A baking hot evening in central London called for an escape to something more intimate and dare I say it, tropical. The Discarded Terrace, a new partnership between Discarded Spirits and The Pickled Hen, and just a stone’s throw from Oxford Street promised just this plus an all new concept – the first fully sustainable cocktail bar for the eco-conscious cocktail lover.
Surrounded by green foliage and shaded under the canopy of a mature tree there was more than a hint of the tropical rainforest in this secluded pop-up. We perused the cocktail menu and quickly realised that this was going to be as much an educational experience as anything else, an introduction to the world of zero-waste drinks.
The concept was brought to life with my partner’s first cocktail, a cooling Watermelon Spritz. Discarded Spirits are a pioneering zero waste spirits brand and their vodka is made from grape skins that would normally be thrown away. Combined with watermelon cordial that is produced in-house from watermelon rind waste and served ice cold it was a refreshing start, with the aesthetically pleasing colour of a tropical sunset.
I opted for the Banana Colada Spritz which our bartender enthusiastically explained was made with Discarded banana peel rum alongside re-purposed coconut milk and pineapple chunks. It was fabulous, smooth and sophisticated and all the better for knowing that waste really can be turned into a thing of taste and beauty.
We settled back and enjoyed the ambience, it wasn’t too much of a stretch to imagine ourselves in the heart of the tropics, the day’s heat coming to an end, relaxing in an intimate nook, glass in hand. For the peckish guests can also enjoy a selection of sustainable specials depending on what produce and ingredients become available during the day.
Next up was the Pineapple Rind Negroni. Who knew that vermouth could be created with cascara, the discarded fruit of the coffee berry? I was intrigued to learn that billions of cascara are wasted by the coffee industry every year. This way the cascara are re-purposed to create a rich, fruity vermouth with a real depth of flavour and a distinct fruity bitterness. It worked perfectly with the house-made pineapple rind Campari using leftover waste from the Pickled Hen gastropub. Over ice it had all the classic bittersweet complexity of a Negroni which wouldn’t have been out of place served as an aperitivo in Rome or Milan.
It was time to drag ourselves away and back to the world of buses, tubes and the August heat in London. It had been a combination of education and pleasure and we left feeling suitably virtuous as if we had done our bit for the planet, without effort but through choice. The Discarded Terrace aims to answer the question ‘Can waste be beautiful?’ I am pleased to confirm it can.
The Discarded Terrace is open until 1 October 2022.
To find out more visit thepickledhen.co.uk
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All imagery courtesy of Marriott Hotels / Kat Volkova.