The Human Zoo features 16 new, expertly created cocktails alongside quotes from some of the era’s most notable social commentators and the iconic works of 1920s illustrator Anne Harriet Fish – bringing guests back in time to celebrate one of the 20th century’s most glamorous periods.
One hundred years ago, members of high society on both sides of the Atlantic were renowned for their hedonistic, exuberant and decadent style of living (and celebrating). And yet, this was a time of unmatched creativity; when writers, artists, dancers, musicians, designers and architects produced works of outstanding brilliance and beauty. It was an age which saw a new appreciation for ‘The Good Times’, and what many saw as a freedom from the austere constrictions and sensibilities of the Victorian age. Delving deep into the archives in search of inspiration for their new collection of original cocktails, the team at The Sidecar at The Westbury decided to celebrate this bygone era with a beautifully illustrated hardback menu featuring pithy quotes from some of the wittiest commentators of the day alongside the works of iconic British cartoonist and illustrator Anne Harriet Fish. A key chronicler of the Jazz Age whose work graced the pages of Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Tatler, Fish truly captured the spirit of the Roaring Twenties while also holding an honest mirror to the establishment at play and the inherent pretensions of this most privileged of cohorts.
“We’re really proud to introduce our new cocktail menu, The Human Zoo,” says Oisín Kelly, Bar Manager of The Sidecar. “When we came to researching the collection, we were inspired by the 1920s illustrator Anne Harriet Fish and went in search of an original copy of her 1920 book, High Society, which she wrote with writer and satirist Dorothy Parker. As a team, we really immersed ourselves in the Roaring Twenties culture and style. Having taken the time to understand the classics of the era, we created our own original and modern twists on the archetypal serves. Just like Anne Harriet Fish put pen to paper, we put liquid to glass to bring our own creative expression to life. With this menu, every cocktail is built around a ‘pillar’ – with the flavours layered in total harmony. We’re also bringing those curious bottles, aromatic bitters and herbaceous flavours down off the high shelf and into the mix.”
“The idea behind the selection of cocktails within The Human Zoo menu was to present guests with the flavours they already knew, but in exciting and different ways,” adds Oisín Kelly. “High Sobriety, for instance, uses grape, vodka and elderflower mixed with Strega, a relatively unknown liqueur. The drinks on this menu are intended to give the guests the drinks they know in ways they don’t. Forgive & Forget – our Paloma Twist – uses salted cherries in lieu of a salted rim and mixes in blood orange, but keeps the core of the original. In this way, just like Anne Harriet Fish, we hold a mirror to classic cocktails but reflect back our own image.”
Guests are invited to sit amid The Sidecar’s exquisite surroundings and explore new iterations of their favourite tipples. Fancy a High Sobriety (Cîroc vodka, Italicus, Strega, elderflower, grapes, lemon and orange bitter) or would you prefer a Rockefeller Touch (Gunpowder gin, elderflower, basil leaf, basil citric and mint cordial)? Perhaps The Connoisseur (Teeling Blackpitts whiskey, Plantation 5 rum, Cherry Heering, Drambuie, honey, Angostura and absinthe rinse) would be more to your liking? Whatever your serve of choice, there’s something extraordinary awaiting your discovery this spring at The Sidecar, and you’re sure to be entertained by the words of F Scott Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker, George Gershwin, Mae West, Cecil Beaton, Margot Asquith and more while you decide what to order next.
Those wishing to take home something to remember their special evening in The Sidecar at The Westbury can purchase The Human Zoo hardback menu for €25. The Human Zoo cocktails are priced from €17 up to €20.