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Cocktail stories: The Regalia, Gŏng

The phrase ‘living the high life’ couldn’t be more accurate than when sipping this sparkling cocktail in London’s sky-high bar, Gŏng.

The Regalia cocktail at London’s Gŏng

*This feature was originally published in the November 2023 issue of The Spirits Business.

Gŏng sits 52 floors up The Shard – a glitzy cocktail and Champagne lounge known to be Western Europe’s highest bar.

The 360-degree views of London’s skyline from this height make it difficult for the drinks to compete, but head mixologist Panos Ntalianis and his team are more than up to the task.

The signature cocktail menu here – a collective effort from the team overseen by Ntalianis – changes every year, with the current 10-strong list, titled Hues of Culture, celebrating colours, their roles in culture, and historical meanings.

Perhaps most befitting of the soaring setting is The Regalia. Inspired by the colour purple, it was brought to life after research carried out by Gŏng’s bar supervisor, Marika Grasano, following guidelines set by Ntalianis. He says Grasano studied the “story behind the colour and its connection to royal heritage and fashion”. The colour has been worn by rulers of the Roman Empire, as well as Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. “The cocktail has been created clear and fragrant, representing elegance and royalty by combining flavours and textures,” Ntalianis says.

Grey Goose Vodka was picked for “its smoothness on the palate”, as this quality is “perfect for extracting flavours from lavender, mahlab spice and clarified butter”, which are infused with the vodka in an intricate three-part preparation process. The presence of mahlab and clarified butter brings out a long, sweet finish that’s comparable to a brioche pastry.

Possessing a floral profile and silky texture, it gets its deep shade of purple from an extract of ube (Peruvian sweet potato). “To add some funky notes we also top up with Champagne, so the effervescence brings up to the nose all the complexity of the drink’s aromas,” he adds.

A diamond-shaped ice cube completes the serve. “It’s perfect as an apéritif, but also it could be an after-meal drink due to its slightly sweet and sparkling profile,’’ notes Ntalianis.

Head mixologist Panos Ntalianis

The Regalia


10ml Lavender-infused Grey Goose

5ml Clarified butter-infused Grey Goose

5ml Mahlab-infused Grey Goose

12.5ml Ube syrup

25ml Manzanilla Sherry

40ml Veuve Clicquot Champagne


Stir and strain ingredients into a coupette glass, then top with Champagne.

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