This year, to mark their 15th birthday, it is launching a new menu, Synergia, which is said to encapsulate the ethos which has driven the bar’s approach to hospitality. The new menu will be divided into three separate chapters: Self, Other and Synergy — with each chapter reflecting a distinct style.
Self will focus on personal emotions. Here, drinkers can expect cocktails such as a fresh riff on the Negroni, made with rum, sherry, Connaught Bar sweet vermouth and Champagne.
The menu moves into Other, and a focus on human interactions, with preparations including the “Icebreaker”, another rum and sherry combination but served here with roasted peanut butter, flavours of fermented banana, verjus and Abbot’s bitters. The name references the fact the bartenders quite literally break large ice cubes in half before putting them back together as part of the drink.
The new menu concludes with the Synergy chapter. Among the drinks here is Kindred Joy, a seven ingredient creation which includes, among others, silver tequila, yuzu syrup, chilli liqueur, tomato liqueur and grapefruit soda and is described to be “as perfect as a moment spent with your people”. It is served from magnums — “because remember, happiness comes in magnums,” according to head mixologist Giorgio Bargiani — and can be purchased in them, too (i.e, in 1.5l measures).
At a launch for the new menu — after joking that the new menu “sounds like the name of a new Cirque du Soleil production” — the Connaught’s director of mixology Ago Perrone said of it: “The more we go ahead, the more we get younger. Between all of us, there is a bit of synergy. We want to be creative, you want to experience that.”
Paying tribute to the bar’s head mixologist and manager, Bargiani and Maura Milia, Perrone told a crowd that the trio have known each other for almost nine years. “We feed each other,” Perrone explained. “That’s synergy.”
He added: “What is the bar after 15 years? Synergy. It is the energy that spreads between staff, customers and the room.”
Bargiani explained further, referencing the final chapter of the new menu specifically: “It’s about atmosphere — what you feel in the bar, the martini making and the talking, the people taking photos… that feeling.”
Milia added that working up the menu with the wider team, and in the process championing their input, had “been a journey which are extremely proud of,” adding that they’d “seen the evolution of our youngest [staff].”
The new menu is set to be an addition, rather than replacement, of the existing one, and the bar’s famed martini trolley will continue to roll throughout the bar.
The Connaught Bar has often featured among the influential World’s 50 Best Bars, with a top 10 placement since 2015, coming in first in 2020 and 2021. However, the most recent list, published in October of last year, saw the bar fall seven places to eighth overall; the new menu may offer something of a corrective.