Bear in the woods: the eco-friendly cocktail at Les Grands Verres
World Best Bar
Mar 05, 2019
26 November 2020
The maxim at Les Grands Verres is to reduce waste and use environmentally friendly materials. Catchy. But that’s where the key ingredient in this herbaceous cocktail comes from; pine needles are infused in vodka to form the base of the drink. Head bartender, Aron Farkas, enthusiastically explains how the bar repurposes ingredients to avoid waste and says that pine needles were an eco-conscious way of injecting a woody, terpene flavour to liven what is effectively a vodka tonic.
So does less waste equal more taste? Yes. The vodka and pine are casked and pressurised to move along the infusion process and then Cap Mattei, a French aperitif which Aron describes as similar to Vermouth, and house made tonic are added. Everything goes back into the cask for light carbonation and is poured directly from a tap – like a beer – over a perfect prism ice cube (it melts slower keeping the drink cool longer) and is garnished with a fresh rosemary sprig. The overall scent is lush and aromatic, like walking through a forest but has the power to divide. While it’s likened to car freshener scent by one of our group, the consensus is that Bear in the Woods is fresh, subtle and grown-up. It feels modern just like the bar itself and the metal straws get a group thumbs up too. This is an everyday vice, perfect for unwinding post-work or on hot nights. Plus it’s practically guilt-free when you think about those eco-credentials so definitely don’t hold back on ordering this cocktail.