Truth and Spies: Tongue-loosening cocktails at The Stafford London
Eric Rychnausky, head mixologist at The Stafford London, divulges his secrets for a trio of truth serums created especially for the Spring.
The White Mouse
What do you do when a mouse is spied hanging around your bar? Call in the exterminators, right?
Not when that mouse is “The White Mouse,” a.k.a. Nancy Wake, one of the Allies’ most decorated service women of the Second World War. In that case, you create a new drink in her honour, as The Stafford’s chief mix master Eric Rychnausky has done.
Nancy, a key member of the French Resistance, earned her nickname from the Gestapo due to her ability to elude capture.
While she never fell for any of the Axis’ cheesy traps, Nancy was more susceptible to the charms of a stiff drink. She spent much of her later life perched at the American Bar at The Stafford London hotel, where she lived until shortly before her death in 2011 at the age of 98.
35 ml of Saffron Gin
15 ml of lemon juice
3 teaspoons of honey
Garnish: star anise.
“I decided to give her a star,” Eric explains, “because she was a soldier.”
Method: Muddle cucumber with a fresh mint. Shake all ingredients with ice and double-strain in a cocktail glass.
With this year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, who helped lead the Allies to victory, Eric has also concocted The Spitfire. It’s named for the fighter aircraft, of course, although its deliciously potent ingredients might have you spitting fire, as well.
“I want you to fly,” Eric says with a wolfish smile. (At least he didn’t say “crash and burn.”)
30 ml of Chase Marmalade Vodka
10 ml of elderflower cordial
15 ml of vanilla syrup
Passion fruit puree
Laurent-Perrier Champagne “to lift up all the flowers”
Garnish: Fresh passion fruit
Method: Shake all ingredients in (what else?) a shaker, then double-strain in a glass, and top with champagne.
The Stafford Garden
Just as the end of the war heralded a new beginning, the spring symbolizes rebirth, as well.
(Admittedly, I’m reaching for a war connection here, folks. But Eric has launched a third new cocktail, and trust me, you’re going to want to try it. So just roll with it, okay?)
Now, where was I? Oh yes. Spring. Eric has captured sunshine in a glass with The Stafford Garden.
35 ml of Hendrick’s gin
15 ml of apple sourz
Dash of apple juice. Yes, that IS an official(ish) bartender’s measurement.
Garnish: Twist of orange
Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and double-strain into a glass. Top with champagne.
More information: http://www.thestaffordlondon.com
More about this year’s Winston Churchill events, including The Stafford’s special hotel package: https://amylaughinghouse.com/?p=3836