On Monday, the Michelin Guide tweeted about inaugurating their cocktail awards. The tweet by @MichelinGuideUK reads, “Our inaugural ‘Cocktail Award’ 2023 goes to Makis Kazakis and his team at the glamorous @ParkChinois for their original creations that more than match the surroundings.”
Park Chinoi is a fine dining establishment in Mayfair. The restaurant is inspired by the razzmatazz of Shanghai in the 1930s and their craft cocktails embody sophistication and originality. To mark the Queen's 70 years of service last year, they created a drink named The Lilibet, a classic gin cocktail with a twist. It had Mirabeau dry rose gin, sakoura Vermouth and sparkling wine.
The bar boasts of a large selection of artisan spirits that are produced in small batches. One of their most popular cocktails is Moulin Rouge made with Haku Japanese vodka, honey infused with lavender, rhubarb, raspberry and citrus. An example of a cocktail that uses artisan spirits is The Tropicana. It has Appleton Estate 12 YO Rum, Diplomatic Planas Rum, falernum liqueur, ancho and sour cherry, apple, blend of citrus and spices.
The restaurant’s bar programme reflects the burgeoning mixology industry that’s brimming with talent, and it’s about time their creativity was recognised by one of the most prestigious award platforms in the gastronomy industry. While award platforms, such as the World’s 50 Best, consistently features bars on their coveted lists, it’s the first time that Michelin has awarded a bar.
It is a sign of the things to come. Mixologists are already at par with chefs and their approach to drinks involves precision, creativity and team work. Dining habits have changed and the preference for unwinding at bars with small plates have picked up, compared to spending hours in a fine dining restaurant sampling 12-course meals. Perhaps the day is not far when diners and the Michelin Guide would be celebrating the Alain Ducasse of bartenders.