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A London hotel takes cocktails to a whole new level


The hipster concoctions hitting the Internet of late risk turning the cocktail into caricature, but the British bartenders at The Connaught Hotel in London don’t so much serve drinks as bestow a dignified experience. Top choices at this Mayfair landmark: the Faraway Collins (St. James gin, yuzu juice, eucalyptus syrup, Sarsaparilla soda water); the Fountain of Wealth (Patron reposado tequila, Belsazar white vermouth, lime sherbet, pear nectar, dash of sage tincture); and the signature martini (Tanqueray, vermouth, drop of coriander bitter, elongated pour). We know this because we got cards on elegant stationary with all the details of our consumption. Yes, 20 pounds each, but think of it as what you didn’t spend at nearby Selfridges department store. Head down Davies Street, take a right at the Porsche dealer, art gallery, and Dunhill humidor; the interior, like so much that is over the top in the Big Smoke these days, is indulgent tradition. The top-hatted doorman will usher you in.