Wednesday, 27 October 2010

All Hallows Eve

In Mexico, The Day of the Dead is a day of celebration. Loved ones gather to remember those who have passed on.
To sing, dance and feast in their honour. Death is not seen as an end, but the beginning of a journey of transcendence. This is the day on which we communicate with our beloved travellers.

Elaborate dress, flowers, trinkets and laughter all illuminate the spirits of those who have crossed but returned, for this day, to celebrate with us in the jovial haunting of Halloween.
Ladies, gentlemen, join us Sunday 31st of October on All Hallows Eve to help celebrate the dead and help them rise, to dance, for this one night.

How the celebrations will begin:

~El Dia de Los Muertos Halloween Celebration at 69 Colebrooke Row~

Meeting for gruel at The Charles Lamb Pub at 6.30 pm, the damned mob will zombie march to The Bar With No Name where the evening's fiendish festivities await. Costumes, snacks, spooky Halloween cocktails [see below] and live entertainment ensure this to be an evening that will go down in Colebrooke history.

Please come in your finest Day of the Dead garb. Skeletons, catrinas, ghosts, ghouls, vampires, mummies (and daddies) all welcome.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Rumfest after party

The celebrations of rumfest became somewhat eclipsed by the series of successes over the weekend (see below for more details), but the day's proceedings went down a storm. The day began early with Cuban food served outside with our authentically (we are informed) decorated street, followed by live Cuban music and of course, lashings of Cuban rum in the form of special Havana Club cocktails.

Guests were treated to specially prepared Havana Blanco Mojito Sorbet created earlier with a batch of dry ice, mint hydrosol and lime.

Frozen Mulata daiquiris, dry ice hemingways, vintage El Pres... the drinks flowed and the dancing ensued whilst the sun shone graciously on us. As the evening rolled around, news of our trophy reached the hoards and a truly rum filled party escalated long into the night. A night to remember!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Beefeater Gin talk with Desmond Payne and Dan Warner

This Monday the 25th, we are very pleased to welcome back to the bar with no name Master Distiller (and a man with a huge heritage in gin production) Desmond Payne and Global Brand Ambassador Dan Warner for an evening of all things Beefeater. The talk will document the long, illustrious path of London's home grown gin and Beefeater's integral role to the category.

The talk will commence at 5 and not only cast light on gin and its place within British History but also how gin can be used in classic and modern cocktails- culminating in a showcase of bespoke Beefeater drinks.
Places will be limited and with no cover charge, booking early is advised. Not one to be missed!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Tony interviewed on London Cocktail Society

The Interview: Tony Conigliario
Posted on September 16, 2010 by mark

Mark Gill talks with Tony Conigliaro, cocktail maestro and owner of 69 Colebrooke Row:

Despite visiting his bar several times I had yet to meet Tony in person, so I was excited about the prospect of talking to a man I’d read so much about. As it turned out, Tony doesn’t play up to his ‘celebrity bartender’ status, in spite of usually being referred to as the Heston Blumenthal of the bartending world. When he arrived, business carried on as normal as he quietly took a seat to one side of the bar. I was intrigued by this understated presence so took the opportunity to introduce myself and get chatting.

Process not product

I quickly realised that the concept of celebrity is not something that appeals to Tony. For him the focus should be on the cocktails. Surprisingly his attitude seems to be less about the finished, and sometimes extraordinary, end product and more about the process of creation.

However, don’t underestimate the almost superhuman effort Tony and his team go to to achieve perfect flavour. For that’s the thing with cocktails. Unlike food, they tend not to attract pretentious talk of provenance and although things like mouth-feel are important, it mostly comes down to one thing: flavour and its balance.

If it were possible to be addicted to flavour perfection, I reckon Tony would be among the more serious cases. Often spending 10-12 hours a day in his lab upstairs, his quest seems never-ending. He tells me that he recently spent two years creating a drink because he couldn’t get it quite right. Then, when he had finally perfected it, he was given a blocking order by a major spirit producer to prevent him from serving, or even talking about it!
Science as art

Originally from an arts background, it’s easy to understand why the creative process is so important to him – something I find interesting considering his current preference for using scientific techniques. Tony believes this combination, and the fact that he has never trained as a scientist, gives him a unique ability to think outside the box and create drinks that have never been tried before.

If you’re aware of 69 Colebrooke Row’s reputation for molecular mixology, you would be forgiven for anticipating the drinks to be on the ‘weird’ side. In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For Tony, these techniques are not about creating drinks as theatre but about using them to make drinks that taste the best they possibly can. Which is why the ‘science part’ takes place behind closed doors and not front of house.

A good example of this philosophy is the house Bloody Mary. The only ‘twist’ here is that each ingredient is fine tuned to enhance the drink, with the key to it’s unique flavour being the horseradish vodka. Tony takes raw horseradish and vodka, then redistills it in a rotavapour, which uses low pressure and temperature, to produce a vodka that tastes like nothing I have ever experienced.

On smelling and tasting this creation for the first time, I noticed not the heat of the horseradish or vodka but the deep vegetal notes, which impart a depth of flavour quite unlike a ‘normal’ marination. On top of this, homemade celery salt and tabasco is used. I quiz Tony on the tomatoes he uses, asking if he presses his own he simply says “no”. I’m surprised. “Surely you don’t buy them off the shelf?” I ask. Another simple “No” in response, but this time there is a glint in his eye, telling me something special is probably done to these tomatoes but he isn’t about to tell me.
The drinks not the man

Unlike other eating and drinking establishments with world-famous owners, 69 Colebrooke Row is not all about Tony Conigliario. The real star of the show here are the drinks. I leave with just as many questions as I enter, but the interim has been a passage of discovery that leaves me hungry for more. Tony is a complex and interesting man but there is one question the answer to which tells me all I really need to know. “Do you ever get an urge to get back behind the bar?” I ask, after Tony tells me how long he spends in the lab. “Oh yes” is his reply, with a smile and a glance at the bar.

Scientist, artist, inventor, host; above all Tony Conigliaro is a bartender.

The Bar With No Name and the Weekend of Win

And The OFM Winner for Best Place to Drink is... Thank You!

Thank you to the Observer, to it's esteemed readers and writers, and a huge thank you to everyone of our customers over the past year that deemed us worthy of their vote.

The accolade of an Observer Food Monthly Awards gong is a genuine honour indeed ~ thank you!

Also over the weekend, the bar with no name picked up the award for Best New Bar at Class! Up against very fierce opposition, we were very pleased to receive the award.

To add to the celebrations, Ryan battled with the creme of bartenders from around the UK for the national final of the No.3 Gin competition and walked away with top spot!
See you soon!

Camille, Tony and the Team ~ X

Friday, 15 October 2010


Saturday, 17 October beginning at 2pm -

The festivities will flow inside Colebrooke and into the heated street through the evening with live Latin Funk by Motimba, Cuban food, Havana Cocktails, Mojito Sherbet and more!

Families welcome, we just ask you to tuck the little ones away by 7pm.

We hope you will all come join us and Celebrate Havana Club and 69 Colebrooke Row's recent winning of the OFM award!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Vintage manhattan part two

The secondary ageing is furthermore developing well. Now into a deep amber colour, the sweet notes of oak are mingling well with the previously steely Manhattan.
A certain oilyness is also apparent as the wood leaches into the spirit- an aspect which can be seen in non-chill filtered products. A slight clouding can be expected when the drink is mixed.

Interestingly, the light wood infusion has developed more with the bourbon notes- a sweeter medley of vanilla, lemon fudge and eucalyptus on the nose whereas the dark wood has marched further down the richer route, with tobacco and christmas spices evident but playing much more into the vermouth.

New drinks at the bar with no name

There are a few additions to the menu as the best of the summer weather fades away. The light, crisp and fresh Elegante has been replaced by the house Bloody Mary- a rich, spicy autumal alternative that is more fitting of the cooler months. Based upon the bar's cold distilled Horseradish Vodka, it also features a black pepper distillate for a touch of complex heat, a homemade, aged Habanero pepper sauce for a rich, deep flavour, worcestershire sauce, homemade celery salt and the house tomato blend (which all excited a certain Heston Blumenthal on a recent visit)
In addition, we also have the return of the Vintage El Presidente (much to the joy of several guests- several times, the quote "the best drink in the world" has earnestly been bandied around) building up to the phenomenal 1 year vintage due at Rumfest.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Live Gypsy Jazz Sunday with

This Sunday, 10 October, 69 Colebrooke Row hosts Viper's Dream, playing the forever vibrant and swinging music of Django Reinhardt in the style commonly known as hot club gypsy jazz. Featuring tight interplay between guitar and fiddle, Viper's Dream conjures up images of times past while simultaneously providing a fresh interpretation of classic tunes. We hope you'll swing down to enjoy the evening with us - Music starts at 8! Also, introducting 2 new cocktails to the menu.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Chrysanthemum distillate (almost)

Dia de los Muertos approaches, and attempts to find a fitting drink to accompany lent an eye being cast towards Chrysanthemums. Symbolic and representative of death (but not deadly), they befell the fate of being drowned and passed through the Rotovap. Initially a deep green/black, the crystal clear liquor that came off was separated into heads, hearts and tails (L-R) to determine where the true essence of the flower resided. As water was added, the oleoresin present in the distillates louched a gentle cloudiness (notice the lack of louche within the end cut) and opened up the aroma. However, despite a noticeable difference between the cuts, and interesting aromas of glasshouses, humid foliage and gentle aromatics, the delicate floral notes were lost. An informative failure; 69 Colebrooke Row- human after all!

Many happy returns!

The weekend saw the bar with no name welcome a series of celebrations for Cami and Tony who were both celebrating their 21st birthdays with a mere day betwixt each other. Positioned just prior to a busy period of talks at the Berlin Bar Convent, a warm convivial party atmosphere permeated the weekend nonetheless. Bonnes Anniversaires!

Staff Luncheon

As the busy season creeps up on us, the Colebrooke crew head to Bistrot Bruno Loubet at the Zetter Hotel for a team lunch to discuss the season at hand.

Apart from the amazing food and service, the staff were also more than accepting of our tom-foolery. See photographic evidence below:

We then moved on to a tour of Clerkenwell, guided by none other than our very own Tony C, full of knowledge about the old Gin distilleries and the changing trades that used to occupy the area…

Friday, 1 October 2010

Damson Gin: the bar with no name VS the Charles Lamb

The gauntlet has been thrown!

As Autumn roles around, wild plum trees yield fresh damson berries and the stroll towards the winter period begins, the two venues are busy preparing batches of homemade Damson Gin. Who will create better results though? The bar with no name are utilising their knowledge gained from work in the lab so are bringing a new school method to the mix whilst the Charles Lamb are sticking with the more traditional (slow) techniques. All bets are on.

Staff win Prizes!

Competition success is following the 69 staff, with Ryan winning regional finals in both the N0.3 Gin and 209 Gin competitions to make it through to the National finals of each over the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Stu took top honours at the Pernod Ricard competition- Free Pour- fighting off high standards from competitors around the country to place first and win himself a trip to Cuba and the title of Lord of the Free Pour.


Kigo and the bar with no name with Roland Mouret

Kigo and 69 Colebrooke Row sponsored the hotly anticipated launch of the inaugural men’s collection from distinguished designer Roland Mouret.
Featuring bespoke Kigo cocktails designed by Tony, the drinks formed an elegant backbone to a sophisticated evening.
'The Miracle' featured green tea and mint infused Kigo stirred down with Grey Goose and garnished with an origami fan.

Legendary Drinkers through the bar with no name

We’d like to highlight a few of our international guests who cannot make it into the bar on a regular basis, but when the opportunity arises, are sure to be found at the bar with no name.

Heath is well known throughout many of the bars around the world, and is identifiable by his dapper attire and knowledge of classic libations. An eclectic palate and sophisticated drinker, we ask those who have the opportunity to host him to greet him cordially and enjoy his witty charm.

Also a regular to grace the bar again was Ernesto. Hailing from Mexico he once again visited us within the bar for the duration of his trip. Particularly interesting on this occasion was his unique ordering- not only asking for recommendations and any favourites of the moment, he would follow each choice with a contrasting request; a Communist was followed by a call for a Capitalist, a rich drink followed by a request for a poor drink... Again, if you have the pleasure to encounter him, send him our regards and look after him well. He even brought us presents from Mexico!