3.6.18 / London / England

First Glass: Speak No Italiano at The London EDITION

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

In our latest Culture series, we introduce you to the most creative bartenders in the world and showcase their current cocktail favorites—including the recipes for you to recreate them yourself.

It’s typical to find a diverse hotel staff in London, with people coming in from all over Europe to work in the thriving English capital. In fact, you’re more likely to meet people from anywhere other than England itself, but what we weren’t expecting during our last trip to the London EDITION was a fellow New Yorker. Having made London her home since attending fashion school, Robyn Wilkie slowly rose through the ranks of hospitality through Jason Atheron’s Social company, before becoming head bartender of the EDITION last year. Now she’s working on some of the most creative cocktails in London, including the Speak No Italiano.

[Robyn Wilkie]

Part of the new 2018 menu, the Speak No Italiano works on multiple levels. On the one hand, it was created with January drinkers in mind: “It’s a very low-ABV sour. As we launched the menu in January, a lot of people don’t drink; we’re trying to refrain a little bit from drinking.” This also hits on a broad trend in culture, which is a new interest in low-alcohol cocktails, especially with a younger generation that is known to drink less (though we haven’t found these people yet). But the drink also blends several uncommon flavors, resulting in something totally unique that could work equally well as an aperitif today or as a warm weather refresher. The immediate instinct is to define the taste as rose, but that’s the trick of the delicate rosebud garnish sitting on top. “The rose is on the nose, so it pulls out other flavors in the drink.” Finally, the drink serves as a precursor to the famous Berner’s Tavern at the hotel. “It’s more of a bitter smooth style, very good for pre-dinner, which helps our guests as we have a restaurant right next door.” The perfect (first) first glass.

Speak No Italiano

25ml Chinato
15ml Martini Ambrato
10ml Campari
5ml Lychee
25ml Lemon
10ml Sugar
20ml Egg white

Mix ingredients into a shaker with crushed ice. Strain into an old fashioned glass with a block of ice. Garnish with dried rose.