Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
January 4, 2020
By Tom Wilkinson
Join Riley’s adventurous mixologist, Tom Wilkinson, as he embarks on a fun cocktail safari with the good folks at Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
I have long been an avid fan of the various incarnations of Mr Fogg‘s establishments that have sprung up in recent years – even going so far as to re-engineer one of my favourite cocktails of theirs – and I’m glad to see their continued success across London has not lead to stagnation. Far from it! In fact, with each new location that opens, they take the opportunity to craft a new, unique drink experience.
Their latest location, Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration, is located just off The Strand. And what fun it is…
After announcing your arrival via a rolling ball that seems like something out of the Goonies, you descend downwards and underneath the streets of London to find yourself in a safari-themed bar complete with a transcontinental train carriage.
When you are led to your table, you will find a variety of hats to wear in order to get you in a suitable safari mood. I opted for the traditional pith helmet to experience that explorer feeling before diving into tasting a selection of cocktails, each themed for locations across the world.
Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration’s Safari-themed Cocktails
Here are a few of my favourite Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration cocktails, each of which I highly recommend:
In collaboration with Aviation 365, this take on the vodka martini is both light and floral. Grey Goose Vodka, elderflower, and olive oil add up to make for a drink that starts sweet before flattening out into a satisfyingly long and savoury aftertaste.
A smoky take on the classic Negroni presented in a basket billowing with smoke. The mixture of Hendrick‘s Orbium Gin, green chartreuse, sloe, cinnamon, and clove liqueurs is accentuated by the cloud of theatrical smoke.
My companion tried this cocktail, which was elegantly served in a teacup. With Earl Grey infused gin, Cointreau, peach liqueur, and marmalade, this was a citrusy wonder. When combined, this made for a concoction that was very easy to drink and required self-control to sip genteelly.
It is no secret that one of my favourite cocktails is the humble Negroni. So, when the bartender told me they had a Magical Mixologist machine that would mix a perfect Negroni every time, my interest was piqued. It is truly a wonder to behold. Overall, I was pretty impressed by this latest adaption. It was more bitter than I would usually expect and stood in quite stark contrast to the Native Lands which I had had earlier. The vermouth really came to the fore to make a well-rounded and enjoyable cocktail.
Next up was a pineapple weed Collins. You may not have heard of this plant, which is better known as wild chamomile. This freshly gathered plant lends a delightfully savoury air to the drink. The overall result is something light that allows the botanicals to play out over your tongue – another drink that really allows you to taste and appreciate the underlying gin.
Hustle and Bustle Be Gone!
As with any of the Mr. Fogg’s venues, I would heartily recommend a visit to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life and lose yourself in a safari of Victoriana.
- Who: Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration
- What: The sixth and latest of the excellent line of Mr Fogg’s London cocktail bars
- Where: 1A Bedford St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9HH
- When: Fashionably different … 4:01pm – 12:01am most days
- Why: For a flavorful twist on traditional cocktails, including an incredible Negroni
- Website: mr-foggs.com/society-of-exploration/
Contributing Editor Tom Wilkinson makes cocktails in his spare time and podcasts about their history at Dr Wilko’s Campaign for Better Beverages. He also produces two other podcasts: Hat of Many Things, on random topics drawn from a hat and Unparliamentary Language about the state of British politics.