From Myths & Legends Cocktails to Ring of Fire Cuisine at Avenue St James

Avenue in St James’s has just unveiled a new cocktail menu this April featuring Latin American and Asian influences and inspired by each continent’s most famous myths and legends.

Half of the menu is influenced by the classical elements of fire, air, land, water and aether, which feature heavily in the mythologies of the indigenous Inca, Maya and Aztec civilisations.

Latin American flavours shape these serves thanks to the inclusion of mezcal, pisco and dark rum, as well as other local ingredients such as lime, jalapeños, pineapple juice and fresh avocado.

The other half of the menu celebrates five mystical animals in Asian tradition that represent the cardinal points: the Black Turtle (North), the Vermillion Bird (South), the Blue Dragon (East), the White Tiger (West), plus the Yellow Dragon (Centre).

Spirits such as the Japanese whisky Yamazaki, umeshu and Asian gin take centre stage, along with exotic ingredients like sake, matcha, yuzu juice and Lu Lu Tong, to create distinctive Asian flavours.

Featuring five cocktails for each continent, the menu has been devised by Head Mixologist Ronny Barbazza, who brings his cocktail expertise to Avenue having previously worked at other top bars including Skylon, Novikov and Browns. Starting with the Latin American serves, The Sun is inspired by the Aztec sun god Tonatiuh who provided warmth and fertility to the people.

The cocktail consists of Mezcal, dark rum, lime juice, jalapeño syrup and pineapple juice, garnished with dry pineapple and set on fire.

The Air celebrates Quetzalcoatl, the most famous Aztec deity and known in many other Mesoamerican cultures such as Teotihuacan and the Maya, who was the god of wind and learning.

The cocktail consists of Pisco, Falernum, lime juice and peppermint syrup, served with smoke.

The Land is dedicated to Centeōtl who represented land and agriculture, particularly maize, which was traditionally cultivated by the indigenous civilisations.

The cocktail consists of Johnny Walker Black Label, dry sherry, verjus, half a crushed avocado and Peychaud’s bitters.

The Water is in homage to Chalchiuhtlicue, the Aztec goddess of water, rivers, seas and streams. A mix of Copperhead Gin, Trois Rivières rum infused with oyster leaves, verjus and simple syrup, topped with Mediterranean tonic.

The Aether is influenced by Citlalicue, the goddess who created the stars, the Milky Way, Earth, and also death and darkness. The cocktail consists of Tequila, Fernet Branca, lime juice and Angostura bitters. The fabulous Marco Sangion, Avenue’s Bar Manager, was spotted serving these sensational serves.

Moving on to the Asian inspired cocktails, The Yellow Dragon is based on the zoomorphic incarnation of the Yellow Deity of the centre of the universe in Chinese religion and mythology.

The cocktail features Yamazaki 12 year old, umeshu liqueur, Lu Lu Tong syrup and lemon juice topped up with Asahi beer foam and garnished with an amaranth flower.

The Blue Dragon is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations, representing the East and the spring season. The Blue Dragon cocktail is a mix of Asian gin, Italicus, cranberry bitters and yuzu juice, decorated with swirl of blue candy floss around the glass.

The Red Phoenix is elegant and noble in both appearance and behaviour, representing the South and summer season.

The cocktail is a mix of Vodka, beetroot and raspberry homemade shrub, gomme syrup, champagne and matcha foam, served with dry ice.

The final presentation of the Red Phoenix looks like this…

The White Tiger is known as the king of the beasts who supposedly only appeared when the Emperor ruled with absolute virtue, or if there was peace throughout the world. This is a mix of Vodka, sake, Oriental syrup, lemon juice and Bergamot bitters.

The Black Turtle is usually depicted as a turtle entwined together with a snake, it represents the North and the winter season and is said to be one of the four guardian spirits protecting the city of Kyoto in Japan. This cocktail consists of Cognac, sake infused with cinnamon, apple juice, lemon juice and seaweed syrup.

After enjoying a selection of fabulous cocktails at the bar with the fabulous Marco Sangion and Ronny Barbazza, we moved on to Avenue’s restaurant for dinner to try their completely new menu featuring the explosive influence of modern Asian cuisine fused with a fiery South American twist. New starters include spiced Tuna tartare with tobiko, yuzu emulsion, rice and nori cracker.

The menu is full of dishes which tantalise the taste buds created by D&D London’s Executive Chef Mickael Weiss who was inspired by the culinary regions that circumference the ‘Ring of Fire’ – the volcanic belt containing more than 75% of the world’s active and dormant volcanoes.

The new main dishes include Slow cooked glazed pork belly with sour apple and charred scallions as well as Venison loin, spiced pumpkin, honey butter and cranberry jus. These meaty main courses are sure to please any self-respecting carnivore.

There’s something for everyone on Avenue’s new menu including the rather delicious Gochujang marinated lamb cutlets, polenta cake and miso aubergine. Check out the yummy sticky lamb!

Utilising the highest quality, natural produce and resources, Weiss gives movement and vibrancy to the food; bringing energy, approachability & theatre to the restaurant. What better way to end our culinary journey across the Ring of Fire than with a decadent dessert. Those with a sweet tooth will love the Passionfruit cheesecake & raspberry jelly with white chocolate cream.

If you’re one of those rare creatures who don’t like cheesecake, why not try Avenue’s equally delicious dessert of Pistachio mousse with raspberries and yuzu.

7-9 St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1EE
020 7321 2111

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