…A medical man who keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper and his unanswered correspondence transfixed by a jack-knife into the very center of his wooden mantlepiece…
-From the Musgrave Ritual by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
It was a day that started on Baker street and ended up in a speak-easy style bar with a Sherlock Holmes inspired cocktail in hand. When visiting London I can’t really ask for more.
We got off on Baker street and walked down to Oxford street (aiming for Soho) at a slow pace; looking in stores, gossiping, stopping for coffee and the writing of postcards(I always send postcards when I travel).
And after more shopping and a dinner we found ourselves at bar called Worship Street Whistling shop: not where we planned to go but it looked like a nice bar. I was immediately impressed by the fact that they had a cocktail menu based on the four elements(this is my second favorite bar menu; there is a bar in Paris that has an excellent “scatter graph” where the cocktails are placed according to sweet/sour and strong/light ).
Anyway: I ordered a drink called The Persian slipper because it seemed my type of thing(vermouth is the name of my game) and it was wonderful. It came with paper wrapped around the stem of the glass: it had been perfumed with tobacco-scent. As I am the curious type I unwrapped it and decided to see what was printed on it and it turned out to be from Sherlock Holmes!! The Musgrave ritual to be exact. Sometimes it all comes together in the most fantastical way. And I do love literary cocktails.
Next day I picked up a copy of A study in Scarlet at Hatchard’s (here). I read the books by Arthur Conan Doyle when I was younger and I loved them. In later years I’ve been mad about the TV-series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Holmes and Dr. Watson. I just think it is so well done with the weaving in of the original but still mixing it up and keeping it relevant. So much in the spirit of it (and the scenography/clothes is brilliant. Great great colours).
Rereading Sherlock was good fun and I might just try to reread a few more of them during the rest of the year: it is the season for it.
I was also very fond of the drink and decided to try to recreate it. I made a simplified version obviously but managed to create a nice drink which has a lot in common with the one I had at the bar. Just enough coolness from the gin and warmth from the spices.
In terms of the “Chai-syrup” it is more specifically “Masala chai”I used. The syrup I made is based on so called “yogi tea” (here) because it was simpler but I you can make your own (here), it is basically a mix of spices. The best way is to make a really strong brew first.
1.Take 2,5 dl boiling water+ 4 tablespoons yogi tea; let steep for 15 minutes and then sieve it.
2.Bring the tea to the boil again and then take it of the heat and stir in 4 dl of caster sugar, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
3.Let cool and then pour into a clean bottle. Will keep in the fridge 2-3 weeks.
Persian slip-on; yields one cocktail
4 cl dry gin
2 dry vermouth (i.e Noilly Prat)
1 cl chai-syrup
1 dash of Orange bitters (I used Reagan’s no.6 which I love but Angostura Orange is fine)
- Stir the ingredients in an ice-filled stirring glass until well chilled.
- Pour into the glass.
- Drag the orange peel over the rim of the glass and then let it join the drink.
And then all you need to do is enjoy responsibly. Otherwise Moriarty will come to get you.