36 Gloucester Road, London, SW7 4QT, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 584 9719
Website: View bar's website
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Cocktails
Price guide: High-end
Food: Full menu
Images By: diffordsguide.com
'Molecular' drinks take centre stage at Meursault, a colourful underground restaurant in Kensington. A Mojito is rendered as sorbet with liquid nitrogen, served on wild berries and sprinkled with carbonated caramel (like Nerds); a B52 appears as three egg yolk-sized jellified parcels of Kahlua, Baileys and Grand Marnier that burst in your mouth; a Martini becomes a creamy, fruity foam.
Taken on their own strengths these are perhaps best described as boozy alternatives to dessert. They're visually rewarding and there's a decent amount of theatre attached to their creation (the menu warns they take up to 15 minutes). Eating a cocktail with a spoon will be an alluring concept to many.
If, on the other hand, you are a purist, you might say such sorbets, foams and jellifications are definitely on the 'novelty' side of things - certainly the leading pioneers of experimental drinks have long since abandoned such techniques. And if you're talking about flavour, they are aimed at those with a sweet and fruity palate. There are other drinks on the molecular menu, including a Margarita jelly, but these weren't available on our visit, early on a Thursday evening - a worrying sign that these sort of drinks are not necessarily practical to list on a menu every day. With most at £16.50 these are also five-star hotel prices.
In addition, there are a number of more conventionally executed drinks, mostly vodka and gin-based drinks and either fruit-driven or creamy drinks, and a sweet palate will still come in handy. For our palate, the Paris-Brest Martini (vodka, Chambord, Frangelico, strawberry puree, peanut butter, served up with a praline and chocolate lollipop) was a flavour combination too far (we didn't dare try it) but those on the simpler side (a gin and Aperol sour and a Satsuma, red chilli and spring onion Martini) were decently made - though still pricey at £12.50. They are happy to go off piste too if you're more about brown, stirred drinks and these were good.