Having just been awarded the title of World's Best Bar by Drinks International magazine for the second consecutive year, the chic and sophisticated Artesian bar located at The Langham hotel in London is going from strength to strength, scooping a series of accolades over just a couple of years.
Set in the prestigious Regent Street hotel, the Artesian has also been recognised for its first-class cocktails, netting the trophy for Best European Bar at the Paris Cocktails and Spirit Awards last year, and taking the honours for the World's Best Hotel Bar at the same ceremony.
So, what makes the Artesian bar stand head and shoulders above its competitors? Read on for a guide to how the right mix of elements achieves award-winning end results and click here to find out more about the luxurious London hotel it's set in.
A glamorous setting
The awe-inspiring historical exterior of The Langham is difficult to match, but the Artesian bar manages to combine the age-old period architecture with contemporary elements to create an all-encompassing style that oozes sophistication.
Retaining its genteel, typically English undertones, the bar adds comfortable seating, sleek surfaces, atmospheric lighting and touches of its signature purple shade to add interest and bring the space into the modern era.
The secret to the Artesian's success is, in fact, not a secret at all; the bar has long been recognised for its innovative drinks, which break away from tradition. The team at Artesian is award-winning, with head mixologist Alex Kratena having been named Bar Personality of the Year by Imbibe Magazine and scooping the International Bartender of the Year award in 2012.
Serving a combination of classic drinks and innovative recipes, the team is dedicated to tantalising the taste buds of its clientele. Artesian's classics include Morning Glory Fizz, which combines Johnnie Walker Black, absinthe and egg white with lemon, lime and sugar syrup. The 20th Century Cocktail is another top choice, mixing Bombay Sapphire with lemon, Lillet and crème de cacao.
More innovative items on the menu include Secrets and Lies, which combines Glenmorangie Ealanta and Noilly Prat with Roase, citrus and pomegranate juices, while Reality Czech mixes Absolut Elyx and Becherovka with Budvar, lychee and raspberry flavours.
The presentation of the cocktails at Artesian is second to none; the imaginative team has created a playful and interactive menu called the Butterfly Wheel, from which it's possible to order progressive and unusual cocktails, with the most innovative exciting the senses in new ways.
Among the most pioneering cocktails is the Above & Beyond cocktail, which combines Zacapa rum, mandarin bitters, Fernet Branca and sherry with crème de banana, all served over a large ball of ice, with an inflated pillow as a garnish. The plastic pillow releases eucalyptus vapours when it bursts and also contains a small bag of Guatemalan worry dolls.
Another interesting choice is Super Panda, a cocktail of Botran rum, lemon and lime juice, mastiha, Disarrono, orgeat, mango juice and Kamm & Sons. The drink is served over an ice ball and placed on top of an inflated panda head lantern. When the glass crushes the paper lantern, a tangerine scent is released to provide the customer with a sensory experience to accompany the drink.
The combination of a stylish setting, impeccable attention to detail, an innovative team and an incomparable menu is an award-winning formula that ensures Artesian is always a leader in its field.