Dino Koletsas from Rev J.W. Simpson bar in Fitzrovia makes a cocktail using the world's oldest fermented drink.
The Mead Feast, one of the biggest sellers at the bar, which is a sister site to Bourne & Hollingsworth on nearby Rathbone Place and which purports to be the former home of a clergyman, was the result of a bet, with Dino setting out to prove mead - basically fermented honey - was a fantastic cocktail base. Across the bar, the drink looks like a Mojito, but has a taste that defies expectations.
Dino's cocktail expertise has been honed at a glittering list of some of the UK's best-regarded bars - from Opal Lounge in his native Edinburgh he moved to Match Group in London, working through Trailer Happiness, The Player and Milk & Honey, then moving to Crazy Bear. He consulted for Strangehill for eight months too but since 2009 he's worked for Bourne & Hollingsworth Group.
That progression has shaped a strict philosophy that means Dino, 32, pays strict attention to every aspect of the customer experience: "A bloody good drink can only be properly appreciated in a bloody good environment, so one should never forget the other details: music, temperature, lighting, smiles etc."
J.W. Simpson only opened at the end of 2012 but Dino is already heavily involved in developing the group's next project - he's sworn to secrecy on the details though we can reveal it will be is "towards" east London and will be equally focused on food and drinks - up to now neither Bourne & Hollingsworth or J.W. Simpson have served food.
Garnish: Lemon wedge and basil sprig
Method: BUILD in glass, add cubed and crushed ice, churn, add more crushed ice to top.
70ml Lindisfarne Mead
20ml Lemon juice
8ml Quince liqueur
5ml Acacia honey syrup
3 Basil leaves
2 dashes Orange/Mandarin bitters