St James Bar launches ‘Imagination’ menu

St James Bar at Sofitel London St James has announced the launch of a new menu, Imagination.

A follow up to the award-winning ‘Passport’, the new menu is an innovative exploration of the concept of the imagination through drinks. The St James Bar team has used unique flavours, molecular techniques and sustainable processes to challenge the logical in order to embrace the abstract, and invoke the scientific to create the fantastical.

The bar team used the time spent in lockdown to experiment, envisage and formulate a menu that sparks the imagination and explores our consciousness. To formulate the menu, the team asked themselves the meaning of imagination and how it allows us to explore ideas outside our immediate reality, impact our memory and challenge our senses.

The team has used multiple scientific techniques, styles and ideas to create one overarching concept. Using molecular techniques such as spherification, carbonation and foaming allows the drinks to take new forms, while changing the characteristics of ice and garnishes uses visual cues to trick the palate. Flavour profiles are experimented with by introducing fire, air and earth elements. Sustainability is also at the forefront of the process, with the team using lemon husk in multiple ways and producing honey from hives located at the top of the hotel.

From impressionism, relativism and symbolism, to fantasy dragons, Iron Man comics and Elton John lyrics, each cocktail’s inspiration is rooted in the imagination and how we use our brains.

While using a minimal approach, the menu will have a playful feel, with emojis and symbols in place of letters, edible photographs and liquid shapes you can hold in your hand. The menu itself is a focal point, taking the form of a molecular structure, with each ‘atom’ featuring a cocktail listing and the bar staff taking time to explain the drinks.

Situated on the corner of Pall Mall and Waterloo Place, St James Bar is tucked into the depths of Sofitel London St James Hotel, giving the bar a clandestine feel. Curved plush velvet seating in opulent jewel shades complements brass accents, while a marble-topped bar with colourful rows of bottled handmade tinctures, bitters and liqueurs is the room’s centre-piece.