The Cocktail Gardener Cultivates Garden Pop-Up Bar on London Rooftop

May 28, 2013 by

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Photo via Eleanor Salton Thorne.

Known for her seasonal garden cocktails and infusions using cultivated and foraged herbs and flowers, Lottie Muir (aka The Cocktail Gardener), mixes it up at Midnight Apothecary, the London roof garden pop-up cocktail bar hidden above the Brunel Museum overlooking the Thames river. 

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Photo via Eleanor Salton Thorne.

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Rooftop transformed. Photo via Eleanor Stanton Thorne.

Muir, a horticulturist with an interest in herbal concoctions, foraging, and design, volunteered in 2012 to transform the museum’s neglected rooftop above the Thames Tunnel into a verdant community potager garden filled with vegetables, herbs, and flowers.

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The Cocktail Gardener, Lottie Muir. Photo via Eleanor Stanton Thorne.

On Saturday nights Muir steps out of the vegetable and flower beds, exchanges her clippers for a muddler, and moonlights as the Cocktail Gardener, infusing and distilling her botanical libations with ingredients from the pop-up’s garden.

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Photo via Brunel Museum.

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Photo via Eleanor Salton Thorne.

Hottest Pop-Up Bar in London
After last year’s four month stint as, according to the Evening Standard, ”the hottest pop-up bar in town,” the rooftop potager-turned-bar has blossomed again for special Saturday nights where guests can lounge in deck chairs sipping their plant and herb-infused cocktails to the sounds of birds, insects and other local music, while warming by a campfire and enjoying riverside sunsets.

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Photo via wearepopup.com.

Rooftop Garden to Glass
Muir’s been busy concocting such garden to glass varieties as honey and basil dacquiris, whisky mint juleps, blackberry martinis, maple martinis, and gin and lavender fizz with homemade basil, mint and cucumber syrup.

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Photo via Kim Lightbody.

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Photo via The Cocktail Gardener.

Taste of Summer
Throughout the 2013 Chelsea Fringe Festival, the botanical mixologist will be serving up a special Chelsea Fringe Collins, which she says is “supposed to taste like summer in a glass.”

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The Chelsea Fringe Collins. This photo and above, via Robbie LeBlanc.

The Cocktail Gardener’s Chelsea Fringe Collins Recipe
50ml Jensen Bermondsey Old Tom Gin (or other good quality gin)
15 ml St Germain elderflower liqueur
15ml rose petal syrup
25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
Dash orange bitters
Soda

Directions
Fill highball glass with ice.
Fill cocktail shaker with gin, elderflower liqueur, rose petal syrup, lemon juice and bitters.
Fill the cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 20 seconds
Strain into a highball glass.
Garnish with borage blossoms, dianthus, fennel fronds, lavender, wild strawberries and a lemon twist

In addition to the Midnight Apothecary, the 170 year old Brunel Museum offers concerts, heritage walks, lectures, river trips and garden events in a lower garden, an upper community food garden managed by locals. Set on three levels of landscaped grounds, the property is where Isambard Kingdom Brunel at nineteen helped his father, Sir Marc Brunel, build the Thames Tunnel, the world’s first tunnel under a river and the oldest tunnel in London, home of the world’s oldest metro system.

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