Blimey, it’s been pretty busy around here lately! Jumping crocodiles, there’s been a lot to do! Most of it has something to with some little celebration towards the end of the month or something...
Just kidding, I can’t pretend to not be excited about Santa! I’m literally bursting with festive excitement! You see, I bloody love Christmas, me! The decorations, the music, all the wrapped up pressies and, of course, the Die Hard movies.
What on earth is there not to like?
Merry Christmas and a Yippee-Ki-Yay!
In the UK it’s also traditional to have turkey for Christmas dinner, but over in America this particular poultry is far more associated with the Thanksgiving holiday that takes place at the end of November. Now, you may be aware that Maverick Drinks have a fair few North Americans in their ranks, as well as an ever-growing number of great American spirits in their portfolio. It should come as no surprise that they had this holiday well and truly covered.
“We got this.”
For three Thanksgiving nights the ‘Maverick Mr Fox’ menu was available at Matt Whiley’s Talented Mr Fox, housed at One Leicester Street.
Matt was one of the co-founders of Fluid Movement, the chaps behind top London bars Purl and the Worship Street Whistling Shop, and brings a vast wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new and exciting solo project. As well as offering consultancy and training, his residency at One Leicester Street has now become a permanent addition thanks to popular demand. (We recommend you go and visit!)
The Fantastically Talented Mr Fox
(Much more talented than Matt Damon)
Accompanying Matt behind his bar on 26th November was Maverick Drink’s own cocktail dynamo and Portfolio Ambassador Geoff Robinson as well as (making his official bartending debut) the one and only Michael Vachon!
They were allowed back here. In the fox’s den.
I was running late though, as the 26th was the day when all of the signals in the London Bridge area went down. Brilliant. I’ll just go the looong way around then. ’Twas a well-earned cocktail that I enjoyed upon arrival, a FEW American Gin Last Word, with Maraschino jelly and dandelion spun Yellow Chartreuse. Have a word...
A hard-earned Have a Word.
I do love a Last Word, and this one was both unique and hit the spot. I believe this little FEW Spirits number also features on the regular Talented Mr Fox menu too. Nice.
(There’s a full menu lower down so don’t squint trying to read this one!)
Celery White Cap with St. George Botanivore Gin
After a refreshing celery-ey cocktail that used one of Californian distillers St. George Spirits’ excellent gins, I decided it was high time I put Monsieur Vachon to work! Asking for recommendations, he suggested the Waco Skyline, followed by a reassuring “I know how to make that one”. Fortunately, it sounded great; Balcones True Blue, Punt E Mes and Cacao.
A professional at work.
“Where's the thing you pour things with?”
It was a joy to watch Michael at work, with only a bare minimum of “Marge, where's that... metal... dealy... you use to... dig... food”. There’s nothing Homer Simpson about the Maverick man though (even if he can chow down, as anyone who has witnessed a Vachon portion can attest) and he made me a fantastic cocktail. The True Blue is the perfect whisky here for a chocolatey (but not at all sickly) cocktail that really just works.
A Waco Skyline, garnished with corn, of course.
Pumpkin is also traditional at Thanksgiving, such is my understanding. It’s pretty impressive that they have any left over after Halloween (they enjoy that even more than us, right?), but I guess no Thanksgiving menu would be complete without this particular orange cucurbita (we’ll leave the turkey cocktails for now...). For this one, another Balcones Texan Whisky was employed, the smoked Brimstone, no less!
A Jack-o-Lantern Sour!
The Jack-o-Lantern was terrific, it’s not easy mixing the bold, barbecued, oak smoked flavours of the Brimstone – Matt and Geoff did a fantastic job here, as they did with the entire menu.
Geoff, who originally hails from Vancouver, made this one for me, and it’s dawned on me since that Canadian Thanksgiving is in actually in October. So we can celebrate with these twice next year, right? Excellent, that’s that sorted.
Matt and Geoff in the zone.
Just time for another gem from Michael, who proclaimed to be “down with the shaking”, before being told that bartenders don’t say that. Ah, well, it was a fine debut none-the-less!
Looks like he’s pouring a flaming drink in the bottom left there!
That’s just how he rolls, I guess.
Before leaving I had time to see and sample some of Matt’s ingredients, such as his Death Valley Tincture made with aluminium (or is that aluminum?). It’s dry. Very, very dry. So dry, in fact, that my tongue was sticking to the roof of my mouth even once I’d returned home! Fantastic in cocktails though, including a bloody awesome, long martini that Matt made at the end of the night using Dorothy Parker American Gin from the New York Distilling Company and Cocchi Rosa.
The Death Valley Tincture was also used in The Metal Manhattan using Smooth Ambler’s excellent 7 year old Bourbon, a cracking whiskey with a high rye content. I never did get around to trying an Abattoir, though, funnily enough. Here’s the full menu (click to enlarge):
The Maverick Mr Fox Thanksgiving Menu
If you haven’t been, make sure to go and visit Matt Whiley at Talented Mr Fox. It’s on the first floor at One Leicester Street and they distil many of their own ingredients for their delicious cocktails. If you order an Urban Foxtail it comes in a miniature wheelie bin too. Yep, that.
As for Maverick Drinks, what have they been up to? Well, with advent in full swing they’ve been getting festive! You may have seen this already, and I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it now but enjoy...
'Vachon's Quiet Time' starring the Maverick Drinks team and quite a few famous faces!
...no Bruce Willis though, sadly.