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Raising the ‘bar’ for International Women’s Day

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By Hazel Fulton on 7th March 2023

An all-female team from Hakkasan Mayfair has collaborated with the Craft Irish Whiskey Co to create the ultimate luxury cocktail in honour of International Women’s Day: The Golden Nectar.

Individual, complex and historically undervalued: it could be said that artisanal Irish whiskey has something of an affinity with the fairer sex. What better pairing then, than the women of Hakkasan’s bar, wine and pastry teams and the Craft Irish Whiskey Co. – a creative match made in heaven and the partnership behind The Golden Nectar.

The Craft Irish Whiskey Co. is a relatively new Irish whiskey brand that has taken the luxury drinks market by storm with a slew of award-winning products, including Best Irish Single Malt 2022. Spearheading an Irish whiskey renaissance – a drinks category dominated by Scotch whisky in the 20th century – the company takes a no-expense-spared approach to the art of distillation. The makers admit to an obsession with perfection, from the finely tweaked maturation process to the packaging, which includes, in the case of one release, an actual Faberge egg. No wonder then that these whiskies can be found on the backbar of most of the UK and Ireland’s most decorated Michelin restaurants.

Following a comprehensive tasting session, Hakkasan’s Head of Bars Wendy Hopkins gave her female team a brief: to take the warm biscuity flavour of her chosen whiskey – the ultra-rare malt The Donn – and build on its rich complexity. Each woman brought her particular skillset and influences to bear on the resulting cocktail. 

For Bartender Gessica Orofino, the Amaretti notes evoked memories of her summers in Italy, which in turn suggested the sweet perfume of the mimosa – a flower considered to represent strength, beauty and resilience, and a fitting symbol of International Women’s Day. She created a stunning mimosa cordial, based on the flavours of the famous Italian mimosa cake, and sweetened further with locally sourced honey. Head Sommelier Alessia Mandolini selected the English sparking wine Hundred Hills Blanc de Blancs 2018 to balance the syrupy notes of the cordial with a crisp, mineral finish. Pastry Chef Christina De Leo then garnished the cocktail with a meltingly delicious meringue; a miniature interpretation of Hakkasan’s celebrated Spiky Lemon dessert. 

"I was inspired by the old classic cocktails, where craft and individual ingredients are big players,’ says Hopkins. ‘The idea was to create something collaborative, to showcase individual skillsets and expertise. It is complex, but not complicated – even if you’re at home, you can easily remake it’.

The Donn will be the Craft Irish Whiskey Co.’s fourth release and its most accessible to date; a richly flavoured malt with a deep and decadent character. Steeped in Irish tradition and mythology, the whiskey comes in a sculpted geometric bottle inspired by Bull Rock Island, the home of an Irish god, with a copper and obsidian stopper. It joins the Craft Irish Whisky Co.’s roster of rare malts, including new release The Devil’s Keep which will retail for £2000 per glass.

The Golden Nectar cocktail will be available from International Women’s Day on 8th March in Hakkasan Mayfair and Hakkasan Hanway Place for the rest of the month.

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