I have been thinking about attending a Gin & Jazz evening at The InterContinental, on Park Lane, ever since hearing about it. What’s not to like about that combination? Gin & Jazz happens on the 3rd Thursday of every month and features a jazz band, an elegant setting and a range of 35 gins to choose from. So, rounding-up three friends that I hadn’t seen for over a year, I booked a table.
We were greeted at the door by a lady in ’20s period dress (pictured at the bottom of this page) and shown to our table. Complimentary drinks and nibbles were brought, along with drinks menus.
We started off on the “Mayfair Hop” (pictured right), a new creation developed in tandem between the Arch Bar and Martin Miller’s Gin. It’s a twist on the French 75 and, if you’re interested, the recipe is as follows…
- 40ml Martin Miller’s Gin
- 10 leaves of mint
- 10ml gum syrup
- 20ml Martini Bianco
It’s like a mild French 75 with a strong hints of mojito about it.
We then moved on to martinis; lots of them, and they were big and cold.
I say “lots” but there were three, all were dry and each was very different. The first was made with Gin Mare (garnished with a couple of tiny olives), the second was made with No.3 (lemon twist) and the third was made with Monkey 47 (raspberries and blackberry).
Trying each of these in quick succession was a tour-de-force and really showcased the qualities and differences of each gin.
We finished-up with an aviation. Now, I have been wanting to try an aviation for a long time, but the opportunity has been elusive, so I was please to finally get around to it. I wasn’t disappointed and this might be the trigger I need to finally buy a bottle of creme de violette.
All of this imbibing was backed by music from The Shirt Tail Stompers. Now, I don’t know a great deal about Jazz but I know what I like when I hear it. The music was good – it was a good balance between gentle and energetic, not being too insistent to be annoying, but not soporific enough to drive everyone to sleep. Specifically, the music wasn’t too loud to preclude conversation, which was good as we caught-up on a year’s worth of gossip.
There was also some good banter between the band and the crowd, and the trumpeter and clarinetist did a little parade around the room during one of the final numbers. We also had the afore-mentioned lady, in period dress, dancing during the latter half of the evening.
The table service was good and the nibbles kept coming, which was fortunate as some of us didn’t have a great deal to eat before arriving; not a good idea if you are planning to sink three martinis and other miscellaneous cocktails. There were some particularly delicious-sounding sharing platters but we didn’t get around to ordering any of those.
Considering that entry is free, this was a brilliant evening; great cocktails and great music made a fabulous backdrop to a really good evening. One word of warning though, while entry doesn’t cost, booking is advisable as it does fill up.