Foodies the world over are used to the idea of tasting menus with paired wine, but it’s not often you come across a cocktail version. In steps MrCoopers.
I went along to the first instalment of the concept last week, mainly to see how cocktails would sit alongside an entire meal, but also because it was Gin based cocktails, done with Star of Bombay Gin.
Straight off the bat and we’re in with an aperitif, light and refreshing Star of Bombay, Apricot Brandy, Violet & Cucumber Tonic just to set the mood. The amuse-bouche certainly does the trick, asparagus & pine-egg with some hidden mushroom treats at the bottom, served in a hollowed out and painted egg shell. The paired cocktail is equally as exciting, Bombay Sapphire infused with Asparagus, Fermented Gooseberry, a small serving that packs a punch.
Starter is served and has all the theatrical presentation you’d expect from a Simon Rogan taster, Jersey Royal’s as you’ve never seen them before, with artichokes and seaweed. The pairing for this course is a light but complex mix Bombay Sapphire, Poitin, sun-dried Tomato, miso, honey – with the sun dried tomato as the stand out flavour.
Main course we’re on Hardwick Lamb, butternut, wild garlic and marrow. Absolutely fantastic course and paired exceptionally well with a Star of Bombay, Plum Sake, distilled yoghurt and Pinot Noir cocktail, pushing the boundaries of red wine with meat and succeeding spectacularly. Compliments to the bar for this one.
If all that wasn’t interesting enough I’m hit with something I’ve never seen before, a pre-dessert! sure I’ve had a sorbet or a palette cleanser before but that’s not what this is, this is a dessert, before dessert. a wonderfully playful rhubarb and custard served with a sweeter cocktail infused with rhubarb (Wakefield) and sweet Riesling, the whole thing is fantastic together.
Dessert itself follows swiftly after and for chocolate lovers it doesn’t get much better than this. A chocolate tasting plate with a white chocolate ball at it’s centre, containing rich melted white chocolate paired with a Star of Bombay, Ice-brewed coffee, rose & cubbeb berry cordial and cassis cocktail.
Overall cocktail tasting for me, and likewise the people on the shared table, was a huge success. Hats off to the bar for producing such a well paired selection and as always compliments to the chef. In short, I can’t wait for the next one.