A Blooming Great Cocktail at The Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park
Cosmopolitans. During the Sex & the City era, it felt like they had been popularized past the point of no return. A once-great cocktail was nearly turned into a parody of itself, like your friend who stumbles out of a bachelorette party with her once-classy designer dress now covered in martini stains and pink feather boa feathers. (And she’s wearing a hat. And it’s shaped like a – oh god, can someone take Melissa home?)
Slowly the drink is being restored to its former, more elevated position. And we discovered one glorious reason why: the White Cosmopolitan(£13.25) at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.
Carrie Bradshaw & Co. would approve of the cocktail’s centerpiece, a massive orb of ice filled with frozen flower petals (pansies, in our visit). The ice melts slowly to maintain the appropriate booze-to-water ratio of the drink — a mini-carafe of extra cocktail is used to occasionally re-up the well-balanced combination of Imperial Silver vodka, St. German Elderflower Liqueur, and white cranberry. (“Pour it on often enough so that the ice is always glistening,” advised Bar Boulud’s barkeep.)
But don’t be fooled by the flowery veneer, this is a serious drink that packs a serious (and seriously deceptive) punch. Monitor your stool-to-stiletto transition carefully. (You can also find the drink at Bar Boulud in NYC - and we hope it'll make an appearance this Fall when Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Boston opens its highly anticipated Bar Boulud location.)
Hanging at Bar Boulud, we happened to find ourselves clinking this icy cocktail with an exceptionally charming firebrand: Gaylia Kristensen, the Melbourne, Australia-based owner of her eponymous skincare line. The luxury brand has received rave reviews Down Under for combining scientific innovation with natural botanicals to lift, smooth, and rub away wrinkles. (If it works on those in the harsh and arid Australian outback, it can probably handle your fine lines.) The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park was the first place in Europe to introduce the line — and outside of Australia, Prague and Hong Kong are still the only other places to get it.
Let’s review: Cosmo? Check. Luxury facial? Check. We hate to sound cliche, but - pretty flippin' fabulous.
[Image: White Cosmopolitan at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park]