Moonlight Fizz - The Quintessential Nightjar Cocktail

Moonlight Fizz - The Quintessential Nightjar Cocktail

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So what makes Moonlight Fizz the drink that best sums up Nightjar? Sorry, but it’s nothing to do with the moon landings. This drink goes back way further than that…  

If you want a drink that sums up Nightjar, there are several criteria at play. Firstly, the cocktail has its origins in the Pre-Prohibition era, in keeping with Nightjar’s style and inspiration. About 80% of the revived classics on our menu are from this era and this sums up what Nightjar does best – taking a classic recipe and keeping its essence, whilst at the same time taking a contemporary and unique approach to it.

A recipe can be found for the “Moonlight Cocktail” in legendary Bartender Harry Craddock’s canonical volume, The Savoy Cocktail Book (1930). “A very dry cocktail” Harry warns!

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So how do we spruce that up a little?

First, we use The Botanist Gin. As a gin leaning establishment, we are always on the search for something different and The Botanist is an exciting and unusual gin from Islay. It’s actually made by the Bruichladdich whisky distillery, who pride themselves on their natural and organic ingredients. The Botanist doesn’t disappoint. Made in a Lomond still christened Ugly Betty, it contains no fewer than 31 botanicals, of which 22 are native to the Southern Hebridean island itself. These include the delightfully named mug wort, meadowsweet and the enigmatic Lady's Bedstraw flowers. The resultant dry gin is described, perhaps unsurprisingly, as 'floral'.

Next we add Nightjar Kalamansi and Buchu Leaf liqueur. Kalamansi, is an economically-important citrus hybrid predominantly cultivated in the Philippines and is ubiquitous in traditional Filipino cuisine.

We pride ourselves on our wonderful range of homemade liqueurs. A great deal of focus and skill goes into creating these syrups, always starting with the raw materials. Did you know that whilst we open up each evening at 6pm, someone from the bar team is usually hard at work from about 9am each day? Qe create and modify the vast majority of our ingredients in house.

Our next ingredient is Htheoria Hysterie. Intensely fruity on the nose, this French liqueur explodes on the tongue with an ever-changing variety of fruity, spicy and floral flavours. Made with cardamom, passionfruit, cranberry, violet, tarragon, galangal (a member of the ginger family) and espelette pepper botanicals, this is a surprising and delightful liqueur that can be drunk on its own or with soda water over ice.

A herb-forward bitter amaro from Nunquam, Herbarium has an interesting history. The recipe was inspired by the work of ancient 'monastic chemists' who'd create botanical drinks with supposed health-giving properties. The result is a complex and tasty amaro, with gentian and wormwood bitterness balanced by cinnamon and juniper spice, floral iris, and a touch of sugar.

Alongside unusual products sourced from around the globe, we also support products made closer to home. Using manually operated brewing equipment and the finest organic ingredients,Samuel Smith’s Organic Apricot Beer is a great example of a quality British product based on time old brewing principles.

The cocktail is rounded off with Nightjar Orange liqueur, blood orange puree and prosecco.

The garnish is a crispy savoury gnocco. Cooked to order in the kitchen and served hot on the base of the glass, this savoury delight is filled with sun dried tomato and goat cheese. It is produced by a local small pasta lab and its savoury creaminess offers a great pairing with the bittersweet, zingy, effervescent serve.

So that’s Moonlight Fizz. Easy peasy! We hope you enjoyed this little insight into the time, energy and history goes into creating each and every serve at Nightjar. They’re not always as straightforward as they appear…

MIDNIGHT FIZZ                       

The Botanist gin


Htheoria Hysterie

Kalamansi & Buchu Liqueur

Nightjar Orange Liqueur


Samuel Smith’s Apricot beer

Blood Orange Puree

TECHNIQUE: Carbonation

SERVE: Valencia glass
GARNISH: Deep fried gnocco

- Citrusy
- Bittersweet
- Refreshing
- Effervescent

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BlogOliver Bevan