Nothing heralds the start of summer in the city more than those first al fresco cocktails of the season.
This year Bluebird is celebrating its twentieth birthday and so decided to team up with fragrance queen Jo Malone to create a range of cocktails all served in a floral blossom garden outside the main restaurant.
Fragrance, flowers and fizz? Who could ask for anything more?
Well, maybe a little masterclass from Jo herself? And that’s just what Belle got at the launch.
After setting up her new line, Jo Loves, perfume expert Jo decided to challenge herself and use her expert nose in other areas.
‘I wanted to collaborate with the food and drink industry for a long time, seeing if I could take my sense of smell and transport it into taste,’ she explains.
And as we settled down in the flower garden, she explained the inspiration behind the cocktails that she’s worked on in conjunction with Bluebird’s head bar tender Egzon Kastrati.
First off, we sampled the Pomelo – an easy-drinking citrus spritz that was inspired by Jo’s summer holiday in Parrot Cay. Its base is fresh pomelo stirred with grapefruit, Tanqueray gin, lemon, lime leaf, hibiscus and topped with prosecco.
Next up was No.42 Flower Shop – This one is inspired by Jo’s days working as a florist and was Belle’s favourite. It’s poured into glasses from a silver watering can and is garnished with flowers to create what Jo calls an ‘edible bouquet’. It contains: vanilla infused vodka, Chambord, lemon, lychee, rose, cherry and rose champagne muddled together with dry junipers, pomegranates and raspberries. It’s sweet and perfumed with a special kick that stops it from being cloying.
We finished off with the Salted Caramel – a real showstopper of a cocktail – presented in a copper mug with an edible chocolate cup of salted caramel ice cream on the side. Spiced rum, Drambuie, Mozart, lime juice, espresso coffee, muddled pink and black peppercorns.
- The Jo Loves cocktails start at £14 at Bluebird in Bloom, www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk