The cocktails I've come to try tonight are made using Perique Tobacco Liqueur produced by scientist come craft-distiller, Ted Breaux, who makes the spirit in France using distilled Louisiana Perique – one of the rarest and strongest tobaccos in the world.
"It's made in roughly the same way as gin is," says Ted. "But instead of using juniper berries we use tobacco. The concept was to take an immensely powerful substance and then to reduce it through distillation into something very subtle but full of flavour."
A flavour that Ted describes as: "sitting in an old leather armchair, in a cosy library where your favourite grandfather has smoked his pipe a few hours before." It's a longwinded description, but Ted's liqueur seems to have struck a chord with consumers. Perique has recently appeared on the menus of some of London's most exclusive cocktail bars, including Barts, Paramount and Ten Manchester Street.