Oblix at the Shard

on 21 January, 2016

It’s a bit of a labyrinth to get in but like an Egyptologist finally breaking into a pharoah’s tomb, it’s well worth the effort. The views are stunning and if my visit is anything to go by, the drinks and service are well worth experiencing as well.

I was there to try the new Oblix’s bartending initiative: ‘Tasting America’, “matching cocktails inspired by America’s history” with various small dishes and canapés.

Led and hosted by super confident bartender Wendy Stoklasva, we kicked off with ‘American Beauty’ (the rose, not the Kevin Spacey film) which comprised Tanqueray 10 gin with rose water, lychees and champagne. This was accompanied by Padron peppers with salt and balsamic vinegar and fried squid with chilli and lime. The rose water element of the drink nicely offset the spice particularly from the peppers.

Next was ‘More Buck More Gang’, which came in a copper mug and comprised Reyka vodka, lime, bitter berry, ginger beer and peach bitters. This was matched against aubergine flatbread with feta cheese, hummus and rosemary. The ginger beer and peach bitters came through strongly and generally the drink complimented the pleasant but quietly unassuming side dish.

Next up was ‘Kiss The Rainbow’ which came with a tacky but fun multi-coloured flashing cube, which had been frozen into a cube of ice. It was made up of Ketel One vodka, lime, grapefruit, Aperol, raspberry and peach bitters. The dish was truffle flat bread with ricotta, pancetta and maple onions. They gelled nicely.

Finally we had two cocktails flying solo: ‘Voodoo Vie’, consisting of Zacapa 23 year Old, lime, caramel, banana sices and walnut bitters. Followed by 'Coconut Rum Runner', also Zacapa 23YO with rum, lime, lavender, pineapple and white chocoalate.  With drinks like these, who needs desserts?

Stoklassova, who hails from Prague in the Czech Republic and was once a professional basketball player until a serious injury stopped her in her tracks, managed to hold the whole thing together as the assembled press corps (corpse?) slowly slide into benign inebriation.

Generally, a splendid time was had by all… I think.


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