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A sip down memory lane

Memory in a glass

Cocktails that remind you of your childhood

Cocktails that remind you of your childhood

Sybil Kapoor | February/March 2017

Imagine taking a sip of a clear chilled liquid with a light, indefinable alcoholic scent. Roll it around your mouth, swallow and suddenly your senses are flooded by the pure sensation of playing in snow. Many believe this is the taste of the future, where the flavours of a cocktail have been designed to trigger memories and emotions in the imbiber.

Snow and other intriguing bottled cocktails are the fabulous concoctions of Tony Conigliaro, one of Britain’s most innovative drinks creators. His ideas are developed in the lab of his Drink Factory, and destined for his London bars, 69 Colebrooke Row, Termini and Untitled.

“We start by drawing a diagram which is a bit like a maquette of a stage set, marking out where everything has to sit to fit within the concept of the drink,” Conigliaro explains. “It’s like learning a language: you need a number of flavours to form a sentence that describes your idea.”

An open mind is essential when you enter a world that aims to stimulate the drinker into experiencing life – and cocktails – in a different way. Terroir contains a tasteless distillate of clay, which gives it a silky texture. Combined with the mineral notes of a distillate of flint and moss to introduce floral and lemony notes, it’s surprisingly delicious. I catch myself comparing it to the chalk downs of my childhood.

The taste of Snow comes from enoki mushrooms. For Silent Neon Flower – gin delicately flavoured with jasmine – Conigliaro sought to evoke a floral-scented post-human world. Silence and bars might sound counterintuitive but, for once, I am lost for words. 

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