The minds behind The Palm Court at The Park Lane Hotel seem to be on the same wavelength as me, or maybe they just knew I was coming. I’m a huge fan of creativity in any form and even more so when it combines cocktails, art and hotels.
Let me explain.
The artist William Hogarth is best known for his famous works Beer Street and Gin Lane which depict British society in the mid 1700s and the evils of drinking gin versus the merits of drinking beer. In Beer Street the scene is a happy one showing people drinking good English beer enjoying their health and prosperity, while in Gin Lane the scene is of lazy, careless people. In fact Gin Lane shows a woman so drunk she drops her baby. Whoops.
And herein lies what I love about this collaboration. The Park Lane Hotel is currently commemorating the 250th anniversary of William Hogarth’s death with a menu of limited edition gin and beer cocktails which pay homage to these two famous artworks. So, not only are creative ingredients used in the drinks but the thought behind the idea goes way beyond that of a regular cocktail. Mixologist and fellow Irishman David Lawlor, if you came up with this, your countrymen commend you because this is great and pretty unique.
I’m normally not a beer drinker so I decided to ease myself in by starting with Gin Lane while my boyfriend, who is a beer drinker, went for Beer Street. Gin Lane was surprisingly like a cosmo (I somehow always pick drinks that taste and look like cosmos without realising) and went down an absolute treat. The inclusion of apricot marmalade and egg white in a cocktail could go one of two ways but luckily it went the right one and the only problem with this drink was that there wasn’t more of it.
Beer Street is one for chocolate lovers. It contains Meantime Chocolate Beer on top of Late Bottled Vintage Port, blackberries, almonds, honey syrup and hazelnut liqueur which sort of makes it like an adult version of Nutella. Win.
Next up for me was Liberty and Art (two things I’m all about) while my boyfriend went for the fourth and final option on the Hogarth menu, Labour and Love. Both cocktails contained a variety of fruit, fruit juices and decoration but more importantly both cocktails contained gin and beer thus combining Hogarth’s two prints in two drinks. Excellent.
For someone like myself who generally doesn’t drink beer the cocktails containing it are quite beery, but for those who do it’s just another ingredient on top of the other already delicious ones. My favourite of the night was Gin Lane while beer wise my boyfriend favoured Labour and Love.
As well as the creative cocktails we were also treated to a few nibbles with dessert from the afternoon tea menu.
If you, like me, love thought and creativity then Hogarth’s cocktails are what you need in your life. But hurry, they’re limited edition and only available until 29th November. Off you go.
(I was a guest of The Park Lane Hotel)