Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
Established in 1896, the luxurious London Essence Company are best known for their fruitfully fizzy low-calorie soft drinks. You might recognise their products as being found in bars, supermarkets and boutique stores alike. They have a huge range of mixers from tangy tonic water to rich roasted pineapple, and the company is recognised as the No 2 trending and No 3 best selling tonic water (as voted by the World’s Best Bars). Being so popular amongst those in the know, it was no surprise that when London’s Cocktail week was extended (until the end of October) for The London Essence Company to celebrate, by opening up The London Essence House – a two-storey drinks experience in central London. I popped in to see what they had to offer and I was not disappointed!
The experience is an opulent multi-sensory adventure. In small groups, you are led upstairs to undertake an experiment to reveal a bespoke cocktail, specific to your individual tastes. It begins with a taste test to detect whether you prefer bitter, sweet or acidic tastes. The second part focusses on smell, where you select a scent that makes your tastebuds tingle. Don’t forget to note down your preferences on your lanyard!
From there, you learn the science behind the bubbles – where they come from and why the London Essence mixers taste the way they do (who knew bubbles were so important!) – tasting several drink samples to note the difference between a carbonated and non-carbonated version of the range of drinks. The final part to this section is a blind taste test of the full London Essence Company range. Again, you make a note of your favourite and move onto the last room in the quest for the perfect cocktail.
Here you’re greeted by a friendly bartender and his assistant where they walk you through the steps to create the perfect garnish. Using some fancy knife skills, he created several cheerful citrus garnishes, which we were then encouraged to recreate for our own bespoke cocktail. At this point, his assistant took our lanyards, and using the information we’d captured during our time in the experiment, she used an array of spirits and mixers to finalise our perfect, unique cocktails.
I was handed a coral-coloured creation, complete with the White Peach and Jasmine Crafted Soda. I topped up my spirit dosage with the mixer and adorned the drink with my little garnish (a lemon twist). Turned out, my perfect cocktail was a fusion of the sweet and perfumed – an organic infused vodka mixed with the London Essence Co mixer. It was delicious! My fellow experimentees agreed that their selected drinks were tip-top – and a lot of the tastes came as a surprise! I’ll definitely be on the lookout for my particular mix when I’m out and about in the future.
Our journey sadly ended in a bustling bar area, where top-tier bartenders mixed more colourful cocktails in front of our very eyes. A fabulous experience all round.
Located in central London, close to Covent Garden and therefore close to buses, trains and the underground, it’s super easy to get to.
Put a bit of a fizz in your step this cocktail week.
29 Floral Street
1st – 24th October 2021
£20 per person available online here