You’re either going to be intimidated by the Balmoral Hotel or you’re not. If the sheer heft of the place, its central location, doorman and pricing make you anxious, go somewhere else. If you want a cheeky cocktail at the city’s most iconic address however, then step through that door. There are a number of restaurants and bars here but the Balmoral Bar itself – not to be confused with Scotch, the hotel’s dedicated whisky bar – is your destination for mixology. But why stop at one?
In the spirit of tasting menus (there’s a Michelin star restaurant on the premises) you could splash out £45 per person and try a cocktail tasting menu – amuse bouche then five ‘courses’ – carefully managed so you don’t keel over after number two or three.
If that’s too rich an option, the individual cocktails here match up to the impeccable service standards and slick, international-hotel décor. Sitting comfortably with something sharp and refreshing like a Twisted Cucumber (Hendrick’s gin, limoncello, elderflower cordial and cucumber) or a thoroughly jet-setty Champagne Cocktail (“R” de Ruinart champagne, Hennessy Fine de Cognac, sugar and Angostura bitters), bowl of mixed olives on the side, gives you the brief illusion of being part of the 1%.