This week to whet your whistle, Bobby Hiddleston from London’s Swift Bar discusses some of the inspirations that went into the new literary James Bond cocktail book, SHAKEN.
What process did you take, in deciding what new creations to make?
There was a fairly lengthy brief for each drink – lots of Bond quotes, loads of background information, so we had a great jumping-off point. We made a small shortlist of flavours or inspirations that suited each drink and its story, and tested the best way to integrate those flavours into a cocktail. Some were easier than others.
Did you learn anything new about cocktails during this journey into Fleming’s drinking habits and were there ingredients that were hard to find?
It is very well known that both Fleming and his characters are versed drinkers, but it was very insightful to learn about his quirks and idiosyncrasies. He was very particular about a lot of things, and painfully specific also. It became very clear that he knew exactly what he wanted. In terms of ingredients, a lot of the products mentioned in the books have either stopped being in production altogether or changed the formula so much as to be unrecognisable to the original, that we had to calculate back to what Fleming would have been initially drinking.
For the newer creations, we tried to stay true to what he would be having, maintaining simplicity in execution but also pioneering when it comes to flavours and trends.
What are each of your favourite cocktails from your book?
I am a big fan of the Oddjob – sesame Jinro, palo cortado and a dash of brown rice vinegar. A heavily Korean-influenced drink that gives a strong nod to the Martinis that Bond loved to drink.
006. What is your advice to the home cocktail enthusiast if they want to make some of your creations?
Don’t be afraid of the ingredients! Some of them seem a bit hard-to-get, but the ethos of how we make cocktails is approachability, so if there is a recipe that you really like the look of, then please branch out and make the syrup or find the weird bottle, and the rest is easy.
The cocktails have been created Bar Swift co-founders Bobby Hiddleston, Mia Johansson and Edmund Weil and his wife Rosie Stimpson (the duo also behind celebrated London speakeasies Nightjar and Oriole).