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.

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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).

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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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