The 'Brompton Cocktail' has a dark and somewhat disturbing history: a London legend, the concoction was administered as palliative care to the local hospital since the 1920s, and included a mix of morphine and cocaine that acted as a painkiller. 

The blend inspired curator Jane Withers, who used it as a focus for the Brompton Design District’s latest project. The 'Brompton Cocktail', explains Withers, is about transformation, which is also the theme for the district’s 10th anniversary: ‘From diverse ingredients into a potent formula, from base materials into thoughtful ideas and objects, from one state of mind to another, from one world to the next.’ The project celebrates the area’s transformation, and its diverse creative offering, ranging from independent design destinations to the large furniture showrooms existing in close connection. 

Withers invited a group of London designers to create modern-day interpretations of the lethal cocktail (which was administered until the 1970s, and served as inspiration for the Italian Futurists, and more), and the resulting menu, she notes, reflects the diversity of the district’s collaborators. The fantastic range on offer is an inspiring look at creative mixology: from Tomàs Alonso’s ‘Rusty Nail Sbagliato’, to Max Lamb’s Cornwall-inspired 'White River', Martino Gamper's 'Gingerini', a conceptual beer experiment by Peter Marigold, and de Allegri and Fogale’s 'Flora Gin', among others.

Presented through an installation by inventive gastronomic studio Arabeschi di Latte (who themselves contributed a cocktail, the 'Pretty Hanky Panky'), and served in specially developed glassware by Bitossi, the project is accompanied by a recipe book, should anyone wish to recreate the creative cocktails at home.