DFW > LHR
A Dallas cocktail pops up in London
If you should ever find yourself in London and feeling a little homesick, head to the Pilgrim Hotel. The luxury hotel opened last fall in Paddington’s Norfolk Square, complete with fully restored Victorian-era architecture and modern Tom Dixon furnishings. Their manifesto promises a “refreshing break from the ordinary,” and one place where they’re delivering is at the bar.
Instead of crafting its own cocktail menu from scratch, The Pilgrim’s bar team “borrowed” recipes from other world-class bars from around the globe: Operation Dagger in Singapore, Bar Trench in Tokyo, Jerry Thomas Project in Rome, Bar Termini in London, and The Clumsies bar in Athens, and Dallas’s very own Midnight Rambler.
Borrowed, with permission of course. Think of it as a liquid postcard from one city to another. Chad Solomon (one half of the duo Cuffs & Buttons behind Rambler’s menu) explains.
How did the partnership come about?
Our friend Tony Conigliaro, owner of Drink Factory, and the London bars, The Bar With No Name (69 Colebrooke Row), Bar Termini, and Jim’s, approached Cuffs & Buttons and asked if we wanted to be involved with a new London hotel he was curating drinks for.
Which cocktail did you choose and why?
We selected The Silvertone: London dry gin, French dry vermouth, orange bitters, Texas mineral water, and house-pickled onions. It’s Midnight Rambler’s house gin martini/gin Gibson, and a fitting drink for London. (It’s also one of Tony’s favorites.) The Pilgrim is serving the drink both at the bar and bottling them in custom glass bottles for takeaway service to the rooms. This required a drink that did not include perishable ingredients in the formula—an aromatic style cocktail that’s spirit-forward and without juice.
How do you think it’s representative of your style in Dallas?The Silvertone was one of the first drinks Christy and I created for Midnight Rambler before we opened, when we were still establishing and honing its neo-classical minimalist style. We wanted to update the Gibson martini with Texas terroir and utilize Crazy Water #4, an alkaline water with high traces of mineral content from Mineral Wells, TX. We also used Texas flavors—chipotle, grapefruit, and sage—in the pickling spices for the onions.
In a nod to the rock ‘n’ soul side of the Midnight Rambler brand, we called it The Silvertone. A twist on the Gibson name, as in an instruments. Silvertone is a now sought-after brand of sound equipment and instruments that Sears sold from 1915-1972—as well as the color of the drink.
The Details: Skip the flight and order one at Midnight Rambler, 1530 Main Street.
Photo | Dan Padgett