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The Connaught Bar’s Cocktails Are So Good They’re Collected in a New Book

Each cocktail in the book is “a story of our journey with the people who have designed and shared these drinks,” says director of mixology Agostino Perrone

Connaught director of mixology Agostino Perrone at the martini trolley / Photo: Courtesy of Connaught Bar

The creation of the 16-year-old Connaught Bar can be attributed to Agostino Perrone, the director of mixology at The Connaught, and his entire team, who worked together to unite two universes that used to exist separately: a hotel bar and an independent bar. A native of Lombardy, Italy, Perrone arrived in London in 2003 and began to gain attention at Dusk in Batter-sea and Montgomery Place in Notting Hill. In 2008, he opened the Connaught Bar and the accolades poured in, including Tales of the Cocktail’s World’s Best Bartender and World’s Best Hotel Bar (2010), World’s Best Cocktail Bar (2012 and 2016) and Best International Bar Mentor (2023). But it was The World’s 50 Best Bars list that ultimately validated the Connaught Bar’s global position: It was named Best Bar in the World in 2020 and 2021.

Opposites Attract cocktail, featuring Rémy VSOP cognac and pecan nuts / Photo: Courtesy of Connaught Bar

I have visited multiple times and can attest to the privilege and excitement one feels to be seated in the uniquely elegant surroundings of furnishings that evoke English and Irish cubist art. “Our cocktails are vehicles to communicate our experiences and stories, and we’ve always dreamt of collecting these into a book,” says Perrone. And now it is so: The Connaught Bar: Cocktail Recipes and Iconic Creations is being published by Phaidon. Each cocktail described in the book is “a story of our journey with the people who have designed and shared these drinks,” he says.

The famous martini trolley is still a tradition and with every visit I learn a new lesson. The only way to chill a martini is by stirring. The Connaught’s martinis are offered dirty, with a twist or subtly infused with a flavor, sometimes requiring a smell test to determine each guest’s preference or aversion. For me, tonka-bean drops add a dimension to my very dry gin martini, made with the exquisite Connaught Bar gin, an artisanal spirit created by Perrone and crafted with hand-rolled juniper berries and the woody hint of mace from Morocco. Fresh Amalfi lemon peel captures the sweet vibrancy of the essential oils, and a second distillation of fine Bordeaux balances the crisp citrus and mineral tones with silky red fruit, ever so gently.

Good Fellas, with cardamom-leaf-infused Wood-ford Reserve whiskey red / Photo: Courtesy of Connaught Bar

A guest who sat next to me makes a date with himself every Thursday to try new creations. A croque monsieur with rich Comté cheese, ham and truffle accompanied his Vintage Martini, prepared with 1970s Gordon’s dry gin and Martini extra-dry vermouth. As a departure from gin, I opted for the 1893 Sidecar, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the drink and paying homage to cognac from that era, Adet 1893, Cointreau and lemon juice.

The list of cocktails is long and storied, with masterpieces such as the Vieux Connaught, an aromatic take on the Vieux Carré, as well as offerings from the latest Synergia list. Kindred Joy is a favorite, merging Patrón silver tequila, Three Spirit Spark Blurred Wine, Ancho Reyes Verde chili liqueur, Fever-Tree pink-grapefruit soda and Ikigai La Tomato liqueur.