As the sun settled over the London horizon, it was once comforting to know that thanks to the Capital’s far-reaching naval colonialism that the sun was still shining on part of the Empire. Many a sundowner were likely enjoyed on a constant basis somewhere in the British Empire, so why not dedicate a drink to it’s fabled history?
And that’s what Victorian-era bar and restaurant Powder Keg Diplomacy did. Here’s how Powder Keg Diplomacy, situated near Clapham Junction on St. John’s Hill, describes it’s tribute to faded glory on its cocktail menu:
“The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire is an expression used to describe the fact that there was always daylight on some part of Britain or the Colonies. Today this expression doesn’t ring true and the empire seems like it might be on ‘Death’s Door’ so we have created a sun coloured drink to ensure that the empire is always shining in Powder Keg.”
If you’d like to try and recreate the British Empire in cocktail form at home, you’d be hard pressed to do so for two principle reasons: firstly, you don’t have any of PKD’s homemade ginger beer; secondly, you likely don’t have the mixology mastery of PKD’s bartenders. You may as well just head to Clapham and order a Sun Never Sets before feasting on one of PKD’s traditional British meals with a few twists.
THE SUN NEVER SETS
- 35ml of Death’s Door Gin
- 20ml of dry vermouth
- 15ml Mandarina Napoleon
- 25ml pink grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- Touch of lemon
- Touch of simple syrup
Shaken and poured straight into a coupette or martini glass and Topped with homemade ginger beer
PKD Bar Manager Martin Friday explains that the cocktail is layered like a sour, but it’s not like a sour. The ginger beer gives the drink a sweetness but whereas the layers underneath fluctuate between a bit of bitterness and sour. “It’s hard to describe,” said Martin. “You’ll just have to try it!”