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  • Writer's pictureVingt Sept

BAR 45: Elevate Your Date Night with the Enchanting Negroni Experience

Travel & Lifestyle

In a world where date nights succumb to routine, often losing the spark of creativity and excitement they deserve, Bar 45 (at The Dorchester’s 45 Park Lane) offers a beacon of hope. Amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, finding a unique and memorable way to reconnect with your loved one or beau (to be) can be a challenge. Not to sound further miserable, but we do indeed have a problem, as studies reveal a concerning trend: one in three Britons struggle to recall their last date, while two-thirds of couples neglect the tradition altogether. It's clear that choice plays a pivotal role in reigniting the flame of romance.

Nestled along Park Lane in Mayfair, Bar 45 stands as a bastion of refined elegance and intimate charm. As part of the prestigious Dorchester Collection, this chic establishment exudes an aura of exclusivity, inviting you to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary.

From the moment you step through its doors, the art deco-inspired ambiance captivates the senses, transporting you to a bygone era of glamour and allure. The walls adorned with captivating exhibitionary art, currently including mesmerising works of renowned photographer Andy Gotts, set the stage for an unforgettable evening.

Amidst this backdrop of artistic splendour stands the pièce de résistance: the vintage Negroni trolley. A rare gem among the world's elite bars, each bottle of spirit displayed upon it is a testament to the craft of liquid artistry—an invitation to embark on a journey of unparalleled taste. 

Enter Enrico Perri and Mario Gualtieri, the masterminds behind the Negroni experience cocktail menu. With a wealth of expertise and a passion for innovation, these artisans of mixology transcend the boundaries of tradition, crafting a menu that promises far more than just a drink. Their unique blend of chemistry, experience and knowledge ensures an unforgettable sensory experience—tantalising your taste buds and igniting your imagination. How have they achieved this you ask? Well not only are there vintage rarities on this beautiful trolley, but each Negroni is paired with a decadent edible fragrance concocted in laboratory fashion by Perri and Gualtieri. 

On your date, you will feel a level of importance that the Hollywood stars enjoy, as your dapper personal barman brings the delightful trolley to your table. It screams intimacy as you and your beau are given the privacy to peruse the menu. Whilst perusing ask your mixologist for food pairings from a menu curated to perfection and harmonised with Wolfgang Puck's renowned signature dishes, you'll be spoilt for choice. Each of the six tantalising variations has been meticulously crafted to awaken your palate and delight your senses, promising an evening of unparalleled gastronomic delight.

Just like the top, heart and base notes of the finest perfume in the world, Bar 45 allows flavours of each combination to unravel on the tongue over time so you will experience something otherworldly. 

For those who prefer a lighter alternative to the classic Negroni, the Negroni Al Lago is the perfect choice, especially when paired with Puck’s exquisite spicy tuna tartare cones. This combination is sure to impress your date with its harmonious blend of flavours and textures. Picture yourself lounging in the cosy ambiance, indulging in delicate servings of fresh tuna nestled in crispy miso tuile cones, garnished with sesame seeds and optionally topped with caviar, while your personal bartender expertly crafts a refreshing concoction. Made with gently distilled English gin, boasting hints of juniper, orange peel, and lemon, the cocktail is elevated with Campari for a touch of bitterness, velvety Martini Ambrato vermouth for a honeyed sweetness, and Cadello liqueur to harmonise the herbal and spicy notes. To finish, a spritz of Perri and Gualtieri’s 45 No.5—a tantalising Hickory-smoked whisky essence—adds a magical touch to the drink, creating an unforgettable sensory experience.

Next up is the Pepper Negroni, a cocktail that unfolds on the palate like the layers of a fine fragrance. This exquisite drink begins with the delicate botanicals of Tuscan gin, Ginepraio, and is followed by the subtle yet sweet essence of red pepper, which unfolds like the base note in a perfume. As you and your beau savour the juniper, coriander, and rosehip notes dancing on your tongue, the robust homemade red pepper-infused Campari takes centre stage, complemented by the Cocchi Rosa aperitif. To complete this sensory experience, a spritz of edible fragrance No.3—an enchanting blend of strawberry and pear edible fragrance—adds a tantalising touch. Pair this aromatic masterpiece with Puck's legendary mini Wagyu sliders for a culinary delight that's both sumptuous and tender, bursting with flavour and heartiness.

Next on our list is the Vintage Negroni, the crowning jewel of our menu, best paired with lighter fare to complement its hearty flavour profile. We've chosen the crispy prawn tempura and prawn spring rolls to accompany this extraordinary libation. The tempura delights with a subtle sweetness from the mild sweetcorn chilli and a delectable kick from the spicy mayo, leaving you and your companion craving more with each bite. Meanwhile, the prawn spring rolls offer a delightful surprise, with their light and airy filo pastry and a touch of sweetness from the spiced honey, perfectly complementing both the dish and your drink.

This Negroni is truly exceptional, crafted by Perri with meticulous care to ensure an ample supply of this rare infusion for our discerning patrons. It's a sip of history in a glass, and surprisingly approachable despite its vintage pedigree. Featuring 1970s Gordon's gin, alongside Campari and Antica Formula from the 1980s, this cocktail offers a journey through time. Gualtieri shared an intriguing fact about Campari: its iconic effervescent colour historically originated from carmine dye, derived from crushed cochineal insects until 2006. The vintage Campari lends a subtle yet distinct flavour profile to the drink, offering a more mellow and exciting experience with less overpowering bitterness and an unusually smooth finish on the palate. 

The Antica Formula adds a sweeter dimension, with milder bitterness and distinct vanilla notes. This masterpiece is best savoured slowly, unaccompanied by an edible fragrance, allowing its complexity to unfold with each sip. There are three other options on the menu for those daring enough to try them all, and Perri reveals that they have also crafted a delicious Oscars cocktail. Whether you're meeting for the first time or reigniting the passion on a date night, this one-of-a-kind experience is sure to impress.

So, sit back amidst the enigmatic portraits and intimate lighting, and allow yourself to be swept away by the magic of Bar 45. Let Perri and Gualtieri guide you on a journey of discovery, where every sip and bite tells a story—a story of Italian heritage, culinary innovation, and the timeless allure of romance.

Bar 45 at 45 Park Lane

45 Park Lane

London, W1K 1PN

Tele: 020 7493 4545

Words & Photography by Jheanelle Feanny 


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