“We had to alter some of the recipes,” explains the barman at Sheraton Grand London Park Lane.
“Some of the stronger cocktails had 60 millilitres of absinth in them.
“Sadly, we cannot offer that anymore.”
A shame, but perhaps for the best given today’s move toward temperance among younger drinkers.
Potential alcohol-induced hallucinations aside, though, and the Golden Age of Cocktails at Sheraton Grand London Park Lane has plenty going for it.
Designed by drink historian Rebecca Seal, the new range of cocktails celebrates the hotel’s iconic history, telling the story of ‘the cocktail’ from its roaring ‘20s debut right through to the current day.
Having first opened its doors during the dawn of the cocktail age in 1927, the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane is the perfect place to indulge in such a retrospective.
What’s more, the Art Deco hotel has just completed the multi-million-pound renovation of its 303 guest rooms and public spaces, including the famed Grade II listed Art Deco Ballroom and Silver Gallery, allowing it to rightfully reclaiming its place at the pinnacle of London hospitality.
The Palm Court Lounge, home to the new cocktail menu, has also been spruced up, and is proving a popular haunt for a sophisticated international crowd.
The Americano is a highlight of the New Golden Age of Cocktails menu at the London Sheraton Grand
Arriving on a Saturday evening in January, the place is packed with drinkers supping the latest concoctions before heading out on the town for the evening.
Taking out seats we order a ‘Colonial Cooler’ and a ‘Classic Champagne Cocktail’.
The first includes gin, vermouth and Amer Picon, and is light, fresh and a strong opening for an evening of drinking.
The latter - a drink almost unchanged since its invention, probably several decades before its first printed mention in the early 1860s – takes a similar route, welcoming drinkers to an evening of relaxation after a hard day shopping on nearby Regent Street.
A Martini and a Sazerac - an unrivalled after-dinner digestif create in New Orleans - follow and the evening has really begun.
The drinks on the menu are organised by the hour of the day, with guests encouraged to begin at midday with a Mint Julep and move on with a new drink every couple of hours.
However, in another nod to contemporary culture, the hotel advises that, while in 1930s it may have been de rigueur for elevenses to be taken with a Martini, this is no longer the case.
As such, guests are advised that the Sheraton, sadly, does not expect anyone treat the menu as a timetable for a single day.
Finishing our drinks we had to leave to take in a show but could easily have spent a leisurely evening sampling the delicious drinks.
Bit never fear, Seal - a well-established journalist and author - also has plans for three more menus at the hotel, so plenty to look forward to in the future from the Sheraton and its wonderful Palm Court.