Contemporary cocktail bar Gilt is spearheaded by a master mixologist.
If its name and address is any indication, Gilt is going for gold. Housed within the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and founded by acclaimed mixologist Thibault Mequignon, the new cocktail bar is home to a dynamic and innovative menu with a strong focus on flavours and fresh ingredients, fashioned to enlighten its guests and offer a unique experience worthy of its location. The fact that it’s bedecked in gold is simply a bonus.
A master of unusual cocktail creations, Mequignon takes a unique approach to beverages, drawing inspiration from the Michelin-starred kitchens that he has worked in. “Research and development sessions are really important for me,” he comments. “It is during these sessions that we can develop our artistic expression in a unique and innovative way and seek to push the boundaries of what is expected of a drink. Our cocktails are developed in our in-house lab before they are added to the menu, and it is in this lab where we use different techniques such as centrifuge, sous vide or rotovap to combine, infuse or extract flavours in order to create original and balanced cocktails that wow our guests.”
The cocktail menu at Gilt showcases every best-selling and signature drink that Mequignon has created throughout his impressive career. Akin to a chef’s signature dish, each cocktail is an ode to a place that he has visited or a flavour combination that he loves. The extensive drinks menu promises to intrigue and delight guests thanks to the complex simplicity demonstrated in every drink, which serves as a welcome contrast to the opulent interiors and surroundings of Gilt. For a fresh and sour taste, Mequignon’s signature Oseille cocktail – which took several years to perfect and features flavours like sorrel, yopol (dehydrated yoghurt) and green cardamom – comes highly recommended. We’re told that Oseille was inspired by a dessert that he made when working in the kitchen of Michelin-starred restaurant, La Grenouillere.
The mineral and floral Sakura cocktail, meanwhile, was inspired by Mequignon’s travels across Japan, with flavours such as cherry blossom thanks to the Sakura tea, which is perfectly balanced with grapefruit zest. A lower alcohol content and a fresh, fruity taste make this cocktail the perfect aperitif. Another drink that demonstrates Mequignon’s unique approach to flavour combinations? The Bee Pollen. With a mellow honey taste, this drink is perfectly balanced with the acidic taste of verjus. Made from grapes, verjus was specifically chosen to complement the cognac, which is also made from grapes. As for the small bites that accompany these concoctions? The likes of Sockeye Salmon Lobster Bao, Beef Tartare, Truffle French Toast, and Pommes Dauphine – they’re all part of a menu designed for sharing by Michelin-starred chef, Saverio Sbargali.
So let’s talk setting: a stunning gold bar, which is framed by a feature wall of white gold-threaded marble, takes centre stage at Gilt. Foliage and a splash of green further elevate the scene, as does the chic seating that beckon guests to relax and take in the unparalleled views from the 27th floor of Burj Al Arab. A trendy club atmosphere will set in on special nights and weekend evenings, with live entertainment designed by Clic Beat. Bonus: Gilt will host a celebrated bartender for special takeovers every few months, starting with acclaimed French bartender Nico de Soto, who will showcase a menu created exclusively for the occasion.