The London EDITION, situated in Fitzrovia, recently relaunched its famous Punch Room, one of the most celebrated specialty cocktail bars in London, with an innovative menu by Anthony Callegari. Monikered Inception, the new menu explores historical figures of punch who transformed the evolution of the drink.
Punch Room embodies London’s 19th-century private clubs with furnished custom tufted banquettes in teal velvet, as well as overstuffed mint green leather tub chairs and dark brown leather club chairs. A soundtrack of vintage jazz, reggae and soul flows in the background, taking guests to another era.
The new menu, Inception, draws from four influential figures from the history of punch, each who transformed the drink through new ingredients, techniques and concepts. This inspiration puts a modern twist on century-old recipes. Each chapter of Inception contains five reiterations of punch, focusing on one key flavor per chapter, bringing guests through past, classic, present, future and non-alcoholic expressions.
The first chapter, titled Johan, centers around the 17th-century German explorer Johan Albrecht de Mandelso. The drinks in this chapter take inspiration from the exotic fruits, herbs and spices he encountered on his travels through Persia. Chapter two circles around the 18th-century protagonist Eliza Smith, a pioneer of home cooking, most notable for creating some of the most-loved foods in the United Kingdom. Her experimentation with wines, cordials, medicines and salves, and hops and quinine serves as the inspiration here.
Chapter three, named Charles, points to none other than Charles Dickens. His love of tea is well documented throughout his novels, and his love of punch was also well-known. He especially enjoyed tea punches infused with spice and alcohol, and this chapter draws from Dickens’ favorite punches with notes of black tea throughout. The fourth and final chapter is named Jared after Jared Brown, world-renowned author, publisher, historian and drinks consultant. The co-founder of Sipsmith Gin, Brown’s influence comes through his love of gardening, with herb- and grape-infused cocktails featured.
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