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Cocktail hour: tipple time at at Happiness Forgets

Posted at 4:30 pm, August 24, 2012 in Food & Drink
Happiness Forgets bartender Johan Ekelund © Rob Greig

Happiness might not be at the bottom of a glass but a delicious joy-inducing cocktail can definitely be found at Happiness Forgets. We spoke to one of its finest bartenders, Johan Ekelund, and he even made us a special cocktail just for us. Favourite spirit?
‘Gin, preferably Beefeater, Plymouth or Tanqueray. Great heritage and works fantastic with tonic. Summer is here so one needs to keep the malaria at bay.’

Cocktails – classic or innovative?
‘At Happiness Forgets we focus on classic-style drinks. Classic is simple.’

Favourite classic cocktail?
‘My favourite cocktail is a Tom Collins. A variation is our Tokyo Collins [made with sake flavoured with yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit]. And just for Time Out, I’ve created the Time Out Tom Collins (see below).

Next trend in cocktails?
‘People are coming up with new ideas and breaking boundaries but it’s very rare to see a trend across the whole industry. There is a reason why the classics have stood the test of time.’

Leave it to the pros

Johan Ekelund’s signature cocktail: the Earl Grey MarTEAni. To infuse the gin, mix it with loose Earl Grey tea leaves (20g per 100ml of gin) and leave for ten minutes. Strain. Earl Grey MarTEAni
50ml Earl Grey infused Tanqueray gin,
20ml fresh lemon juice,
20ml 1:1 sugar syrup,
15ml fresh egg white,
one section lemon peel.

Put all ingredients except the lemon peel into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake until very cold, then strain into a coupette or martini glass. Snap the peel over the glass to release a spray of lemon oil.

One to try at home

The Time Out Tom Collins  Created for Time Out by Johan Ekelund of Happiness Forgets. He notes: ‘The drink will taste different depending on what rosé is used so there could be room for experimentation.’

40ml London dry gin (I used Beefeater)
25ml fresh lemon juice
25ml 1:1 sugar syrup
15ml rosé wine

Stir all the ingredients in a highball full of ice and top with soda. Give it a stir to mix and serve with a lemon wedge and a cherry.

To view the 50 best cocktail bars in London, see timeout.com.

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