Afternoon Drinks At The Rib Room Bar

On two occasions recently I have found myself enjoying the surroundings of the Rib Room Bar on the ground floor of Jumeriah Carlton Tower hotel.

The bar may be somewhat under appreciated therefore I feel obliged to recommend it for afternoon drinks whatever the day. It is often tricky to find a good venue that fills THAT space for a few drinks during the day or similarly before you head on for the evening and The Rib Room fits the bill quite nicely.

Why should you go? What awaits you is a relaxed environment where you will more often than not be able to find a space for yourself or friends at the bar or at a table and if you are lucky somewhere on the small terrace.

Let’s start with the drinks. The 10 metre long bar itself dominates the room creating an attractive marble alter paying homage to fine gins and whiskies.

Gin fans are particularly in luck. On my last visit I took the time to chat to the barman Vicenco who proudly showed me their range of 19 gins and 10 bitters.

Initially I visited the bar on recommendation from a friend who raved about their cocktails and I do agree they are particularly good however if you don’t drink the virgin cocktails are also worth ordering. I tried an Orchard Breeze (apple juice, pear purée, soda water, ginger & cinnamon) (£8) purely because it sounded great, it was, and perhaps the best virgin cocktail I have tasted.

I shared a range of bar snacks including crispy boneless chicken wings with mango and black pepper caramel (£11), tiger prawns with soy, ginger and chilli (£14) and the extravagant and rather delicious crab and lobster burger (£22).

Rib Room Bar Burger

The Rib Room Bar’s Crab & Lobster Burger

Typical cost of three cocktails and snacks at the bar:
£65 per person

Food & Drink:
7 out of 10 – good bar food and excellent drinks

6 out of 10 – a bit too quiet for the room size (why GT is recommending)

9 out of 10 – polite and very helpful

7 out of 10 – worth revisiting for excellent drinks and good bar food

Summary in seven:
Under appreciated destination perfect for afternoon drinks

The Rib Room Bar
Jumeirah Carlton Tower
2 Cadogan Place, London, SW1X 9PY.
Dress Code: Smart casual
Telephone: +44 20 7858 7250

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GT’s Sloe Gin

After a bumper harvest we have been producing some excellent sloe gin this year. Here are our seven steps which we believe will always produce good results with little effort and preparation time.

To recreate our recipe just follow these seven basic steps:

1. Get out in the countryside and pick some sloes (alternatively these can be sourced online). We picked some enormous specimens from the Norfolk countryside and it is a great excuse to get yourself outdoors. Make sure the sloes are ripe, they should be soft like a plum.

2. After a swift quality control for bits of leaves and the odd bug freeze the sloes overnight, this helps to break down the fruits structure and avoids the need for pricking the fruit to help the juices escape. If you have time to prick the sloes this is quite therapeutic and worth the extra effort but it is not essential.

3. Half fill a two litre Kilner jar with sloes.

4. Pour in one litre of gin, in this case we used the rather good Geranium Gin. It makes no sense to use an inferior or cheap gin, your ingredients should always be of the highest quality, to ensure the highest quality product.

5. Leave for 3 months in a dark room (if you can wait that long!) and turn occasionally.

6. To finish top up with sugar syrup to taste, to make this simply dissolve caster sugar in two parts sugar to one part hot water. Gin supremos Sipsmith explain that “by adding the syrup in stages and tasting the gin as you go you will be able to produce the perfect result. Many people add the sugar at the start but this is known to interfere with the extraction of the fruits own natural sugars and the sugar should always be added last”.

7. Pour a glass and enjoy the fruits of your labour in it’s purest form. Pour again and top with Champagne for a wintery Sloegasm.

Rather than using caster sugar as is usually recommended we made one batch with unrefined light brown soft cane sugar brought back from our recent trip to Mauritius. This batch had by far the most pleasing results with the cane sugar producing a much more natural fruit sweetness.

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