8.9.18 / London / England

First Glass: Nitrate Manhattan at Dandelyan

“After the first glass you see things as you wish they were…”

Heading what’s regularly considered the world’s best bar would be intimidating to most. How do you innovate? How do you ensure everyone who steps through the doors is getting an impeccably crafted cocktail? Fortunately Dandelyan at the Mondrian London has Alex Lawrence to answer those questions with drinks so delectable you might forget how strong they really are. Despite being in his 20s, Lawrence worked at popular bars including Ninety-Nine, Orchid, and Bar Swift, co-founded a gin called Porters, and worked with Dandelyan founder Ryan Chetiyawardana to develop cocktails at Mr. Lyan Studios. This is his second stint at Dandelyan where he was a senior bartender before, this time getting promoted to head bartender last August and continuing their tradition of excellence with drinks like the Nitrate Manhattan.

[Alex Lawrence]

As you can deduce from the name, this is a riff on the Manhattan, and a boozy one at that. With a menu so densely packed with unique drinks, Lawrence sees the Nitrate Manhattan as the perfect representation of what Dandelyan is all about: “We’ve chosen this drink as it perfectly reflects the heap mad s**t that we do and also reflects the menu concept perfectly,” Lawrence explains. “It’s inspired by two manmade systems (textiles and rhubarb farming) that accidentally benefitted each other in Yorkshire. The wool industry used to turn over spent wool into the soil which eventually enriched the soil with nitrogen. Making it ideal for rhubarb farming, and thus why Yorkshire rhubarb has such a provenance.” Here a rhubarb infused vermouth replaces sweet vermouth, Talisker scotch and surprisingly tequila both take place of bourbon, and instead of bitters you add a dash of Asbsinthe, because why not? This whirlwind of spirits somehow comes out balanced and rich, each part adding just enough character without overpowering the others. It’s just the kind of unmistakable English madness that we’re into.

Nitrate Manhattan

35ml Tapatio blanco tequila (1.25 oz.)
15ml Talisker 10 Scotch whisky (0.5 oz.)
30ml Rhubarb Saison Vermouth (1 oz.)
1 Dash Absinthe

Stir until chilled and diluted and strain into a sherry glass.

[Alex Lawrence]

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