With over 200 gins on their impressive back bar, this purpose built venue is all about the luscious experience (and it's not all about the gin all the time).
The most striking aspect of the bar is the beautiful towering collection of 215+ gins from 39 different countries, all fully accessed throughout service with the old-style library ladder. Complemented throughout the whole venue are the copper finishes that hark back to the traditional copper gin still, whilst the floor to ceiling leafy green wall next to the bar makes the whole place feel vibrant and alive.
"As a family, we have strong affiliations to Southern Africa, through work, volunteering or recreation and as a theme it ties our family together. Elephants signify family, they live in herds, have a matriarch who the family spend the most time with. And Leafy, because we wanted a green and alive space that reflected the botanicals and herbs that influence gin flavours." explains Duncan.
The Scott family also work with the charity, Save the Elephants so £2 is donated from every Signature cocktail, with events planned for the year to raise more money.
Presenting their passion for Gin in two menus, one presents their range of seasonal and spectacular cocktails and a selection of top gins, spirits and wines whilst the other is designed for the intrepid gin-explorer. A gin bible depicting the different styles of gins - aromatic, floral, juniper led to Old Tom and sipping specialist gins.
"Each square of the back bar is a category within the book, with the idea for the wall to act as encouragement for people to try something new. If you recognise a gin that you like or know then the gins around it are going to be fairly similar so you can try something a little bit different but not totally unrecognisable" - or if you're like us, dive into something completely new!
When it comes to the bar's other drinks, local is important. All of their craft beers and cider are sourced from within a 10 mile radius of Wokingingham - with Siren Craft beers on tap and a range of bottles in the fridge. The Leafy Elephant champion local business where they can.
Each of the cocktails on the menu is unique. Made using different infusions and home-made syrups, everything used is maximised. A garnish isn't used just once; for example a lemon isn't just used in a slice form it is used for its juice, its peel and some elements are dehydrated whilst some are fresh. It can also be powdered for different effects.
The signature cocktail, A Leafy Elephant is created to reflect the flavours of African produce and to help raise money for Save the Elephant. Watch this video of Paul in action.
Paul has a love for Victorian, roll-top baths. Bathtub cocktail is his idea of the perfect bath and the chance to never grow up!
Mix all the ingredients together, add some cucumber for freshness, shake well with ice, strain into a mini bathtub.
Seasalt and lavender foam:
A binding agent - ester sugar.
Add air to the mixture to create the foam, then gently spoon the foam on top of the bathtub. Garnish with lavender, dried rose petals, fresh flowers and a rubber duck.
The Leafy Elephant is sophisticated fun, a jewel in Wokingham's crown and certainly a new bar to visit this summer!