What a difference thirty years makes. Nick gets nostalgic and a bit tiddly on the new old cocktails at 100 Wardour Street
It sits where the old Marquee Club once sat, I remember so many evenings there in 1976 and 77, evenings spent in the dark, noisy pit that was the Marquee. Usually after a few hours getting pre- tanked with the roadies in the Intrepid Fox over the road, now just another boring burger restaurant.
It’s all gone away of course, except the entrance alleyway now closed off. On the plus side the drinks are better and no one tries to pogo on my head.
So, we went in, J and I, to try the new cocktail menu created by Bar Manager Massimo Bosio and his team.
The menu we’re told draws upon classic concoctions from days gone by, starting with the golden age of cocktails, moving onto Prohibition staples and exotic tiki tipples, right through to modern day favourites.
The four themes include’The Golden Era,”It’s Tiki Time,”Disco Fever’ and’Back to the Future.’
Ã¢â‚¬ËœBack to the past!’ I said to J wittily, as I told war stories of bands and characters that had all happened around us in my youth, shouting a bit to be heard above the DJ.
J was probably relieved when the first cocktail arrived to shut me up, well actually it was the second cocktail as it seemed we had missed the boat for the ‘The Golden Era’
Adonis made from Martini Reserva Rubino, Oloroso Sherry, Orange Bitters. A few sad, empty glasses were all that was left.
It was the second taster on the menu, from ‘It’s Tiki Time’ and called a Navy Swizzle made withPusser’s Gunpowder rum, house blend spiced rum, homemade falernum, lime juice, triple sec, Angostura Bitters, Absinthe.
It came in a cheerful tin mug and was actually, literally, on fire. I didn’t notice this at first, as the flame was so clear, and came close to setting my hair on fire, just noticing the bubbling sugar giveaway in time. And, of course, I was supposed to use the straws not raise the mug to my lips anyway. Cocktail fail.
Nice cocktail though, there was a lot going on in it so I couldn’t actually taste the Absinthe. Falernum I had to Google, it’s a syrup often mixed with rum apparently. I could taste that alright. As befits its era the whole cocktail was as colourful as a hat made of fruit but more refreshing.
Second up, as I launched into my Tom Petty at the Marquee story, was from ‘Disco Fever and a It’s Not An Espresso Martini – Pear and chocolate infused Rebel Yell, Xante liqueur, almond syrup, coffee all topped off with a Bourbon Biscuit.
As Alexei Sayle once said, another revolutionary biscuit alongside your Garibaldi and your Peek Freans Trotsky assortment.
The waiter stressed again that it wasn’t an Expresso Martini as he served it, but he needn’t have worried as it tasted nothing like one. Not as raw and violent, but smooth and easy to down, delicious.
It looked rather beautiful too and as J cannot drink coffee, I drank his as well. And i also ate his biscuit. I was hungry and he had his back to me.
And then from ‘Back To The Future’ Swedish Milk Punch – Darjeeling tea and rose infused Absolut Elyx, Xante Liqueur, Absinthe, Angostura bitters, red wine and condensed milk served in a mini churn I loved this, I think it was the condensed milk that was the icing on the cocktail cake, it had a cosy warm roughness to it as it came up the straw. Dangerously easy to drink. All the cocktails were liquid works of art; a lot of work had clearly gone into each.
The full list:
Ã¢â‚¬ËœThe Golden Era’ 1860-1930
Showcasing cocktails inspired by America, who led the way during the cocktail revolution – from the publication of Dr Jerry Thomas’ first cocktail book in 1862, right up until the Prohibition era. Some of the Golden Era cocktails include:
Milk Punch – £12.00
Ysabela Regina Brandy, Gosling Dark Rum, Vanilla, Milk
Brown Derby – £12.00
Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Grapefruit, Honey
Ã¢â‚¬ËœIt’s Tiki Time’ 1930-1950
When drinks became fun! Tiki cocktails take inspiration from Polynesian culture with their exotic flavours. Tiki masters Trader Vic and Don The Beachcomber would be proud. Contains vibrant flavoured cocktails such as:
Navy Swizzle – £16
Pusser’s Gunpowder rum, house blend spiced rum, homemade falernum, lime juice, triple sec, Angostura Bitters, Absinthe.
Hanging Man – £16
Pusser’s Gunpowder rum, Smith & Cross rum, Aba pisco, homemade falernum, plum, lime, egg white, passion fruit syrup, homemade ginger and grapefruit syrup, grapefruit soda
Ã¢â‚¬ËœDisco Fever’ 1980-1990’s
According to experts, the worst era for cocktails but let’s face it … Disco drinks are fun!
Baby Steps – £12
Caorunn Gin, lemon, elderflower, mixed green puree and bubbles.
It’s Not An Espresso Martini – £12
Pear and chocolate infused Rebel Yell, Xante liqueur, almond syrup, coffee.
Ã¢â‚¬ËœBack To The Future’
A reinterpretation of some of the most famous old-school cocktails with a modern touch.
White Tea Negroni Ã¢â‚¬â€œ £12
Caorunn Gin, Lillet Rose, lemon verbena syrup, Campari gelatine.
Cloud No.9 – £13
Sipsmith Gin, blueberry shrub and mixed vermouths.
Alongside the varied new cocktail selection, guests are also able to enjoy 3 sharing cocktails and for those who want something sweet without the kick the menu features 3 virgin cocktails.
For the full menu and to make a reservation go to