How to match your cravat to your whisky
The Hyde Bar in Knightsbridge launches new bow tie, cravat and cocktail pairing menu
So you have found the perfect tie to match with your outfit, but have you paired it properly with your cocktail?
If not, the ‘Attire’ menu, a limited edition pairing of seasonal whisky cocktails with luxury bow ties and cravats at the Hyde Bar in Knightsbridge, may be just the thing for you.
Curated by Esquire’s style director Teo Van Den Broeke and men’s style influencer David Evans, the menu launched at The Hyde Bar in Knightsbridge earlier this month.
Attire will see festive tipples such as the Flaming Cinnamon cocktail, combining Macallan Sherry Cask, Cacao liquer, gingerbread syrup and ginger beer, paired with an Alexander McQueen silk patterned Bow Tie, and The Hyde Bar’s Rare Cask straight served with Cravat Club’s Cohen design, a 100% silk day cravat.
Last week, Portfolio caught up with Evans to find out more about the project.
David, with your cocktail, whisky, bow tie and cravat pairing, what came first, the drinks or the fashion?
For me what I wear comes before the drink. I prefer to approach a well-mixed cocktail or quality whisky in the right frame of mind, and wearing a stylish outfit sets the scene and atmosphere to enable me to enjoy that drink, whether it's festive, celebratory or simply a relaxing nightcap.
Of the eight options on the menu, which combination are you most pleased with?
I love the Cravat Club Sylvester cravat and the Fine Oak 21 Year Old straight serve Macallan. There's something about the colour, smoothness and quality if the silk that perfectly reflects the fine whisky.
Do you see parallels between the work of top chefs and sommeliers and that of top fashion designers? How do the worlds of fashion and food connect?
Any creative design work has parallels. Chefs and sommeliers are not only finding new and striking flavours, but also working hard on the appearance of their products. The work of all of them requires artistry, creativity and originality. All find a foundation in classic dishes and fashion styles, but are prepared to be adventurous and bold in finding new avenues to explore.
For many people whisky is an acquired taste. Is there an equivalent within the world of fashion - a style or garment that people can only appreciate with age and exposure?
There are things that I wear and enjoy now that I wouldn't have dared to when I started my blog six years ago. I've no doubt that confidence comes into it, but it's also a matter of trying something. We have preconceived ideas about things which are often destroyed when we try something for the first time. I love tweeds and checks. Some men think that they will find them too 'out there', but have only to try them on, stand in front of a mirror and wear for a while to see that's often not the case. A tweed suit can be daunting, but like a good whisky, is essentially a product of a long heritage of British manufacture and should be celebrated for that.
How have your own tastes changed over the years? What foods and fashions did you used to love that you now despise and vice versa?
As far as food goes, I've always had very eclectic tastes. As a child in the sixties there was little I hadn't tasted because my mother was an excellent and adventurous cook. This was an era when British cooking rarely went beyond meat and two veg, but I tried everything and still do. Again, with fashion, my inclination has always been for the brighter and bolder heritage items like tweed and checks, but here a lack of confidence has kept me in check (no pun intended) although, as I've already mentioned, the confidence of age is changing that.
British country fashion has always been quite bold, with bright yellow corduroy trousers and colourful checks and, while I don't follow such styles wholeheartedly, I do take elements that I like and use them. The important thing is that what we wear, eat or drink reflects our own personalities, not others'.
If you could have just one drink and one outfit for the rest of your days, what would you quaff and wear?
The drink would have to be a fine Speyside Scotch like The Macallan 25 Year Old Sherry Cask. The smoothness and complexity of the flavours means that the drink changes every time you try it and it's impossible to ever find a good whisky boring. It's a bit like a favourite mountain view which you never tire of because differing light, clouds and seasons means it's never the same. The outfit would be a tweed suit. The colours hidden in a good Harris tweed parallel the complexity of flavours in a quality whisky - and both give lasting pleasure.
What makes the Hyde Bar a good bar? What makes any bar a good bar?
A good bar adapts to the time of day and to the moods of its clientele. The Hyde Bar changes throughout the day like a chameleon. At lunchtime the atmosphere is quite different to that of the evening, when the lighting is more intimate and the pace slows. But the quality of the staff is as important. The skills of mixing a good cocktail or advising on a choice of whisky are vital - and The Hyde Bar offers all these things.
David Evans, founder of Grey Fox blog, a style resource for men over 40. David is also a vocal champion of British brands and manufacturing, and has supported Cravat Club since its inception.
‘Attire’ will be available at The Hyde Bar until 7 January.