Recognised as one of the worlds fifty best bars we are especially delighted to be welcoming The Gibson Bar to Cocktails in the City London this spring.
Owned by Marian Beke, The Gibson Bar is a pioneering venue recognised for the use of esoteric ingredients, innovative bartending techniques and spectacularly presented drinks.
The Gibson Bar as the name suggests takes inspiration from the classic Gibson Cocktail (think of a classic gin martini served with pickled onions instead of olives or lemon) and incorporates a wide array of ingredients that have been pickled or preserved in ways to enhance and intensify flavours.
With a focus on savoury cocktails Marian has partnered with the highly regarded Copperhead Gin to create Copperhead The Gibson Edition Gin, and guests to Cocktails in the City will be some of the first people in the world to try this unique product.
We caught up with Marian to find out more about himself, the collaboration and the drinks he will be presenting at Cocktails in the City.
How did this collaboration come about?
Since we opened the bar we had a dream of a house gin that could hold, withstand and support savoury drinks. With the bar concept and a lot of drinks incorporating a savoury style (think chutney's, relishes, fruit ketchups and brines) we could see guests were enjoying and interested in this savoury style of drink.
We already had a close relationship with Copperhead Gin and so we extended the conversation to create a new savoury style of gin..... to create this use 19 botanicals that are traditionally used in pickling across Europe
What did you find most satisfying about bringing a new brand to market?
It was fantastic to work with Copperhead as you begin with your choice of raw materials all the way through to production - they don't buy in industrial alcohol and so I had complete control of the process. I was surprised at how significant a small amount of change in the botanicals could make to the product and we have been working together for well over a year on perfecting the recipe.
It's also very satisfying that this product is going to be a wider commercial product (ie not just sold in The Gibson Bar) and enjoyed by people across the world in different situations and so it was important to consider the versatility of the product.
You are well known for your distinctive style of bartending, do you have a particular philosophy or attitude to drinks?
I take inspiration from chefs and their complete focus on taste rather than anything else. On a personal level i try to continue improving as a bartender on a daily basis by increasing my knowledge (and this can be any sort of information, not just bar related), taste as many things as possible and keep improving my palette and smell and working on my skills, be it bartending technique, personal skills etc.
Whilst you are very well known in the industry we realise some of our guests might not of met you before, could you give us a quick summary of your career to date.
I moved to London 13 years ago and one of my first bartending jobs was at Montgomery Place working with Ago Perrone who is one of the worlds leading bartenders.
I developed my experience at the five star hotel bar, The Artesian at The Langham and then got the fortunate opportunity to open The Nightjar and spent five happy years there.
From this experience I wanted to open my own bar and we have just celebrated our second anniversary.
And if people haven't been to The Gibson could you let them know what to expect.
In short, martinis, pickles, tartare and live music.
It's an old pub/listed building dating from the 1880's between Old Street and Farringdon. Being located close to the famous Smithfield Markets it made sense to focus on the classic style of preserving fresh ingredients through pickling and so we orientated the concept around The Gibson - the forgotten brother of the king of cocktails - The Martini.
With live music every night and an outside area to enjoy cigars we provide an intimate setting to sit and enjoy great drinks
And talking of drinks what will you be showcasing at Cocktails in the City.
The Gibson Martini
Copperhead The Gibson Edition Gin, Dry Vermouth, Orange bitters served smoked and truffle onions.
Copperhead The Gibson Edition Gin, Fresh Lemon, Galloways orange marmalade, balsamic and beet brine, sour grenadine, cornishon juice and crispy bacon
Copperhead The Gibson Edition Gin, verjus de perigod, pea whey, green jalapeno liqueur, neem leafs