Tony Conigliaro is renowned for his innovative approach to drinks. His lab, the Drinks Factory, is home to the kinds of weird and wonderful machines more at home in science labs and hospitals. Along with distilling equipment and centrifuges, his secret lair of experimentation is awash with rare tonics, potions and liquors to aid the experimentation.
His latest creative venture is a trip into the world of carbonation in tandem with Perrier. Marrying carbonated gas and the minerals of the water with his infused vodkas was the task set. After concentrating on colours, flavours and aromas, Tony has succeeded in creating some outstanding new cocktails with Perrier at their base. But why Perrier?
Tony explains: "First of all, better ingredients make a better cocktail
and Perrier is an excellent product. Secondly, Perrier's naturally occurring bubbles are quite large. This makes them fantastic conduit for carrying flavour and aroma, around which all these new drinks are based"
From experimentation with green tea, rose vodka and Perrier to the final Explorer cocktail, which will be served at 69 Colebrooke Row, the process is as much a part of the drink as the sipping. A mixture of cachaca, fig and grass essences, The Explorer uses its Perrier partner to “lift up the lovely herbal notes” according to Tony – and take our word for it, it works!
To sample the work of Tony Conigliaro head to either 69 Colebrooke Row or The Zetter Townhouse.
69 Colebrooke Row
With 1950’s influences running through the menu, this off-Angel bar is intimate and intriguing in equal measure. Low tables are squeezed into the small space and you’ll find enough experimental fragrance and flavour running through the drinks to keep you guessing all night.
The Zetter Townhouse
In partnership with the Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell, Tony Conigliaro has added 12 of his signature tipples to the menu in this grand hotel bar. Playing with the idea of myth and story, each drink has a twist (whether true or not) to its origins. Take into account that this is a man who created an imaginary guest at the hotel - Wilhelmina - and you can see where he is coming from. Beefeater gin and nettle cordial combine to make the bar’s signature drink, The Nettle Gimlet – one sip and you’re a believer.