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The flavours of Islay: An evening with The Botanist Gin at OXO Restaurant

Gin lovers rejoice because OXO Restaurant — one of London’s swankiest rooftop venues — has teamed up with The Botanist Gin to bring the flavours of Islay to its [...]

Gin lovers rejoice because OXO Restaurant — one of London’s swankiest rooftop venues — has teamed up with The Botanist Gin to bring the flavours of Islay to its stunning terrace.

Our #TeamCoco reporter Hannah Tan-Gillies braved the bipolar London weather to experience the four-course gin tasting menu first-hand for an evening that would delight even the most discerning cocktail-enthusiast

Whether its rain, sleet, snow, or shine – there’s certainly nothing better than enjoying a bespoke cocktail and food menu, especially when it’s made by the talented minds at OXO Restaurant.

The four-course gin-themed menu takes inspiration from the 22 foraged botanicals that give The Botanist Gin its unique flavours; and the way that this is creatively interpreted in the menu is impressive to say the least.

We start by sipping on a fresh ‘Islay Breeze,’ which features delicate flavours of lemon balm, lime juice and Elderflower tonic. This fresh cocktail was paired with the mouth-watering Scottish scallops with gruyere mash, morels, and wild garlic. OXO restaurant were kind enough to accommodate my dairy/egg free dietary requirements and adapted the menu to suit my needs, which in my books, displays excellent customer service.

Afterwards, we sampled the ‘Scottish,’ a lemon-zest infused gin concoction further enhanced by a dash of OXO Champagne. This elegant cocktail was paired with the Wild Bass, English squid primavera, which was served over some light tomato and lemongrass broth and ink pasta. The dish offered delicate flavours and wonderful seaside aromas, reminiscent of the coastal sea sprays of Islay.

We followed with the ‘Gin Thyme,’ a powerful cocktail that combined Cocchi Americano, thyme-infused The Botanist Gin and a dash of orange bitters. The Gin Thyme certainly packs a punch and is not for the light-hearted, but ideal for those looking who enjoy their cocktails with a bit more kick. The Gin Thyme pairs perfectly well with the Dry Aged Beef Fillet, cooked to tender perfection, and complemented with cauliflower purée and truffle gnocchi.

Finally, we finished with ‘The Unusual Suspects,’ a freshly squeezed blood orange cocktail with White Crème de Cacao. It is the ideal partner to the Blueberry Almond vegan cake and almond ice cream, which perfectly bookended our meal with just the right amount of sweetness.

Beyond the menu, there is plenty to love at OXO Restaurant, which offers unbeatable views of the River Thames and St Paul’s no matter what the weather. We will certainly be returning.

To find out more or to book the Botanist menu (up to 48 hours in advance) please call our reservations team on 0207 803 3888.

View The Botanist experience menu HERE

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Hannah Lynn Tan
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