Remembering the Golden Age of Prohibition with Innovative Cocktails by Newly Rejoined Group Beverage Manager Gerry Olino and Bar Manager Derek Tsui
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<<30th August, 2018 – Hong Kong>> Home to the effortlessly stylish, unshakably polite and dangerously charismatic, Foxglove exudes charm and an edgy cool that is both Old World and entirely current. With a sultry and sophisticated jazz lounge concealed behind an English umbrella shop, only those in the know have the privilege of visiting this one-of-a-kind hidden gem by Ming Fat House. For the first time in over a year and a half, Foxglove unveils a new cocktail menu that reveals bold new flavours, innovative techniques and thrilling stories behind each libation inspired by the worldly adventures of its mastermind, Frank Minza.
Created by the newly rejoined talented duo Group Beverage Manager Gerry Olino and Foxglove Bar Manager Derek Tsui, the new cocktail menu is grouped into sections that each pay homage to Frank’s globetrotting adventures through the ages. Sections include the “Golden Age of Cocktails”, a “Homage to Prohibition”, “A Taste of the Exotic” and “Foxglove Signature Cocktails”.
Golden Age of Cocktails
Frank tasted his first cocktail at the iconic American Bar at the Savoy, the most glamorous establishment in London in the early 20th century. This was the golden age of cocktails, when bartenders were household names and a spirit of experimentation yielded drinks with bold flavours and unusual combinations. In a similar vein, Frank and his team have tirelessly experimented with daring flavour combinations, coming up with unique new recipes for the launch of the new cocktail menu.
A successful result of this is The Peaky Blinders Old Fashioned, a cocktail that lets guests reminisce a livelier time with a taste of Wyoming Whisky with a twist of coconut oil fat-wash, sugar and angostura bitters. Inspired by the Shelby clan from Birmingham in 1890’s-1919 when almost all members wore a peaked flat cap and overcoat, this is an old-fashioned and then some – reminding drinkers of the gang who dared to mix up tradition.
Homage to Prohibition
As an exchange student in New York, Frank embraced the spirit of prohibition. Behind the hidden doors of a speakeasy, he mixed his first drink with bootlegged alcohol. The world had taken an altogether darker edge after the war, a mood that translated into aromatic, headier spirits and inspired his artistic flair to create visually fascinating cocktails.
While on his way to meet financier Bernard Baruch in New York City’s Upper East Side in 1931, Frank’s close friend Winston Churchill was involved in a car accident. Churchill’s physician issued him with a medical note approving Churchill’s use of alcohol, prescribing him an “indefinite” amount during the height of Prohibition to cure him of his PTSD. Frank created an ode to Churchill’s love for the Negroni with the Churchill’s Negroni, a dedication to his favourite drink made with Ocho Blanco Tequila, Motelobos Joven, Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto and La Gentaine Apéritif Des Peres Chartreux.
A Taste of the Exotic
By the end of the Second World War, Frank had embarked on missions to the Far East, where he sampled – and at times improved – local brews. His cocktails were a mixture of memory and intuition: light, fruity yet complex. They were also hugely popular in the tropical heat. In typical fashion, Frank had tapped into the cultural zeitgeist without any studied intention. Antonio’s Charm is a tribute to the famous Jamaican port district where those are in love, get lost in the charm. The cocktail is an exotic and fruity blend of Bacardi Carta Blanc, limoncello, pink guava, lime, sugar and soda.
Foxglove’s Signature Cocktails
Frank’s adventures across the globe led to a lifelong appreciation of exotic spirits. In the post-war period, complex, fruity cocktails captured the cultural zeitgeist. Served with extravagant garnishes in elaborate glassware, fusion cocktails were the toast of the drinking classes.
The Bootlegger is an eclectic fusion of Old Forester 86 Proof Bourbon, cream, crème de cacao, sherry, egg and grated nutmeg. Inspired by the New York bar during prohibition called ‘Sherry’, there was once a bartender who made bootlegged Old Forester 86 Proof and sherry behind the bar. He was one of Frank’s very first bartenders and gained the nickname “The Bootlegger”. His Sherry cocktail was infamous as well as a secret, and now Frank has it on the menu at Foxglove to unveil what went on in the back of the Sherry bar.
Address – 18 Ice House Street / 6 Duddell Street, Central, Hong Kong
Contact Number – +852 2116-8949
Website – foxglovehk.com
Facebook – facebook.com/foxglovehk
Instagram – instagram.com/foxglove.hk
About Ming Fat House
Ming Fat House (MFH) was established in 2014. Our co-founders are Jonathan Bui,Shakib Pasha, and Eric Lam. MFH brings unique F&B concepts to Hong Kong with playful speakeasies and quirky restaurants. Home to Foxglove, Mrs. Pound and Dr. Fern’s Gin Parlour.