Cocktails, like all things that speak to the senses, can take you places. For example, syrupy cranberry juice mixed with vodka takes me right back to college.
But in a more serious display of ingenuity, the Lobby Bar at One Aldwych hotel in London’s theater district is offering up a drink that will take you to the homeland of the world’s best whisky, and not merely by way of your tastebuds. Drinkers who order The Origin cocktail are presented with a virtual reality headset which takes them on a journey through the gorgeous Scottish Highlands, ending just in time for the whisky-based drink to be served.
“Great cocktails, like great theatre, rely on superb presentation with lots of drama,” says bar manager Pedro Paulo. “The aim with The Origin—part of the wider, brand new Showtime Cocktails menu—is to offer guests a sensory experience not only for the taste buds but for the eyes.” Other offerings on the theater-themed menu include drinks inspired by Moulin Rouge, Aladdin, among more legendary shows.
50 ml Dalmore 12 (12 year old single malt whisky)
15 ml Merlet cherry liqueur
15 ml Sugar syrup
20 ml Cherry purée
10 ml Fresh grapefruit juice
3 dashes Chocolate bitters
30 ml Lallier Champagne
Using a cocktail shaker, place all the ingredients plus some ice in one half. Gently roll these between the two halves of the cocktail shaker. Add the Champagne then strain into a small whisky decanter. Using a smoking gun machine (handheld food smoker) and sherry wood chips, add smoke to the decanter and seal with the stopper so that the cocktail is smoked. Serve in a whisky tumbler with ice and garnish with an orange twist and cherry.