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April 2011

Take Me to Saratoga

In my latest post for FineCooking.com, I discuss the Saratoga; a cocktail with two base liquors and one of my all-time favorites. I'm trying to warm up the Fine Cooking audience to understanding cocktail classification. Cocktails fall into many families and formats: sours, fizzes, flips, rickeys, and so on. With this nomenclature we can describe a drink without listing all the ingredients and quantities, no matter what someone has chosen to name it. For example, a Moscow Mule is just a vodka buck, and an Agricole Mule is a rhum agricole buck with mint. The basic recipe is The Saratoga... Read more →

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Barhopping in Barcelona

I'm in Barcelona for the first Bacardi Legacy global cocktail competition taking place tonight. If there is wireless I'll be live-tweeting the event @alcademics. Last night I again took the opportunity to see some bars in Barcelona. We started at the Dry Martini Bar for the second night in a row. As there was a soccer game on and there are no televisions at the bar, it was mostly empty. Good for us! (Dry Martini Bar Barcelona) Next up was Ohla bar at the Ohla Hotel, which is run by Max La Rocca and his business partner. Max is awesome... Read more →

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A Dry Martini at the Dry Martini Bar in Barcelona

(A tequila shot and a Dry Martini at the Dry Martini Bar in Barcelona.) The Dry Martini Bar is one of those places on the international cocktail scene in which you must come to worship when in town. This was my first time here. I loved the look of the place and all the rules of the staff: Only the most senior bartender (not necessarily the oldest) can make martinis at the bar, and only if he is not present can the next most senior person be allowed to do so. Some of the young guys working here may never... Read more →

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More London Barhopping

Another two days in London meant another bunch of bars visited. Here's a brief summary. We stopped into the American Bar at the Savoy Hotel for a sampling of many of their classics. The drinks we tried were simple, elegant, and of course expertly crafted by Erik Lorincz and his team. The American Bar has an odd L shape, with the bar the small part of the L so only part of it is visible from the main seating area. From a bar as famous as this one, you'd think it would be all TA-DA front and center but I... Read more →

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London: Paramount Club, Cottons, and Callooh Callay

Yesterday in London I hit three spots. We had an afternoon lunch at the Paramount Club which is on I think the 32nd floor of a building with 360 degree views like this one. I don't know what it's like at night but I liked being there during the day. Later that night, we had dinner at Cottons, rum ambassador Ian Burrell's restaurant. The place oozes comfort and good vibes, with a soul singer near the front door, several rooms for dining, and of course a huge rum selection. Funnily enough I ordered a dish that came with roti, the... Read more →

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Drinks at the Artesian Bar, London

The Artesian is the bar at the Langham Hotel in London. I went there last night. As jetlag has me awake early, I thought I'd share notes on my first bar visit. (Cask Mai Tai) The bar menu is here in PDF format. This bar and its bartenders are a class act. Every movement has a little touch of style but isn't so showy that you'd call it flair. Bar nerds like us just sat and watched Alex Kratena and his fellow bartenders do their work, winding up a bottle of bitters or syrup with a swirling upside down motion... Read more →

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