It was only last week that I told you all about the tastings that are happening at Arcane. It is quickly becoming one of my favourite bars in the City and, luckily for us all, they have a brand new cocktail menu for you to delve into. In the name of research, I went along to try it out.
The menu is divided into four sections – their four main style of cocktail. It makes things a lot easier when trying to find something you will like, especially if you like most spirits. I usually find that menus are separated by spirit and that makes things difficult for me. You won’t find the classics on this menu either, it is much more inventive than that.
From the ‘Sours’ section of the menu my friend went for the Silver Figs, whilst I chose the Asta Nielson. The Silver Figs combines virtuous bitter lemon vodka, esprit de figues, cranberry, lime, demerara, egg white and soda. The sour bitter lemon flavours are rounded with the sweetness of the fig and demerara. I loved the foamy top and was a little disappointed that I didn’t see it first, it is totally the sort of drink I would usually order. The Asta Nielson was more sour with Aalborg Taffel akvavit, Hayman’s sloe gin, apricot, brandy and lemon. The akvavit and lemon provide the sour flavours whilst the brandy and apricot add an almost Christmassy feel to the drink. So different, but seriously addictive.
Onto the ‘Bitter Slings’ and my friend chose the Remington. As someone who doesn’t like whiskey or bourbon, this somehow had me sold. Wild Turkey bourbon, Wild Turkey rye whiskey, cider reduction, angostura bitters and black walnut bitters create a drink that isn’t as bitter as I was thinking. There is a richness that comes through from the black walnut bitters and a bitter dark chocolate element that means it is a perfect introduction to whiskey drinking, even for me.
The ‘Highballs and Cobbler’s is my favourite section of the menu, I had already picked the Champagne Cobbler before walking through the door and it did not disappoint. Luxardo maraschino, triple sec, champagne and seasonal fruits are stirred together for a fizzy, sherbet style drink. This month the seasonal fruits are clementine and bay but they change regularly. You will totally find me there each month to try the new version. We also tried the House Whiskey Highball which, once again, is a great introduction to whiskey. Tamdhu 10 year old Scottish whiskey, orange bitters, Double Dutch cranberry and ginger tonic, makes for a long drink that is gently bitter, yet too harsh so the perfect winter sipper.
Lastly I tried an Arrack Punch from the ‘Punch’ section of the menu. I expected this section to be where the fruity, generic drinks would be, but that isn’t Arcane. And they haven’t done that to their menu. Instead you’ll find Ceylon Arrack, vanilla rooibos, grapefruit, lime, demerara and rosewater. Despite the strong and bitter flavours of the Ceylon Arrack, the floral notes really shine through and the fruit softens the whole thing to a punch that is easy to drink and perfect if you want something beautiful that isn’t too harsh.
Arcane is, without a doubt, my favourite cocktail bar in the City right now and their new menu has just fuelled that love. You’ll find me there regularly, mine’s a Champagne Cobbler.
I was invited to try the menu at Arcane as a guest and was not asked to pay for my drinks.