A week or so ago, we dropped in on Alastair Burgess, owner of Happiness Forgets in Hoxton (named for a Dionne Warwick song, don’t you know?), and caught him slightly unawares, wearing a T-shirt, of all the transgressive ideas. Ali is usually resplendent in a pristinely ironed white shirt and braces or a waistcoat – suitably dapper attire for one of London’s top bartenders. We arrived in his civilised dim-lit den feeling all summery, so he decided to make us what some bartenders call a Pimm’s No. 7 cup, that is, his very own version.
‘The one everyone drinks during the summer season is the No. 1 Cup: basically gin and vermouth, which you add to lemonade to make something nice and refreshing,’ he says. ‘What we’re going to do today is a more exciting version, though it couldn’t be easier.’
‘You’re using fresh ingredients: you get the aroma of the mint, a slight Campari bitterness, sourness from the lemon juice, and sweetness from the vermouth and ginger beer – it’s a really great Pimms recipe.’