For the last three years, Czech bartender Alex Kratena, responsible for landing London’s Artesian on The World’s 50 Best Bars for four consecutive years, has remained under the radar as he schemed his first solo project. On June 1, he debuted Tayēr + Elementary in East London.
The dual-concept drinking den was created with Scandinavian bartender Monica Berg (an alum of Oslo’s Himkok, currently No. 19 on The World’s Best Bars list) and chefs Ana Gonçalves and Zijun Meng of white-hot London pop-up TĀTĀ Eatery.
Tayēr + Elementary manifests as two distinct bar spaces. Elementary, upfront, offers a more straightforward drink selection––a few seasonal numbers plus a list of imaginative interpretations of classics. Tayēr, to the rear, highlights an elevated drinking experience built around an almost avant-garde approach to cocktailing.
While Kratena and his team stress that Elementary offers less fussy intoxicants, the menu of core cocktails reads highly inspired, like a cedarwood, rye and aquavit Old Fashioned and a Gimlet infused with Peruvian palo santo wood. The latter was inspired by a trip Kratena took to the Amazonian jungle.
“We have reworked the concept of the Gimlet, and this way we keep it within the [context of] what is recognized but still with an interesting twist,” says Kratena.
A popular ingredient in fragrances and skin care products, prized for its purifying aroma, palo santo is now snaking its way into booze with the bar’s Palo Santo Gimlet.
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice and stir.
Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
*Palo santo cordial: Combine 1/3 oz palo santo extract, 5 cups sugar, 1/4 cup malic acid, 5 tsp citric acid and 5 cups water in a Thermomix and process for 5 minutes at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Reserve until ready to use. (For those without a Thermomix, add all ingredients into a medium-sized pot and cook gently. Don’t let the mixture simmer or boil-over low heat to dissolve sugar.).