Cocktails? Something’s stirring at George’s Bar…
Using very English ingredients, Marcus Wareing’s St Pancras Hotel venue will help you discover your inner Jay Gatsby
18 May, 2018 — By Tom Moggach
Head barman Dav Eames mixes cocktails at George’s Bar
THE Jazz Age saw many cocktail classics created and nearly 100 years on, they are yet to be bettered. But what the mixologists at Marcus Wareing’s George’s Bar at St Pancras Hotel have whizzed up – and in surroundings the Great Gatsby would appreciate – deserve similar longevity to Long Island Iced Teas, Manhattans and Mint Juleps.
It also bashes on the head the idea that American cocktails have more pizzazz than something that we rustle up on this side of the Atlantic – using very English ingredients, they have one thing on their summer menu that will make you discover your inner Jay Gatsby.
Called a Rhubarb and Ginger sour, it is a heady but refreshing mix of grapefruit vodka – or tequila, if you are that way inclined – swished about with Aperol, pink grapefruit juice, a rhubarb syrup, ginger and lemon. The results are disgracefully moreish. Be careful on this one.
Another that leaps out was inspired by a trip to Morocco by head barman Dav Eames. On his return, he created the aptly named Lost In Marrakech, a cocktail that blends the heady scents of that Saharan city and manages to squash it all into a tumbler. It’s base is a white rum layered with a rose liqueur, a dash of cinnamon syrup, and then the fresh tastes of orange, lime and mint. Marrakech is a nearly-dry city, but you can imagine supping on this as you gaze out across Jemaa el-Fna square.
Going to a Marcus Wareing restaurant might, for many, be something you feel needs to be saved for a special occasion.
But now you don’t have to wait for a calendar landmark to savour the skill of this team. George’s Bar gives you the chance to sample something from the menu that has Wareing’s trademark award-winning British brilliance all over it.
A chorizo jam smeared across sour dough will soak up some of the hefty alcoholic offerings, while for something surprisingly light, smoked potato and gruyére croquette, served with a mustard emulsion, was too good to have just one portion of. For those whose appetite has been woken by booze, then a triple-cooked portion of chips will help keep you going – and it comes served with a hollandaise mousse, a rich and smoky addition to the plate. It was so good, it was smeared on the sour dough bread that had been left to one side.
If you are moving away from the cocktails (don’t!) then a truffle-laced mac ’n’ cheese or the La Fromagerie selection will go with something red off the wine list. English cheeses include a Somerset soft cheese and a classic Stilton.
For a chunkier dish, the beef burger, piled up with pickles and dripping with a smoked applewood cheese, completes the job.
If you don’t want something laced with alcohol, they do afternoon tea, too – think classic sandwiches with cucumber, tomato and cheddar, and then cakes for those who need something sweet to round it off.
The menu does this listed bar justice – this is Grade-I food (from £5.50) and drink (from £12).
St Pancras Renaissance Hotel
020 7278 3888