This summer, London’s leafy Mayfair district welcomed a quirky new cocktail bar: Mr. Fogg’s Apothecary. Taking its name from Jules Verne’s much-loved fictional character Phileas Fogg – an eccentric Englishman who makes a wager he can travel around the world in 80 days – the venue transports guests back in time to his weird and wonderful universe.
Situated on Brook Street, directly opposite Claridge’s, the new watering hole is the latest – and arguably most exclusive – addition to Inception Group’s collection of Mr Fogg’s bars and pubs dotted across London.
More akin to a speakeasy than an ordinary bar, a grand staircase leads down into a series of cozily-lit rooms dotted with glass bottles and measuring scales reminiscent of a Victorian-era chemist. The playful drinks menu is filled with “potions and elixirs” for curing all manner of ailments made from plants, powders, and saps collected during Mr Fogg’s adventures, from prickly pear puree to oak bark tea.
The Frenchman’s Constitution is a smooth, earthy take on the Manhattan. The star ingredient here is the root bitters. While Mr Fogg’s cocktail includes its own homemade Apothecary bitters, you can use Angostura.
Alleged to have medicinal properties, the spirit was originally taken as a stomach tonic for ailing soldiers back in the 19th century, before becoming a staple of any discerning bartender’s drinks cabinet. Angostura’s recipe remains a closely guarded secret, but we do know the heady mix of herbs, spices and bark extracts remains unchanged to this day.
While we can’t guarantee The Frenchman’s Constitution will aid digestion, the boozy tipple is surprisingly simple to make yet elegant enough to impress your guests. The golden-hued cocktail perfectly balances rich chocolatey cognac and whiskey with sweet vermouth and, of course, that all-important hint of bitters.
0.8 oz Hennessy XO Cognac
0.8 oz Woodford Rye
0.8 oz Carpano Antica Formula
0.3 oz Grand Marnier
2 dashes of homemade Apothecary Bitters (you can swap for Angostura)
Method: Stir all ingredients in a glass with ice, strain into a fresh glass with one large ice cube and garnish with a twist of orange peel.
Mr Fogg’s Apothecary is open now at 34 Brook Street, W1K 5DH, Tuesday -Saturday 3.30pm-1am.