The Cocktail Column: Angel

Angel

Angel

When I stayed with friends in the grand Strand Palace Hotel in London for my birthday a couple of months ago, we were introduced to their cocktail bar – Mask Bar. Before moving onto some delectably smooth Strawberry Daiquiris, I first sampled one of their “Gin Palace” selection – entitled the Angel (see pictured).

While I did my best to procure the identities of all the ingredients, the cocktail menu did not stipulate a specific lychee liqueur for the making of this drink. However, as a Christmas-birthday present, my friends bought me the latest edition of Simon Difford’s Cocktail Encyclopædia (a fount of knowledge for any aspiring socialite, bartender or alcoholic), which gives the names of two reputable-sounding brands. They are the Soho Lychee Liqueur and the Kwai Feh Lychee Liqueur – named after the Lady Yang Kwai Feh (sometimes spelled Yang Guifei) (pictured below), who was a T’ang Dynasty Imperial concubine and later consort with a love of fresh lychees. While it is slightly weaker than the Soho brand (1% ABV difference), I would recommend it for reasons aesthetic if nothing else. A variety with such a name just adds authenticity, I think. And when you’re serving a cocktail in a Champagne glass, class and authenticity are just what you need! Also don’t be too fussy in picking a champagne to top the cocktail up with, but at the same time I advise against wasting a good Dom Pérignon or Bollinger on such a beverage.

The Lady Yang Kwai Feh (719-756) – as depicted in an 18th century painting by Chobunsai Eishi

INGREDIENTS

Measurements are 25ml per ingredient or multiples thereof (subject to taste) unless stated otherwise.

  • 1 measure Bombay Sapphire Gin
  • 1 measure Cointreau
  • 2 measures Lychee Liqueur (either Kwai Feh or Soho)
  • 30ml Lemon Juice
  • Top up with Champagne (as cheap or expensive a variety as you like)
  • 1 Maraschino Cherry (to garnish)

METHOD

Mix the Bombay Sapphire, Cointreau, Lychee liqueur and Lemon juice in a mixer together with ice and strain into a Champagne flute. Top up the glass with champagne. Finish by dropping a Maraschino Cherry into the cocktail as a garnish.

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