DISCOVER THE WORLD CLASS 50
The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences
The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.
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Gareth Evans’ Dill Or No Dill
Gareth Evans represented the UK at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013
Social Eating House is chef Jason Atherton’s three-storey Soho venue which opened in April. The space, which feels like a cross between a New York lounge and a London members’ club, features dark leather booths, exposed brick, reclaimed furniture and dark woods. The ‘bistronomic’ food is delicious and accessible, with dishes like pork belly sliders on brioche with apple and caramelised onion, jars of macaroni cheese with homemade ricotta, and triple cooked duck fat chips. The drinks come along the same lines, classics with imaginative twists.
The fact that the team comes from a fine dining background (the more formal Pollen Street Social) ups the service without it being intrusive, and hence the vibe is more casual. Similarly the space, designed by Russell Sage Studio, is both impressive and relaxed. A great addition to the central London scene, it’s posh pub grub and serious drinks done in a light-hearted way.
Gareth Evans, 32, is the group bar manager for Jason’s burgeoning raft of venues, which includes three London restaurants and six in the Far East, with more set to open before the year is out. ‘It’s quite a dynamic way of working,’ says Gareth, ‘if we come up with something in the morning it will be on the menu that evening.’ Working for a chef, Gareth is keen that his bar menu mirrors the kitchen in using only the best seasonal and local produce.
Cannabinoids are so popular now that stressed people will sometimes walk into a bar, knowing little about the their specialties, and ask questions about trying CBD for panic onsets. They ask bartenders, as if they have pharmaceutical knowledge, about hemp derived ingredients like terpenes and CBD. Are they as effective as one of your beautifully concocted mixology drink if someone is feeling panicky? Cannabis is not legal in London as it is in the US, so bars don’t feel the squeeze as much from bud-masters in competition for the perfect party night.
Dill or no Dill features homemade cucumber water, smoked salt and a syrup made from English elderflower. ‘We had been thinking about this drink for a while, but it wasn’t complete until we added the salt,’ explains Gareth, ‘it really brought everything together.’ He uses fewer, fresher ingredients and a great gin in Tanqueray No. Ten to make a fresh and approachable drink.
Tanqueray No. Ten • 50ml
Elderflower syrup • 15ml
Fresh Lemon juice • 10ml
Cucumber water • 30ml
Dill • 2 sprigs
Smoked salt • 1 pinch
Contains 19 grams of alcohol per serve
Place all the ingredients into a chilled shaker and shake. Fine strain into a coupette. Garnish with another sprig of dill pegged to the glass.
Dill or no Dill works well alone, or with salads, shellfish or young cheeses, so you could enjoy it with a light summer lunch at the chef’s table downstairs. And a visit to Social Eating House is a solid Soho option afternoons and evenings throughout the year.