Dabbous is famously the hardest reservation to secure in London right now (though our informers tell us that calling by in person usually fixes that). There is another way to get a piece of the action, and that is heading downstairs to Oskar Kinberg’s bar, where you can snack on morsels from Dabbous’ kitchen, and chat over some of the West End’s best cocktails. Here, Oskar, formerly at the Cuckoo Club, and Ollie Dabbous’s partner in setting up the restaurant, shows us how to make a Roots Manuka.

‘This drink is rounded yet fresh,’ says charming Oskar. ‘It has a good balance between bitterness and sweetness.’ Sounds good to us. It’s arguably even easier than knocking up a perfect negroni. And even the recherché ingredients, such as the Qi tea liqueur, can be tracked down online or sought at the marvellous Gerry’s on Old Compton Street. What a great drink – it’s fresh and restorative and we like it a lot. ‘The bitterness makes is good for an apéritif,’ says Oskar. ‘I think it’s great to serve if you have friends for lunch, too.’

Oskar Kinberg’s Roots Manuka

You’ll need (for one cocktail)

  • 50ml Kamm & Sons Ginseng Spirit
  • 15ml Qi Orange and White Tea Liqueur
  • 5ml manuka honey
  • Dash of Fee & Sons rhubarb bitters (or substitute grapefruit)
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 25ml guava juice

A sneaky tip from the expert

If you can’t find tea liqueur you could use peach or apricot brandy, at a pinch.

  • 1

    Take an old-fashioned glass, a shaker and strainer, and you’re off.

  • 2

    Start with the ginseng spirit. Add the fresh lemon juice, manuka honey, tea liqueur and a drop of Fee & Sons rhubarb bitters.

  • 3

    Finally, add 25ml of guava juice (Rubicon is widely available).

  • 4

    Shake it like you mean it.

  • 5

    Strain over ice.

  • 6

    Garnish with a twist of grapefruit peel, or a garnish of sage or mint.

  • 7

    And that’s it, folks. The Roots Manuka isn’t a seasonal drink – go for it any time.

Dabbous, 39 Whitfield Street, London W1 (020 7323 1544), www.dabbous.co.uk@dabbouslondon


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