The arrival of autumn offers a perfect opportunity to indulge in some seasonal specialities, and the thought of enjoying a delicious and warming autumnal cocktail certainly makes the darker evenings seem more appealing. The Royal Exchange is the ideal meeting place in the City to turn this thought into reality, with both Grind café-bar and the Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant housed within its historic walls. In honour of London Cocktail Week, we asked expert mixologists to share their top tips for selecting flavours and ingredients to make the perfect cocktail for the change of season.
Florent Giovannone, general manager at Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant, has many years experience working with wines and spirits and recommends a spiced cocktail for autumn. ‘As the weather gets colder, our guests want something much warmer in aromas and colour’. According to Giovannone, the flavours and ingredients to look out for include pumpkin, wheat, oak, vanilla, malt and spice. Highly recommended from the Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant cocktail menu this month is the treacle: a heady mix of cognac, rum, and apple juices with spices that are sure to warm the cockles.
Sam Trevethyen, Grind’s head of beverage training and development, is looking forward to the launch of the espresso and cocktail bar’s autumn/winter cocktail menu in November, thanks to the introduction of the toasted marshmallow martini. It is, he says, ‘pure autumn: rich, silky, smooth made from marshmallow-infused vodka, pineapple juice and Chambord, and topped with a toasted marshmallow’.
As the weather changes, Grind likes to introduce a few hot cocktails, incorporating seasonal flavours, says Trevethyen. Grind’s hot flat white Russian, which blends Grind house espresso with vodka, Kahlua and warm milk, has become a firm favourite with customers, as has the espresso old fashioned, which features an espresso-infused bourbon. Trevethyen highly recommends incorporating coffee into your autumn tipple: ‘It adds both sweetness and richness to drinks, which is perfect for when the weather gets a little less friendly. Also with the days getting shorter, we all need that little pick me up, right?’
Visit Grind, and the Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant, at The Royal Exchange this autumn to enjoy an expertly crafted seasonal cocktail within beautiful historic surroundings in the heart of the City.