Finalist in the Peter F Heering Sling Award 2013 Ben Manchester on barmagazine.co.uk/

Offering “effortless decadence”, K Bar has opened at The Kensington hotel in South Kensington in London. Inspired by the sophisticated atmosphere of a gentlemen’s club, the bar features deep-grained oak panelling with integrated bookcases, softened by racing green and royal blue hues, and finished with dimly lit lighting and accents of polished brass detailing.

K Bar serves an extensive selection of good-quality wines, premium spirits and cocktails, presided over by bar manager Ben Manchester (pictured), formerly at Hotel du Vin Brighton. He has created a range of classic and contemporary cocktails plus a range made with champagne. Classics featured on the menu include a Hemingway Daiquiri, a Blood & Sand made with Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, an Aviation, a Sazerac with Knob Creek rye whiskey and a Georgia Mint Julep with Courvoisier VSOP cognac. Martinis come either with super-premium Stolichnaya Elit vodka or Beefeater 24 gin.

The champagne cocktails include the Tahona Fizz, made with Don Julio Blanco tequila, celery bitters, sugar and champagne, while the Va Vo Voom combines Stolichnaya Vanil vodka, strawberry puree, pineapple juice and champagne. Others include the Rose Petal, a floral mix of Cointreau, rose syrup, lemon juice and champagne, and the Kensington Champagne Cocktail with calvados, rhubarb bitters, sugar and champagne.

The Contemporary Cocktail section showcases some of Ben’s original drinks such as the Spiced Honey Mule, made with a honey bourbon liqueur, lime, chilli and ginger beer, and the Rhub Awakening, combining Plymouth Gin, rhubarb liqueur, Aperol, lemon juice, pink peppercorn and star anise. The Final Letter brings together gin, green Chartreuse, elderflower liqueur and lime juice while the King of Queen’s Gate mixes up Chivas Regal 12 Year Old whisky, The King’s Ginger liqueur, rose syrup, marmalade and lemon juice. The Rye Sling Star is made with rye whiskey, Cherry Heering liqueur, applejack, green Chartreuse, apple juice and cherry bitters.

A highlight of the menu is the dessert cocktails including a Crème Brulee Martini made with vanilla-infused rum, caramel syrup and cream. Other sweet treats include the Jerry’s Chocolate Orange using Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Grand Marnier liqueur, Mozart Chocolate liqueur, orange juice and cream, and a classic Grasshopper with crème de cacao blanc, crème de menthe and cream.

Non-alcoholic cocktails are led by the Seedlip Southside using the distilled non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip, combined with lime juice, sugar syrup, mint leaves, juniper and apricot bitters. The 93 Till Infinity is a mix of orange juice, pineapple juice, cranberry juice, orgeat and lime juice while the Orchard Berry is made with strawberry puree, apple juice, mint leaves and lime juice.

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