27 April 2011

Old School of the Savoy

On Tuesday 19th April there was a coming together of minds when Peter Dorelli of the Savoy and Spike Marchant sat down at 69 Colebrooke Row. Spike proceeded to pick apart and engage the stories from Peter who recounted the old days of the Savoy and how things have changed since.

Peter is arguably the most well known of the ex Head Bartenders at the Savoy and Spike is the much respected ex Maitre D of Dicks Bar at the Atlantic Bar and Grill.

The original menu's from the Savoy

Peter making an old fashioned

Peter addresses the captivated crowd

Regardless of, what I understand, was little conversation prior to the event between the two, the evening was a success for all participating and the two speakers with everyone going away having gained something from the evening as well as some rarely heard information about Pebbles Bar where Peter worked with his brother......

We have a film being edited as we speak which will be up very soon.

Water Sound Images

This video is from the documentary of Alexander Lauterwasser "Water Sound Images" and his incredible research on the effect of vibration/sound and how it creates form.

Pretty amazing to watch really. Skip to 1:32 for our favourite bit!

21 April 2011

Beachbum Berry Article

"The chocolate put us in mind of Willy Wonka, which put us in mind of Tony Conigliaro. The latter is often compared to the former, and we found out why on our first visit to Tony’s bar, 69 Colebrook Row. Upstairs is a drink lab that rivals Wonka’s factory, with gleaming, whirring machines that can actually remove the alcohol from a spirit, and then put it back again. Another of Tony’s experiments — aging cocktails as you would wine or spirits — yields truly spectacular results. Downstairs in his cozy, convivial saloon, we sampled an El Presidente aged six months, and another aged a full year; after a palate-cleansing house Mojito sorbet, presented on a spoon by courtly Colebrook barman Marcis Dzelzainis, we assayed a one-year Manhattan and a six-year Manhattan. All four barrel-aged drinks tasted as if the individual ingredients had merged on a cellular level, in a kind of reverse mitosis: the aged Manhattan still tasted like a Manhattan and the Presidente like a Presidente, but both cocktails seemed to be composed of a single ur-ingredient — one that sprang whole from Zeus’s thigh, like Dionysis himself — and not a composite blend of vermouth, bitters, and base liquor. On our next visit to 69 Colebrook Row, we fully expect to see Donn Beach conversing with Madame Curie — both reanimated by the newest miracle potion from Tony’s lab (pictured below, with Tony at work)."

Thanks to Jeff for this. Read the full article over at Beachbum Berry.

opps sorry!

After some research, I know realise that I got one of my facts wrong during my talk in Sweden.

The premise I stated was that water molecules are bigger than alcohol molecules when the reverse is actually true and alcohol molecules are actually much bigger than water.

However the principle still stands of why alcohol has a lower boiling point than water because boiling point is not an indication of size but rather of how strong are the forces holding one molecule to the next. In the case of water the forces are very strong - they are called hydrogen bonds - and there is a multiple cross - linking between molecules. So each water molecule is strongly connected to at least four others. In ethanol the presence of CH2CH3 group reduces the ability to crosslink.

The points I made are still relevant as that is how it reacts. However I did get the size wrong!

Tony C

Pionners 2011 Presentation

As promised the presentation from the Pioneers New York/Chicago/Lost Angelese 2011.


Hydrosols are a water distillation in which the essential oils have been suspended in the water.

An efficient method of making a hydrosol is by using a Buchi Rota Evaporator. The Rotavapor allows distillation to take place but under a vacuum meaning you are able to change the boiling temperature. Meaning you are able to distill more delicate ingredients which who's volatiles would be destroyed at normal boiling temperature and distillation conditions.

Food Pairing Ideas and Concepts

There are few moments more rewarding when working behind a bar than when you hit that perfect combinatoin of flavours that seamlessly blend together.

Suggestions and pointers in this process are always welcome and Bernard Lehousse from Food Pairing is a man who can help. He started by analysing the chemical structure of food products and looking at where there are overlays in their flavour. His work produces some interesting results and surprising combinations that shouldn't work on paper but chemically and practically do.

His work, recently, has branched out into spirit/wine/coffee analysis, meaning we now know that American Bourbon Whisky, from a chemical point of view, will work well with parmesan cheese, soy sauce or rose.

As well as offering a breakdown of overlays they now offer a flavour wheel which offers a more detailed breakdown of Whisky. Not only on a chemically structural level but also on his new site he offers a service which give direct insights into the flavour groups that pair well with with certain products.

Wet Dogs Nose

As useful and intricate aroma can be in cocktails one aroma not so welcoming is the Dogs Nose smell that can come from egg white which has been sitting for too long or is a product of the eggs composition reacting with the alcohol creating a damp smell on the top of your drink. When we factor in aroma counts for 80% of flavour it is obvious how this can quickly ruin a drink.

There had been a long standing conversation between Tony Conigliaro and Audrey Saunders, searching for a solution to the problem. Tony had a eureka moment and beyond just getting around it, he actually took the reaction of the egg with alcohol and used it to add another layer of flavour to a drink.

The technique involves a sealed box containing eggs, which cotton buds are added to. A food grade essence is then dripped sparingly onto the buds before sealing the box and leaving it over night. The aroma in the box will then fill all the empty space including seeping into the egg itself as the the shell is semi-permeable, which means it will absorb small molecules around it, literally adding flavour to the egg itself.

Vintage Manhattans

The process for the 2004 vintage, took Van Winkle Rye Whisky, 1920's dubonnet, and various port vintages or red wine then left the batchs in either glass or wood for 6 months. Both batchs were then bottled and left in cellar for either 1 year, 6 years, or the new 7 year 2011 vintage.

Wood Aged Manhattan

For the new Wood Aged Manhattan the process began with wood staves, which is wood taken from both light and dark bourbon barrel. We then batch made a Manhattan mix, in the classic way but without diluting the drink.

This batch was then distilled leaving a colourless liquid, but what it also did was remove the "woody" notes from the cocktail leaving a very clean crisp flavour.

Once the distillation was complete we then transferred the distilled Manhattan into the same bottle as the wood staves. The process has been going for 5 months so far, the picture above illustrates how much the colour and flavour has changed already in this time.

The Zetter Town House (ZTH) In Vogue Italy

Thank you to Vogue Italy for the feature on the new Zetter Town House.

14 April 2011

Talk this Tuesday 19th April

Peter Dorelli legendary ex Head Bartender of the Savoy will be talking with Spike Marchant (ex matre D at the Dick's bar at the Atlantic bar and grill).

@ 69 Colebrooke Row on Tuesday the 19th from 2pm.
They will be talking about the "good old days" at the Savoy and about hosting bars.

Eat Japan: Kigo master class

Take a look back at the Japanese Master Class, held at 69 Colebrooke row on February 26th.

"The Bar With No Name, at 69 Colebrooke Row in Angel, London, is an award-winning speakeasy style cocktail bar that's one of the very best in the UK. On February 26 it hosted a Japanese Cocktail Masterclass, sponsored by KIGO Shochu and led by Tony Conigliaro, a pioneering drinks creator whose innovative and exciting flavour combinations have been delighting drinkers for more than a decade."

Read the full article at Eat Japan Trade Directory

13 April 2011

Modern Re-workings

These are our take on classic drink structures that we have played around with and re-worked.

The flintlock is inspired by the New Orleans classic the Sazerac. This interpretation is based on the same principles but with a gin flavour profile rather than Bourbon. We take Beefeater 24 as a base and add gunpowder gomme, dandelion and burdock bitters whilst washing the other glass with Fernet Branca

Nettle Gimlet
This is a re-work of the classic Gimlet. It incorporates a cordial where we dried nettles out which give a tanic taste that works with Beefeater gin.

Dirty Martini
Instead of using the brine from olives which leaves a salty water flavour with a bit of olive we tried to create something with a more "olivey" flavour profile. we looked for a way of purifying the flavour. We made an olive mash then ran this through a centrifuge, meaning we could seperate pulp, oil, and pure olive flavour.

New Beefeater 24 Concept Drinks

We are very proud to showcase these new concept drinks we have created in collaboration with Beefeater 24. We have drawn inspiration from bartenders of the past, and innovative ways of activating the senses to create what we think are creative new drinks.

The Kata takes two similar herbs from different cultures and combines them within one drink. The cocktails base is Beefeater 24 infused with basil which vermouth infused with shiso is then added to. Inspired by chemical overlays between shiso, vermouth basil and gin the flavours match seemlessly.

The plume takes influences from Japanese culture. The drink includes Beefeater 24, silver needle tea and Kigo. Inspired by the green tea ceremony involving and Japan gardens. It uses smell as an essential addition to the cocktail. The incence is used both as way of enhancing the flavour and as a way of creating a scene and meditative mood the drinker can immerse themselves in.

Köln Martini
The Köln Martini takes Beefeater 24, Dry martini and add a single drop of köln essence. Inspired by a recipe found in the second edition of Jerry Thomas' book. The köln recipe has been re-figured using food grade essences to create a multi layered spritz.