at the Shard, or Searcys at The Gherkin, this week’s setting was the stunning Duck & Waffle
, on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower.
While dinner was out the question (there’s often a 2 month waiting list for the 24-hour restaurant), we were lucky enough to score a space in the confides of their buzzing bar.
Because it’s not just the food that’s something to write home about, their cocktail list is too, curated and created by cocktail genius Rich Woods – Head of Cocktail and Spirit Development for Duck & Waffle and SUSHISAMBA.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rich before, during an Appletiser cocktail masterclass at Ascot, and was taken aback by his genius concoctions. He even managed to get me to make something with raw egg in it…
So I wasn’t at all surprised to see some of the cocktails on the ’12 Drinks of Christmas’ menu.
Chestnut brine, bone marrow infusion and pine cone sap, are just a few of the unique ingredients on the menu, a specially curated list of 12 drinks, inspired by festivities, food, fellowship and coming together.
I started ‘safe’ (basically anything with gin), with a Winter Spiced Champagne Cocktail – Bombay Sapphire gin, mince pie liqueur and Champagne.It was liquid Christmas, fizzy with hints of mince pie, and VERY sippable.
My drinking buddy (DB) opted for Three Wise Men – Jack Daniel’s whiskey with salted maple and hay infusion – presented like baby Jesus in a manger, of course.
The Festive Roast Cosmo was my second round choice – Grey Goose Le Citron vodka with orange liqueur, bone marrow infusion, roasting bitters and cranberry.Nibbles were also required, with tasty, crispy polenta with parmesan and truffle, and bacon wrapped dates with a linguiça, Manchego and mustard dip to keep us going.
Our last round (before we succumbed to our growling stomachs and headed to The Breakfast Club) was a Yule Mule for me – Grey Goose vodka, ginger snap, lime and ginger beer, and a Pine Cone Negroni for the DB – gin, sweet vermouth, amaro and pine cone sap.
Rich’s daring menu is definitely something worth trying, even if you can’t get reservations in the restaurant. And even the most seasoned of cocktail drinkers will be taken aback by some of these flavour creations.
Plus – you’ve got one of the most beautiful views in the world to gaze out on…
The ’12 drinks of Christmas’ menu is available at Duck & Waffle until 31 December.