Pontoon: bespoke cocktails

Personalised concoctions with a kick

Was 007 lazy when he ordered the same old martini? How about Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw, who was rarely without the pink storm in a glass, the Cosmopolitan? Or Don Draper and his Old Fashioned? Can one’s choice of drink become simply a thing of habit rather than choice?

Simon Weston certainly thinks so. As owner of drinks consultancy Pontoon, he creates bespoke drinks suited to an individual’s tastes and personality.


The process begins in a client’s home with Pontoon’s Australian mixologist Brent Harcombe and his trolley full of spirits, mixers, bitters and all the necessary accoutrements (second picture). Weston then runs lickety-split through a barrage of multiple-choice questions (with strict instructions to say the first answer that comes to mind): bleu, medium-rare or Big Mac? Ristretto, lapsang or builders? Louboutin, Paul Smith or Converse? Marilyn Manson, Robert Plant or Harry Styles? Brent stands at the side, drinking in – if you will – the information before he and Simon have a pow-wow. Two drinks are put forward: one reflecting a fresher side of one’s personality (typically lighter and more fruity) the other more classic (typically stronger and more old-fashioned).


The service (£500 for one-hour cocktail fitting) wraps up with two apothecary bottles delivered a week later, and bespoke recipes are kept on file for future orders (£50 for 500ml). A wonderful gift, certainly – but an even better treat for yourself.

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