The recently opened Purl bar is mixing old-fashioned ‘bitters’ with modern, Heston Blumenthal-like presentations to create multi-sensory cocktails.
The atmospheric, Victorian-style cocktail bar is named after a drink mentioned in Charles Dickens’s Sketches By Boz. Barman and owner Tristan Stephenson is planning to make a bitters inspired by this strange brew.
For now, Purl is using Bob’s Bitters in its intriguing drinks. ‘What Bob does so well is that each bottle of bitters is a specific flavour which is usually directed towards a specific drink,’ says Stephenson. ‘So he does cardamom, peppermint, lavender, orange and mandarin, chocolate, vanilla and grapefruit.’
According to Stephenson, the bartending world has renewed interest in using bitters in modern cocktails. ‘They add something else for the tongue to detect, and therefore increase the flavours of the drink.’
Stephenson says his bar is partly influenced by Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adrià.