To really peel back the notes of the spirit, we tried it mixed as 3 different specialty cocktails, available only at MO Bar.

If you’re a gin aficionado, you’ll be familiar with the bluish hue of the London No 1 Gin. You’ll also be well aware that it is close to impossible to find a bottle, or a glass for that matter, anywhere in Asia.

Not anymore (at least for the month of August). MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental KL is bringing in the English gin exclusively for a month only.

On its own, the London No 1 isn’t the most fragrant gin you’ll find around. It hasn’t got the crisp green notes of The Botanist, nor does it have the herbaceous fragrance of the Tanqueray that brings to mind spices like star anise. The London No 1 is sharp and pungent, but those are but a nod to the complex depth of its flavours.

To really peel back the notes of the spirit, the bar has crafted 3 specialty cocktails with it so you’ll get to enjoy them in different flavour expressions on top of just on the rocks or with tonic water.

Here’s what to expect:

The Orange Negroni

Orange Negroni

Negronis are strong, bold, punchy, as is the London No 1, which makes it perfect for the negroni fan looking for something even stronger and bolder.

MO Bar adds  a splash of triple sec for an added hint of citrus flavour to their rendition so it triggers the salivary glands to want more. The sharp and dense taste from the rosso is perfectly complimented by the addition of the London No 1’s sharp gin profile while the standard orange peel lengthens the flavours on the nose and palate after each sip. Right at the end do you pick up the Vermouth, making this cocktail one that is as complex as its colour and history.

The Chamomile Martini

Chamomile Martini

If a negroni is the drink personification of the bold and fearless, then this Chamomile martini is that of demure grace and pretty elegance. Its dainty looks (complete with a sprinkling of elderflower) is matched by an equally light and airy taste profile.

Refreshing is most apt word to describe it, tempting the nose and lips first with the relaxing fragrance of chamomile before adding a touch of sweetness with elderflower. The gin holds the drink together with an uplifting sprite, without masking the other flavours, resulting in a cocktail that is dangerously too easy to drink.

The Mandarin

The Mandarin

As its name suggests, this is the star cocktail made to honour the hotel and the bar. The Mandarin is an ode to the Mandarin Grill’s much prided upon winelist, which holds over 200 wine labels.

Think of it as akin to a white grape sangria: it is a concoction of 5 different Hugel Gentil French Alsatian Wine of 5 different grape varieties: Gewurzstraminer, Pinot Gries, Riesling, Muscat and Sylvaner. It is refreshing, it is sweet, it is crisp with the sweet and sour profile of the white grapes but added with a touch of bitterness thanks to the gin so things don’t get overly cloying with sweetness. Swap your mimosa out for this at your next brunch.

Have a taste of the London No 1 Gin and its many expressions only at MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental KL from now until August 31, 2018.

For more information or reservation enquiries, call 03-2179 8960.


(Photos: Gan Yew Chin)