If you haven’t heard of Rich Woods, but you’re a cocktail fan, I urge you to look him up. Known as The Cocktail Guy, Rich is an absolute innovator when it comes to designing the perfect tipples.
And one of his roles is cocktail and spirit development for Duck & Waffle. And I had the privilege of trying out his new menu: Origins.
Although the drinks are intricate, the concept of Origins is pretty simple. Each cocktail uses one single ingredient in its entirety to create the drink. And to make it even easier, the cocktail is named after said ingredient.
For example, the Olive uses black olive Campari, olive leaf Martini Rosso, olive branch ‘dry’ bitters and soda.
And the Lime uses the juice of the fruit, as well as the leaf and the husk, and even topped with ‘lime ash.’
‘Origins takes the ideas and cornerstones of our previous menu – one step further,’ Rich says, referring to the Urban Foraging vs. Urban Decay menu which uses ingredients sourced in London such as tree bark and fresh cut grass.
‘Not satisfied with using just leftover or wasteful produce, showcased in our previous ‘Urban Decay’ menu, I wanted to show the various levels and complexity of flavour that could be obtained from multiple elements of a single source.’
‘The cocktails within this menu are the result of our efforts to highlight all the flavours that one single element can achieve.’
For me, the standout had to be the Avocado, a lightly sparkling, but buttery, aperitivo which uses rum, avocado liqueur, avocado pit bitters and Prosecco. And to keep the drink cool, a frozen avocado stone is used in replacement of ice. Clever!
Here’s a rundown of the rest of the menu…
Packed with tomato flavour. This straight-up vegetal Gimlet is both ‘savoury and distinctively bright.’
Includes Fords gin, green tomato distillate, blanched tomato skin and cordial.
Various elements of coffee used to enrich this ‘disco-classic riff.’ Served long over ice.
Includes roasted coffee bean Jack Daniels, spent coffee grinds, toasted coconut shell liqueur, coffee and tropical fruit skin fermented concentrate.
A short, robust and balanced sipping cocktail with dried fruit notes.
Includes Toasted Walnut Monkey Shoulder whisky, walnut shell aperitif, pickled walnut dry vermouth and walnut maple.
A wine-style spritz cocktail served long, sparkling and over ice.
Includes blanched red pepper skin Russian Standard Platinum vodka, Noilly Prat Dry vermouth, leftover red pepper stalk and seed cordial, red pepper vinegar and Prosecco.
‘Rich’ and ‘quaffable,’ this Old Fashioned style cocktail is served over a large block of ice.
Includes coconut washed Monkey Shoulder whisky, coconut reduction and toasted coconut husk bitters.
A fruity wine-style cocktail with three separate stages of tropical strawberry notes.
Includes preserved strawberry leaf concentrate, discarded strawberry cordial, pickled strawberry distillate, fermented wine.
An ‘earthy Royal-style’ cocktail with ‘nutty and damp woodland’ notes.
Includes ‘damp’ distillate, moss cordial, oak bark and bubbles.
You can try the new menu at Duck & Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London, EC2N 4AY