Cocktail stories: St Pancras S’groppino
Spicy sorbet gives extra depth in a new take on a traditional favourite at London-based bar Booking Office 1869.
*This feature was originally published in the July 2022 issue of The Spirits Business magazine.
Booking Office 1869 opened its doors to the public inside the London St Pancras railway station in November 2021, freshly kitted out by Parisian interior designer Hugo Toro.
The bar has taken on the style of a reimagined ticket office, and features animal-print seating, flashes of turquoise, and undertones of Victorian-era flair – it even boasts eight-metre-high palm trees.
“The palm trees are not real – for practicality reasons, I’m very glad they’re not real,” explains bar manager Jack Porter.
“An operations manager was panicking that people would be climbing them.”
As he stands behind the bar to discuss the St Pancras S’groppino, pegged as this season’s hottest cocktail, two orders for the drink come through.
“It’s such a great drink in terms of its wide appeal and versatility,” Porter explains. “I put it on the menu because Swift’s S’groppino was such a big drink for me and my mates.”
A tipple that very much fits effortlessly into the bar’s vintage-tropical feel, the S’groppino is bright, light, and “a drink you instantly warm to on a hot summer’s day”, says Porter, who worked with fresh flavours to create the serve.
“We called it the St Pancras S’groppino because St Pancras is the centre of travel, journey and exploration,” Porter continues.
“On first taste, you have a French 75-style, with the Champagne coming through, plus citrus acid and pear flavours.
“When the sorbet breaks down, you’ll get those ginger flavours coming in with spiciness. It’ll mellow out, the acidity with the sweetness. The idea is it evolves, and takes you on a journey.”
The cocktail is made with acid solution, rather than lemon juice, to “plug into being more sustainable”, Porter says, emphasising the team’s desire to cut down on waste.
Finally, Porter explains the reasoning behind the choice to top with Champagne rather than Prosecco: “A room with palm trees in… we have to be as boujie as our appearance.”
A number of the cocktails on Booking Office’s menu also reflect this mantra, so travellers far and wide can stop off at the station’s bar for a luxury cocktail to kick-start or round off their journeys.
St Pancras S’groppino
40ml Pear vodka
10ml Seedlip Garden
30ml Acid solution
10ml Simple syrup
1 Scoop of lemongrass, ginger and citrus sorbet
Combine the first four ingredients and pour into the glass with the sorbet, then at the table top up with Champagne.
For more cocktail stories, check out Paris-based La Commune’s Caribbean Queen Punch.