The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 40 Spring 2022

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ISSN 12034567890

New horizons… Close up on some of the best new venues to open around the world post lockdown PAGE 26

New classics… Five bars adding fresh and clever riffs on the drinks we all know and love PAGE 38

New destination... How and why Mexico City is on top of the sip parade PAGE 54

Out with the old, in with the



hello cocktail lover! When you publish a magazine, whether the subject matter is fashion or food, computers or cocktails, the question you ask yourself before getting started is, “What feels right? What’s the mood right now?” To our minds, this issue had to be about celebrating the new. Not the shiny new toy kind of new but our collective new appreciation of the simple things; things we previously took for granted and have now come to really value, like going out, travel, and entertaining friends and family at home. The following 60 or-so pages take in all of those elements. Kate Malczewski has the intel on some of the best new bars to visit (p. 26), Arturo Torres Landa shines a light on Mexico City and tells us why it’s the hottest cocktail destination in the world right now (p. 54), and drinks whiz Zoe Burgess answers the question that everyone wants to know when they’re making cocktails at home: when do you shake and when do you stir? (Answer on page 48). And there’s plenty more good stuff where that came from, including a refresh of this magazine. As regular readers will have noticed, we’ve taken the newness vibe and run with it, using it as an opportunity to update our look and feel. With 10 years of publishing The Cocktail Lovers under our belts, the time felt right. Please let us know what you think.

When I was 17 a college lecturer informed me that as children practically everything we encounter is new. But as we grow older fewer things would be new until, he concluded definitively, adulthood would consist largely of routine. I left that lecture a little sad but, more importantly, determined that life did not have to be that way. I would seek out the new wherever possible; people, places, culture, cuisine, all sorts of things – I’d always be on the lookout. So I’m delighted and excited for us to share this issue of The Cocktail Lovers magazine. The theme, ‘In with the new’, is our celebration of newness in many guises. I especially love that we could pose a few questions to psychologist Kevin Bennett on what it is about the new that stimulates us as human beings (p. 20). It’s also a joy to reimagine classic cocktails in our photo feature (p. 38) and turn a spotlight on faces that deserve a new audience (p. 24). And, of course, we’re looking in on new bars and enjoying some new drinks. Growing up doesn’t have to mean a life of routine. I hope you’ll enjoy joining us as we welcome in the new.

Ms S


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contents 07


Aperitivo News, views, reviews and how-tos to tickle your palate, including five ways with rhubarb, notable nibbles and an interview with Jenson Button

The low down Clinton Cawood looks at how the past two years has affected the way we’re drinking now

34 Cabinet reshuffle Rum and whisky, gin and vermouth – the new bottles to make room for in your cocktail cabinet


11 great reasons to be a cocktail lover


In the hotseat


Rising stars


The New Classics


The Cocktail Girl & Guy


Liquid intelligence

A Bellini, Boilermaker, Martini, G&T and Piña Colada – five classic cocktails reimagined for curious palates

She combines culture and cocktails at Maison Assouline and he’s on board for the fab offerings at The Lowback

Taking in bottles, cans, packaging, glassware and… sandals

Kevin Bennett PhD unravels the theme of this issue, the psychology of new

In this new column Zoe Burgess explains when to shake and stir


Bar stars, a tea specialist, herbalists, pisco makers and a bunch of grape witches – a few of the people to have on your radar going forward

Take 3 ingredients With Kat Stanley-Whyte bar manager at Uno Mas in Edinburgh





Mains & Martinis

A snapshot of some of the places and faces we’ve encountered this season

Extolling the virtues of three very different, extremely delicious food and drink experiences at The Water House Project, Amaro and Doña

New horizons From Athens to Tokyo, London to Singapore, Kate Malczewski picks out the best new bars that have opened around the world post lockdown

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Spring 2022

Editors Sandrae Lawrence, & Gary Sharpen Creative Director Scott Bentley - Bentley Creative Sub editor Laura Hill Cover photography Rob Lawson Contributors Zoe Burgess, Clinton Cawood, Arturo Torres Landa, Kate Malczewski, Kat Stanley-Whyte Thanks to Kevin Bennett PhD, Philip Duff, Holly Graham, Alex Kratena, June Lawrence, Dré Masso, Lynnette Marrero, Kaitlyn Stewart

For all editorial and advertising enquiries, please contact: (+44) 020 7242 2546

09 Creating a stir Celebrate Cinco de Mayo on 5th May by mixing up a Mexican Negroni

Find us: @cocktaillovers meet.thecocktaillovers @thecocktaillovers Reproduction in whole or part of any contents of The Cocktail Lovers Magazine without prior permission from the editors is strictly prohibited.





Cold comfort

Parting shot

Arturo Torres Landa on the bars and their stars that have made Mexico City one of the coolest cocktail capitals in the world

Forget anything you may have thought about canned cocktails of old, these days they’re bloomin’ gorgeous. We select the perfect 10

Bring on the fizz! Recreate the glamour of Claridge’s Bar in your home by making a simple but elegant cocktail

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All details of bars featured in this issue were correct at time of going to press. Please see individual websites for up-to-date information. The Cocktail Lovers Magazine is printed in the UK by Stephens & George. Distributed by Gold Key Media

The Cocktail Lovers ISSN 2052-059X © 2022. Published by The Cocktail Lovers Ltd. London, UK







An Ohio-born, Londonbased writer and editor, Kate has worked at Food & Wine, Imbibe and The Spirits Business magazines. She now writes about cocktails, spirits and the bar industry for a number of publications.

Clinton has been writing about drinks since landing in the UK in 2006 from his native South Africa, having already put in time on both sides of the bar. He now covers all aspects of the industry for a variety of magazines, with a focus on spirits, cocktails and bars. He’s partial to all things agave, and dependent on good coffee.

Zoe is one of the UK’s most renowned flavour experts and founder of consultancy Atelier PIP. Passionate about pushing boundaries within the sensory- and flavour-led sectors to help improve consumers’ drinking experiences, she works with Heston Blumenthal’s creative team as well as clients such as Edrington UK, Soma and be-oom tea shop.

Arturo has been writing about the thrill of discovering new places through food and beverages for 10 years. He is co-editor of Food and Travel México, and has collaborated with lifestyle media outlets such as Marriott Bonvoy Traveler en Español, México Desconocido, Aire, Travesías, Bleu&Blanc and Sports Life.

Best new discovery? “A channel knife and a beautiful pair of Nick & Nora glasses – both have elevated Martinis at home considerably.”

Best new discovery? “Kae Tempest’s book On Connection. Her view on craft and connection is something we can all apply to our lives.”

New horizons: page 26

The low down: page 32

Best new discovery? “My latest new discovery is Sweeties, the incredibly groovy bar which recently opened in The Standard hotel in London. It’s a great spot to kick off a night out, with playful, wellness-inspired cocktails – and jaw-dropping views of the city.”

Liquid intelligence: page 48

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Mexology: page 54

Best new discovery? “Although I have a penchant for wine, I've recently fallen in love with bacanora, a Mexican liquor soon to be considered the ‘coolest kid’ on Mexico City’s bar scene.”

APERItiVO Opening up the palate for the newness ahead …


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Getting the lowdown from the Formula One racing star on his latest passion: blending whisky

From a London bar with a new NFT menu, to drinking in colour for spring

Where we serve up bite-sized picks on the people, places, recipes and products to have on your radar this season

Kevin Bennett PhD unpicks the theme of this issue and explains the psychological effects of newness

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5 WAYS WITH... Rhubarb: infuse it, dry it, sweeten it, mix it and try it in a Frothy Boi at Sweeties

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The people Yvonne Chan

“Yvonne is a young gun who I’ve had the pleasure of both working with and being served by,” says Holly Graham, Managing Editor, DRiNK Magazine, Asia. “We worked together at The Old Man Hong Kong when she was just 21. I was – and still am – impressed by her intelligence, knowledge, palate and hospitality skills. She then had a stint at Quinary, and is now the head bartender at ARGO at Four Seasons. Always humble and smiling, there’s an understated ferocity to this young lady. I adore her.” For more Faces to Watch, see page 22.




Cinco de Mayo Mexican Negroni 50ml Casamigos Blanco Tequila 50ml Campari 50ml sweet Italian vermouth Casamigos Mezcal, to rinse 1 large orange peel to garnish Method: Combine the tequila, Campari and vermouth in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir. Strain into a Rocks glass that has been rinsed with mezcal. Add one large block of ice and garnish with orange peel. 5TH JUNE

World Environment Day Grape Skin Martini 50ml Discarded Chardonnay Vodka 20ml Discarded Sweet Cascara Vermouth Apple peel-infused grapeseed oil to garnish


Method: Stir ingredients over ice, and strain into a chilled Coupette or Martini glass. Garnish with apple peel-infused grapeseed oil.

Encased in porcelain with 18-carat gold detailing, this super-luxe candle sure does look the bomb – and with its medley of Italian grapefruit, Tuscan rosemary and mimosa, by golly, it smells incredible too. Created to evoke the spirit of what must be the most popular aperitif in the world, it’s our pick to bring on the feel-good vibes at any time of year. Available from


World Rum Day Cuban Crown 50ml Santiago de Cuba Añejo 11 Year Old 20ml lime juice 45ml salted honey syrup* Method: Shake the ingredients over ice and strain into a Coupette glass. (*How to make: mix two parts honey with one part water in a saucepan, add a large pinch of salt and heat until mixed. Allow to cool then pour into a bottle).

SEH WHAAT! An aquavit made in Wales? You’re kidding right? Er, no. Silver Circle Aquavit has all of the caraway bite and distinct characteristics of its Scandinavian cousin but it’s made in the Wye Valley. Try it as an alternative to your usual spirit and taste the difference it brings to the mix. Available from 9


BARCELONA With three bars in the World’s 50 Best Bars* list, it’s little wonder Barcelona is a hotspot for cocktail lovers



Simone Caporale and Marc Alvarez know great flavour. They also know a thing or two about first-class service and effortless style. All three come together at their sleek and sumptuous space showcasing an open-plan bar, which is the stage for their excellent drinks. (*number 37).

Part of the Boadas family, and headed up by Juanjo González and Núria Miret, this small, nautical-inspired spot is oozing with old-school charm, Cuban artefacts and cocktails with a hint of the tropics. It may not be on the 50 Best list but it’s defintely worth a visit.

SCHMUCK STREET One street, three different takes on the five-star dive bar ethos of one creative team. Start at Fat Schmuck for aperitifs and crowd-pleasing food to line your stomach for the night ahead; call into Two Schmucks (*number 11) for the more complex side of their cocktail offering; and wrap things up at Lucky Schmuck, where cocktails, beer, shots, karaoke and guilty pleasure, deep-fried Snickers bars await. You know it makes sense.



No self-respecting cocktail lover should visit visit the city without stopping at Boadas, its oldest bar. Opened in 1933, it boasts Art Deco design and dramatic thrown pours.

For cocktails created to make your Insta feed pop, this is the place. Giacomo Gianniotti balances his serious side with fun serves and a whole lot of theatrics. It gets busy, so prepare to wait. (*number 3)



The PLACE Black Rock Shanghai

Sleek and sexy AF, Black Rock Shanghai, like its London namesake, is a temple dedicated to all things whisky. What makes it special? Oh-so many things, including the cabinets divided into flavour profiles, banging whisky cocktails, great food and, of course, the oak table centrepiece with 42 litres of whisky ageing in the channels. What’s not to love? For details of more new bars around the world, see page 26.


Notable Nibbles Q. What makes a winning accompaniment to your cocktails? A. Brindisa Cocktail Snack Mix, that’s what. With its no-nonsense mix of salted Marcona almonds, cashews, peanuts, maize kernels and roasted hazelnuts it has the crunch to salt ratio just right.


Alcohol is calorific, but dry white wine, spirits and beers are fat free and almost sugar free. A standard half pint of beer has approximately 100 calories, as does a 125ml glass of dry wine, less than a serving of apple juice.



COCKTAIL HACK #1 From Julie Reiner, New York’s Clover Club owner and Leyenda co-owner, and author of The Craft Cocktail Party – Amazing Drinks for Every Occasion:



Foodie flavours in a glass is definitely where cocktails are at. Olive, a deliciously moreish, deftly balanced blend of Olive Spirit, Rum Fire, Oregano and tonic, is a case in point. Find it on the ‘Grounded’ menu at Little Red Door, Paris.

For more cocktail hacks from industry experts, tune into The Cocktail Lovers podcast.

book club Our pick of the best books to help you up your mixing game at home

The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails

Difford’s Guide to Cocktails, 16th Edition

This one is a biggie in all senses of the word: 10 years in the making, it comes in at an incredible 900 pages and counting with contributions from the great and good of bartending, cocktail history and writing. Trust us when we say that it’s packed with absolutely everything you need to know about the fascinating world of drinks.

We’re not saying that size is everything but this 2.2kg whopper sure earns its keep on your shelf. Positively bursting with all of the tips, tricks and know-how you’ll ever need in your cocktail-making arsenal including bartending basics to full-on geekery, plus a staggering 3,000 recipes to ensure you get the specs just-so, it’s a must-have for professionals and newbies alike.

Edited by David Wondrich with Noah Rothbaum

By Simon Difford


Mixed in Minutes: 50 Quick & Easy Cocktails to Make at Home By Dan Whiteside

Just getting started in this cocktail-making malarkey? Don’t have any equipment? Want to keep your recipes pared back and easy to follow? Dan’s your man! This little book takes in 50 simple recipes that anyone can replicate with minimal fuss, limited time and not a piece of cocktail kit in sight. Invaluable seasonal tips also available.




RHUBARB VODKA Ingredients: 500g rhubarb 300g caster sugar 1L vodka

RHUBARB SYRUP Ingredients: 500g rhubarb 125g caster sugar 125ml water

Method: 1. Chop the rhubarb stems into chunks and place in a sterilised 1.5L Kilner jar. 2. Pour the sugar and vodka into the jar, and seal. 3. Shake well and leave in a dark cupboard for at least one month, shaking the jar every now and then. 4. After one month, taste the vodka to check the flavour. If you prefer a stronger rhubarb taste, leave to infuse for an extra couple of weeks. 5. When you’ve reached the desired taste, strain the contents through a muslin cloth into sterilised Kilner bottles. Recipe courtesy of

Method: 1. Chop the rhubarb and combine with the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has slightly thickened. 2. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Set the residue aside to use as jam. 3. Pour the syrup into a sterilised bottle. Cover or cork the bottle and store in the fridge.




MIX IT BELLINI Use your rhubarb syrup in a Bellini. Add one part syrup to four parts sparkling wine, prosecco or Champagne.


DRY IT Cut your rhubarb into small pieces, place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven on the lowest heat until crisp (about 2-3 hours). Use to make tea blends.

RHUBARB G&T 50ml gin Juice of half a lime, plus a lime wedge to garnish 2 tbsp rhubarb syrup Tonic water, to taste


TRY IT SWEETIES, THE STANDARD, LONDON Order a Frothy Boi (pictured on page 7): Tanqueray London Dry Gin, lacto-rhubarb, bay leaf, pink salt and fermented fluffy oats.


Method: Add the gin, lime juice and rhubarb syrup to a chilled Highball glass, half-filled with ice. Top with tonic water and stir gently to combine. Garnish with a lime wedge. RHUBARB SODA For a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, add one part rhubarb syrup to three parts soda.


The Bottle REAL Chaynyy Kvas

There are many ways to support the people of Ukraine and buying a bottle of a kombucha is one of them. Based on the traditional Ukrainian fermented drink kvas, this limitededition, tea-based drink emits honey, tobacco and malty notes and a rich, woody aroma. Which is all good and fabulous but even better, all proceeds from each £20 bottle goes to The Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Available from For more new bottles, see page 34.



was Johnnie Walker whisky. I was fortunate enough to work with its Master Blender and get to understand that side of things a bit more. The process really fascinated me and drew me in. More recently, a mutual friend introduced me to George [Koutsakis] and we both saw a real parallel between our passions – me, coachbuilding and George, whisky. We’ve spent the past two years working on the blend and I’m really proud with what we’ve come up with. For me, I’m still learning but it’s been really good fun.



Coachbuilding and whisky, what do they have in common (apart from you of course)? There’s a real synergy between coachbuilding cars and blending whisky. So much precision is needed in both. To reinforce the message, we’ve incorporated elements of a coachbuild into the design, such as the indents in the bottle, which replicate the frame of the car, and our logo, which is a spinner and wheel nut.


Are you worried that people will make a drinking and driving connection? Alcohol brands have sponsored motor racing for years. Obviously, I would never drive a car with a bottle of whisky in my hand. It’s about doing both things responsibly.




What’s your earliest whisky memory? I was around 18 and let’s just say, it’s not a particularly good one! Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of positive whisky memories since!


Most people know you as a Formula One racing star and Sky Sports presenter. How and when did whisky enter the equation? When I worked with a race team for many years one of the big sponsors


Coachbuilt Whisky blends all five whisky-producing regions of Scotland. Were you aware of the distinct characteristics of each before working on the blend and, if so, which is the best expression of your personality and why? No. But having blended the whisky myself (with George’s instructions), I now have an understanding of why each expression has been included and what it adds to the overall blend.


What’s your favourite way to enjoy Coachbuilt Whisky and why? I couldn’t drink whisky neat before we developed Coachbuilt but now, since working on the blend, that’s the way I like to drink it. Every sip is enjoyment for me. Hear the full interview on The Cocktail Lovers podcast

01 eleven great reasons

Rethinking whisky If anyone can loosen up the world of whisky, it’s the team at Woven. Combining science, art and big time flair in the gorgeous streamlined bottles, each expression has been carefully blended to evoke a particular memory. What does nostalgia taste like? Find out in Experience N.3.

…to be a cocktail lover right now

Drinking in colour There’s a whole lotta pollen brightening up cocktail menus at the mo. Try it in Something Yellow at Abajo (pictured), and the TR6 Sidecar at Hawksmoor Spitalfields in London.




Making a statement

Now this is something we can really get stuck into. Bellini sandals from

Shape-shifting-coollooking-space-savingsoda-serving glasses – pile ’em up to reveal a practical yet quirky cat centrepiece. And get this, koi fish and body versions are also available. Oh yes!








Blended from white wines sourced from vineyards around south-east England.

Made with botanicals hand-picked in and around Pembrokeshire.


Made using traditional methods, in French, Spanish and Italian styles.


With three distinctly different British vermouths


eight Speaking NFT

Do you parlez NFT (as in non-fungible tokens)? If you don’t, you should. Bars, brands and bartenders are all trading unique offers in this virtual space, including Eve Bar in London with its latest cocktail menu. Sign up for original artworks, one-off recipe cards and in-person masterclasses to create your unique cocktail.


Dialling down the volume Big tastes, small serves. Just 10ml of Smål Boosted Gin gives you all of the botanical, ginny flavour you want with just a fraction of the alcohol, coming in at a tiny 2% abv – five times less than your average G&T!





Drinking fluent French Fresh, fruity and fabulously French, Fefe has renewed our faith in hard seltzers. Created by the ace bar team at Le Syndicat in Paris after consulting with a fragrance house in Grasse, the range is bursting with flavour and flair yet low in alcohol and calories. Boom! 19

Great-tasting, climate-friendly calvados? Tick. B Corp status? Tick. Now the team at Avallen Spirits have added another environmentally friendly initiative to the list. Enter the Frugal Bottle, made from 94% recycled paperboard; 100% the future of drinks packaging.




Magnimint lit, cullique num reressitiunt vel eos eos sita que occusam, commolorae. Ximpore raeptatistem quodit lacim eostiorit voluptur re comnimo




What is it about newness that either excites or terrifies us, and does this change as we get older? Kevin Bennett PhD explains the pyschology of ‘new’

How would you define ‘newness’? There are a couple of ways to think about the concept. On one hand, new refers to something that has just been discovered or invented. On the other, new may be new to you but not to others.


Why do some people seek out new things and experiences, while others prefer to stay with what they know? The concept of newness is fascinating because we can perceive it as a reward or a threat. To our hunter-gatherer ancestors, the discovery of a new food source would be celebrated, while the arrival of a new person to the group could trigger alarm. If ‘danger’ is your middle name, you will find either of these stimulating. But if you are overly cautious and prone to anxiety, your psychological danger detectors will tell you to proceed carefully. A good amount of research suggests that risktakers, thrill-seekers and adventurous people tend to score highly on having an openness to new experiences. But not all ‘seekers-of-the-new’ are the same. Some people are adventurous with their food and drink but take comfort in the familiar when it comes to art, books and travel. Is the desire for new happenings part of being human? We have been exploring new things since the beginning of human history. Our ancestors faced adaptive problems and either did or did not, come up with solutions to those problems – acquiring food and resources, finding mates and staying healthy all required the spirit of discovery. The desire for newness is really a combination of brain and body

chemicals, cultural norms, underlying genetics and developmental experiences. In the fast-moving modern world there are always new practices and new adventures available to us. If they vanished overnight, would it affect us? One way we develop a sense of true belonging is through the attachments we have to places and things. If these suddenly vanished it would constitute

amount of time in childhood and young adulthood trying to find them. If you look at the history of great intellectual, artistic and scientific creations you will see they are skewed towards youth: significant contributions are more likely to come from young adults compared to older folks. In the world of drinks and bars, what might resonate with someone looking for new feats and ventures? A great way to think about designing a

A GOOD AMOUNT OF RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT RISK-TAKERS, THRILL-SEEKERS AND ADVENTUROUS PEOPLE TEND TO SCORE HIGHLY ON HAVING AN OPENNESS TO NEW EXPERIENCES such a dramatic shift that many of us would experience panic and anxiety. However, if they were eliminated slowly, I predict we would be just fine. Change is a constant that humans are accustomed to, but our brains are not designed to process change that is too rapid. How does our experience of the new change as we get older? From adolescence onwards, the variation in new experiences gets smaller and smaller, because the rewards for risktaking at a young age are greater than when we are older. Older adults have had more time to experiment with newness and are more likely to have found things that work for them. There is something to be said for the people and places that make us feel safe and we spend a significant


new experience would be to incorporate elements that heighten our evolved preferences. Social connectedness is at the core of the human experience. We need to feel like we are connected to the people next to us and that we belong – physically, socially, spiritually – in this place right now. Any new configuration of lighting, drinks, furniture and ambience that boosts this feeling would be a very good ‘new experience’. New does not mean we have to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes we just need a fresh twist

Kevin Bennett is Teaching Professor of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, Beaver Campus, and Fellow at the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health London

Rising stars

Already making waves – and gaining fans – these bright stars aren't exactly new kids on the block. But they may not be on your radar. Yet...

Drinks industry experts Alex Kratena (co-owner of Tayēr + Elementary, London); Lynnette Marrero (winner of the Altos Bartender’s Bartender Award 2021 and co-creator of the world’s first all-feamle speed bartending competition, Speed Rack); Kaitlyn Stewart (global bartending champion, cocktail consultant and curator); Dré Masso (global drinks consultant); Holly Graham (editor DRiNK Asia), and Philip Duff (spirits educator and founder of Old Duff Genever) open their little black books and share their picks of the faces (and places) to watch.


Alex Hildebrandt and Ian Leggett BOSTON SUYO


Founded by two Peruvian-Americans, this all-natural, limited-batch pisco is a recent discovery for pisco lover Lynnette Marrero. “The juice is incredible but the true story and initiative behind the brand really makes this a must-support product for me,” she says. Alex Hildebrandt and Ian Leggett partner up with unknown small producers to create their premium, single-origin pisco and reinvest part of their revenue to give back to the Peruvian community: “As we continue to grow, we’ll invest in our communities in the USA that share our vision of unity and empowerment. At SUYO, transparency is our core belief.”

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“Nikola Nikoletic doesn’t just share his name with Nikola Tesla, the inventor who was the inspiration for the bar where he became head bartender in March 2021,” Philip Duff tells us. Like Tesla, he’s also a Serb. But it’s doubtful Tesla, who reputedly died with over 500 patents still pending – hence the bar’s name – had his namesake’s mixology skills. “Under Nikoletic’s leadership, Patent Pending’s cocktail programme has become one spoken of with hushed respect by bartenders at New York’s best-known cocktail bars, and the bar itself – hidden in the back of a coffee shop – is usually packed within minutes of opening. Part crazy inventor and part lavishly bearded host, Nikola Nikoletic is one to watch.”




When one of the most respected bartenders in the world singles you out as a face to watch, you know you’re destined for great things. June Baek gets the seal of approval from Alex Kratena, multi-award-winning bartender, drinks creator, visionary and coowner of Tayēr + Elementary. In his words: “June is an amazing Korean bartender, she has a great palate and amazing style – you’re going to hear a lot about her in the next five years.” You heard it here first.

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There’s tea, and there’s the meticulously selected, organic tea found at be-oom. Sourcing varieties from small, family-run farms in her native Korea, Sooji Im shares her finds in her tea shop. But the lesson in taste doesn’t end there… also on offer are ranges of carefully chosen teaware and suitably zen-like lifestyle accessories including assorted vases, coasters and incense sticks. By day it’s all about the brews; at night, tea cocktails, blending sessions and food and wine matching come into play. “It’s a really supercool experience that you should definitely try,” says Alex Kratena.


Hary Wahyudi BALI



“When we opened Potato Head, Singapore, we invited Hary to be involved with the bar programme to share his passion and understanding of Indonesian culture with the local team,” Dré Masso tells us. Hary Wahyudi is now Beverage Operation Manager for Desa Potato Head, a creative village including the Potato Head Beach Club, Potato Head Studios and Potato Head Suites. “He continues to explore and promote indigenous Indonesian ingredients, local artisans and ancestral techniques and follows a powerful sustainable philosophy. He has an understated charm, big smile and kind heart.”


Josh Quick and Will Besant HOWL & LOER



When botanist and foraging expert Josh Quick joined forces with Will Besant, former head distiller at the Ginstitute at Portobello Road Gin, something special was destined to happen. That something is Howl & Loer, a unique, quintessentially British botanical spirit featuring wild herbs grown in their rented field in Cornwall. Their first product is made using apple spirit and hogweed seed, a forgotten wild spice bursting with notes of clementine, nutmeg and ginger. At 40% abv, it’s perfect for drinking neat or adding a wild twist to cocktails. Alex Kratena is already a huge fan.

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Grape Witches TORONTO


Founded by ‘Grape Witches’ Nicole Campbell and Krysta Oben in 2015, what started as a series of parties and educational events has evolved into a fully fledged store with event space and patio, online shop, wine import agency and club – all celebrating the wonderful world of natural wines. “The Grape Witches team are going above and beyond and deserve to be recognised for their passion and efforts to make the wine community a more welcoming and inclusive space,” says Kaitlyn Stewart.

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New Horizons From deluxe sky bars to five-star dives: the latest must-visit hotspots Writer_______________Kate Malczewski


fter months of mixing Martinis at home, the thrill of visiting a new bar is a glorious prospect indeed. Fortunately, there’s plenty of choice for those who want to explore: the bar world has been making up for lost time with the opening of dazzling new drinking dens across the globe, from sumptuous hotel establishments to chilled-out dives. So where to start? We’ve pinpointed 11 bars in nine destinations that deserve a coveted spot at the top of your must-visit list – including a cheeky preview of what’s set to be one of Barcelona’s hottest party bars. In a sea of exciting new openings, these are the ones to watch…

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Vasilis Kyritsis and Nikos Bakoulis are the cocktail legends behind The Clumsies, one of the best bars in the world. Earlier this year, they teamed up with Dimitris Dafopoulos, co-founder of mixer brand Three Cents, to bring a new venue into their fold. Line (main image) is set in a former gallery, with an airy industrial style and ample accents of metal, concrete and wood. Its menu is a study in fermentation, from its homemade bread to its freewheeling wines. The latter are made with ingredients such as figs, pomegranates, honey and apples – there’s not a grape on the horizon, and the ferments have been dubbed “why-ins” to highlight this point of difference. At first glance it seems the bar takes a classic approach to its cocktails, but upon further inspection, savvy drinkers will note thoughtful and inventive twists in each drink. The Negroni uses vermouth made in-house; the Margarita features a confit tomato triple sec. The playfulness continues in the food menu too, with octopus hot dogs in squid ink buns to a bread “experience” with both sweet and savoury options.


GLENEAGLES TOWNHOUSE Edinburgh The iconic country estate gets a new, exciting city outpost and with it comes two exceptional bars – one, a rooftop terrace, the other, positioned in the grand, all-day restaurant. The drinks list is overseen by Director of F&B Development, Gareth Evans, previously heading up bar operations for Jason Atherton’s outlets worldwide. Expect big things. Opening spring.


Seed Library

Its name may lead you to believe that cocktail titan Ryan ‘Mr Lyan’ Chetiyawardana has moved into the gardening business, but Seed Library is London hospitality at its finest. The bar, set in the basement of the new One Hundred Shoreditch hotel, has a laid-back atmosphere and mod interiors – think wood panelling,

mushroom-shaped table lamps and bold red accents. It’s all very stylish and understated, in keeping with the bar’s strippedback approach to cocktail making. Indeed, while Mr Lyan’s bars are typically known for their cutting-edge techniques and elaborately crafted house-made ingredients, Seed Library’s bartending is described as “lo-fi” and “analogue”. The cocktails on the rotating menu draw on the

structure and stories of classic serves, resulting in sophisticated, unexpected riffs that are as groovy and nostalgic as your favourite record. Case in point is the Sansho Leaf Martini, which ups the traditional cocktail’s botanical profile with spiced citrus flavours of the sansho leaf. Add the bar’s comforting snacks to the mix (hello, potato smileys), and you’re bound to get that warm, fuzzy feeling all over.

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LAST WORD Singapore This purposely pared-back venue from the team behind Singapore favourite Nutmeg & Clove, celebrates the best of the classics – from the cocktail it takes its name from to the simple, crowdpleasing Japanese dishes it serves. The short-andto-the-point drinks list is neatly divided into Sours, Highball, Champagne and Spirit Forward. Sit at the eightmetre-long wooden bar and watch the chefs and bartenders at work.


PODCAST Join us as we share what we’re drinking, where we’re going, products we’re trying, the drinks books we’re reading and all manner of cocktail-loving goodness. Plus, we catch up with our favourite movers and shakers in the cocktail world.

Just search “The Cocktail Lovers” wherever you listen and subscribe to your podcasts or scan the QR code to listen direct FOR MORE DETAILS VISIT THECOCKTAILLOVERS.COM/PODCAST






Silverleaf ALSO… GOLD BAR AT EDITION Tokyo Inspired by the golden age of cocktails in pre-Prohibition America, this shiny new addition to Tokyo's bar scene showcases innovative takes on classic cocktails using Japanese spirits and a carefully chosen selection of local ingredients. Expect the likes of Mugi & Shoga, featuring dark rum, barley shochu, blood orange liqueur, ginger, citrus and soda.



If you’re an agave spirits lover, Cata in Costa Rica should take place of honour on your bar bucket list. At this vibrant rooftop haven on the beach, owners Megs Miller, global brand ambassador for Altos Tequila (left), and Liz Furlong, founder of bar-turned-consultancy business Bebedero, offer an impressive selection of tequilas and mezcals. The word ‘cata’ means ‘tasting’ in Spanish, and the venue lives up to its name: Megs and Liz are passionate about sharing their extensive knowledge of all things agave, and delight in leading curious drinkers on a journey of discovery through the bottles on their back bar. Fancy a cocktail? There are excellent options on that front, too – including the Mex Martini, an agave-focused version of the classic serve with tequila, bianco vermouth and a citrus coin garnish. When you’re visiting with a crowd, try one of Cata’s playful sharing offerings. With the ocean in view and top-notch agave spirits flowing, we can’t imagine a better place to watch the sunset and sip late into the night.

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London’s hotel bar scene has been graced with several swanky new openings recently, and Silverleaf is among the most striking. Located in the grounds of the Pan Pacific Hotel in Liverpool Street, this moody drinking den is the latest project from the team behind whisky institution Milroy’s. The space, designed by Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, is inspired by naturalism and the elements. The bar itself is a sleek stretch of black marble with swirling stainlesssteel light fixtures creating a darkly dramatic ambience – the perfect setting to sip one of Silverleaf’s distinctly minimalist cocktails. But while the drinks are pared-back in appearance, they’re bold in flavour. The Pineapple | Miso, for instance, marries its namesake ingredients with Craigellachie 13-Year-Old and brown butter for a tropical, nutty serve that packs a decadent punch. Open until 2am every day, Silverleaf is sure to be a regular haunt for late-night luxury seekers.



Dead End Paradise



Perched on the 64th floor of the glamorous 70 Pine Street skyscraper, Overstory boasts some of the most breathtaking views in all of Manhattan – but you might be too enthralled by its cocktails to notice the skyline. The bar is owned and operated by chef


Jad Ballout helped to put Lebanon on the cocktail map with his bar Electric Bing Sutt, which was sadly destroyed in the explosion that devastated Beirut in August 2020. Six months and one massively successful GoFundMe page later, he and his partners have opened a new venue in the city, Tikiinspired Dead End Paradise. Now Jad is taking Dead End Paradise global, with plans to open a new branch in the thriving bar scene of Barcelona. The space will take inspiration from an “independent, freethinking skateboarder lifestyle”, Jad says, with an energetic, hedonistic vibe. “If it were the last day on earth, you [would] wish you were here.” Like the flagship Beirut location, the drinks will use Asian and Mediterranean ingredients with a modern Tiki twist, with the food drawing inspiration from both cultures. The new venue has a few tricks up its sleeve too, including two menus: the daytime drinks list featuring low-alcohol, aperitif-style cocktails and an evening menu delivering experimental styles and flavours designed to accompany “a Barcelona night out”. Set to open in July, the Barcelona bar will be Jad’s first venue outside of Beirut, but he has big plans to build Dead End Paradise into an international empire.

James Kent and Jeff Katz, who also run Michelin-starred restaurant Crown Shy and new fine-dining spot SAGA on the floor below in the same building. And its drinks match the soaring standards of its sister enterprises, with a laser focus on labour-intensive techniques, unique ingredients and nuanced flavours. To get a taste of Overstory’s signature style, try the 212. This take on a

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Manhattan showcases some serious culinary influence, with Irish whiskey and a trio of complex house-made ingredients: blackened pear vermouth, rye whiskey infused with miso made from cacao nibs, and smoked rhubarb amaro. And if you’re off the booze, you’re in luck – Overstory also serves up standout non-alcoholic drinks made with the same sky-high levels of dedication.



Sexy Fish

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Taking the joosh of its older, more established London sister and dialling it up to 11, this is the first international opening for Sexy Fish and boy, does it live up to its name. Martin Brudnizki's studio is back on design, injecting their signature high-octane glam style into the room – think lush coral leather seating, high-gloss tables, pink onyx bar and illuminated agate floors. Original sculptures by Damien Hirst, bespoke fish lamps and a massive fish tank add even more drama to the scene. By contrast, the cocktail menu is purposely pared back, heroing two key flavours. For example, Chocolate & Wine (cacao nibinfused Haku Vodka, cacao butter and Sauternes), Peanut Butter & Banana (peanut-infused Brugal 1888 Rum, banana, peanut orgeat, Yellow Chartreuse and yuzu), and Pear & Cardamom (Crystal Head Vodka, pear, cardamom, acids and Champagne). Entertainment-wise, expect mermaid dancers, thematic entertainment, international headline DJs and more.


SODA & FRIENDS London The clue is in the name of this recently opened bar in London’s City Island – it’s all about drinks lengthened with soda, aka Highballs. The serves like the decor, are strikingly simple, with quality spirits, house-made cordials, liqueurs and ferments teased out with of sodas and seltzers.

On the menu: The House Highball (pear, apple and plum with Kentucky whiskey and soda); Irish Air Con (cantaloupe melon, apple aperitif, Irish vodka and cucumber soda) and Rye-Ball (cherry, cherry wood, vetiver, Finnish whisky and cherry soda). To go with? The likes of dumplings, pickled miso quail eggs and fried chicken bites.







Writer_______________Clinton Cawood Photography_________Laura Chouette

The Low Down Lighter, smarter, better – this is how we're drinking now

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“The need to find balance has become really important, but not at the cost of taste or pleasure”


he lockdowns of the past couple of years changed our relationship with mixed drinks. They brought athome cocktail experiments, online cocktail-making workshops, Zoom party hangovers and eventually, for many, a newfound appreciation for moderation. Covid accelerated existing trends, in this and so many other aspects of life, demanding we adapt and innovate. “People’s drinking habits have been on a bit of a rollercoaster,” says Paul Mathew, and he’d know – not only the owner of a few London bars, he’s also the founder of non-alcoholic aperitif brand Everleaf. As he points out, we’re headed into our first full summer of unrestricted events, so we’re not off the rollercoaster yet. Soon after we first locked down, Paul saw a rise in sales of Everleaf. “It quickly taught us that drinking every night wasn’t sustainable,” he says. So much for Dry January. The trend is towards moderating all year round – not necessarily abstaining, but being more mindful when it comes to alcohol. That old refrain about drinking less but better? Also accelerated by Covid. A newfound appreciation for better booze is a strange silver lining, but these are strange times. “The need to find balance has become really important, but not at the cost of taste or pleasure,” says Bethan Higson,

founder of non-alcoholic ginger switchel Mother Root. She cites her local cocktail spot in Peckham, Funkidory, as a standard bearer for this: “Non-alcoholic or alcoholic, you get the same, amazing service.” One of the bar’s London Cocktail Week drinks last year, Canary, combined Mother Root with Everleaf Forest, Peckham honey, lemon juice and soda. Paul mentions Federico Pavan’s ‘Or Wells That End Wells’, a lighter version of the White Negroni, with redistilled Campari, dry vermouth, Everleaf Marine and orange bitters, on the menu at Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel: “For when you want all that Negroni character without the alcohol – after all, a standard Negroni contains about a fifth of the recommended weekly limit of units of alcohol.”

Sobering thoughts

“The popularity of low- and no-alcohol drinks is growing, not because people are going alcohol-free, but because they are looking to be more mindful about what they drink and when,” says Laura Willoughby MBE, co-founder of mindful drinking community Club Soda and the alcohol-free off-licence in London’s West End. Laura gives the example of Project One, the one-unit cocktail list at the Hedonist in Leeds, as well as The George in Oxford

Drinks with benefits NO



Heroing ingredients such as maca for an energy boost, L-theanine for calming effects and ashwagandha for busting anxiety, De Soi, from singer Katy Perry, aims to bring on the feel-good drinking vibes minus the alcohol.

Containing 55 billion live cultures per 100ml and the teensiest trace of naturally produced alcohol (less than 1.2%), the four expressions of Agua de Madre kefir water are not only good for the gut, they taste amazing too.

Designed for bartenders in the home and behind the bar, the recently launched range of InTune CBD mixers have been formulated to ‘bring you into the moment’ in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails.

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Circus, which uses non-alcoholic digestif High Point Amber in both alcoholic and alcohol-free cocktails.

Knowledge is key

One reason we’re all drinking better is that more than a few people spent their lockdowns learning more about booze – about cocktails, how to make them, and about the ingredients that go into them. “People weren’t just baking,” says Paul. “They were also learning how to make drinks – it taught people about cocktailmaking and flavour.” “Knowledge of classic cocktails has increased hugely,” agrees Hawksmoor’s Liam Davy, who has noticed that his customers are ordering off-list more than ever – Martinis in particular. At new London opening Silverleaf, Chris Tanner is finding that drinkers are more adventurous as a result of the drinks they were exposed to via home-delivered cocktails and subscription services. “Guests are approaching the drinking experience from a more knowledgeable position than before,” he says. And for those who choose to forgo alcohol entirely, there’s never been a better time. There’s an abundance of great new non-alcoholic drinks out there, and bartenders who are using them to create some excellent zero-proof cocktails. Gone are the days of sweet, unimaginative nonalcoholic drinks. Today we have aperitifs, digestifs, fermented drinks, CBD offerings and way more. On the flipside, we’ve all been denied two years of good times and great drinks, and there are those who are making up for lost time. If this isn’t the time to go out and drink Champagne, when is?” “The British public is thirsty for a good night,” says Chris, who reports that his customers aren’t quite showing the desire for non-alcoholic and wellness drinks that he expected. “I think people are still delighted to be back out in bars and are celebrating that by trading up to more premium offerings,” adds Paul. “We’re really getting through some special spirits.” As Laura puts it: “The pandemic may have made us more health conscious, but we also place a higher value on human interaction that we've missed in the past couple of years.”

Cabinet Reshuffle

The latest bottles to perk up your drinks cabinet

Dark stars Smooth, rich and bursting with character THE GLENLIVET DISTILLERY RESERVE SINGLE CASK EDITIONS 10, 14 AND 22 YEARS OLD They say: “The rare collection celebrates the very best the distillery and Speyside has to offer and is a testament to the rich, bold flavours our makers can achieve.” We say: Who are we to disagree? (59.1%; 61.9% and 52.1% abv respectively), 50cl RRP from £70



They say: “These rums epitomise the iconic terroir of Barbados, the expertise of the West Indies Rum Distillery and the magical effects of the signature double-ageing process.” We say: Rum collectors take note, these three limited release expressions won’t be around for long! (55.1%, 47.8% and 58%abv), 70cl RRP from €150

They say: “We’re using these [armagnac] cask types to complement and elevate the signature character of the distillery, not mask it, to add an extra dimension of flavour and intrigue.” We say: They’re not wrong. To appreciate the nuances, this, like the Glenlivet, is best appreciated neat. (46% abv), 70cl RRP £52.99

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The Italian Connection All of the La Dolce Vita style and glamour in a glass

COCCHI VERMOUTH DI TORINO EXTRA DRY AMARO SANTONI They say: “Top-quality liqueur made with 34 herbs, inspired by one of the most private and personal recipes of Gabriello Santoni. We say: Just add tonic and enjoy. (16% abv), 50cl RRP £26.95

They say: “Wine-forward and elegant, celebrating Piedmont, the birthplace of Italian vermouth.” We say: Hello! Did someone say Martini? Perfectly fitting for celebrating the brand's 130th anniversary. (17% abv), 50cl RRP £19

BALDORIA DRY UMAMI They say: “Macerating porcini mushrooms with kombu seaweed has resulted in a unique, full-bodied, and convincing dry umami vermouth.” We say: Savour that umami goodness by simply pouring over ice. (18% abv), 75cl RRP £27.85

Low & no

Juniper rising

The latest blends to drink when you’re not drinking

Fresh new takes on the juniper spirit



They say: “A new category of drinks designed by science, offering what we want from alcohol, without the alcohol.” We say: Put it to the test and enjoy it neat, over ice or with a good-quality mixer. (0% abv), 50cl RRP £33

ATOPIA HEDGEROW BERRY AND ATOPIA RHUBARB & GINGER They say: “We believe moderation shouldn't come with a compromise.” We say: They're right. Mix them up with lemonade or tonic (0.5% abv), 70cl RRP £23

They say: “Uses mint sauce, vinegar and honey to serve discerning drinkers a taste of the good ol’ British pub.” We say: This one has the Bloody Mary’s gin-based cousin, the Red Snapper, written all over it. (47% abv), 50cl RRP £125

CITADELLE VIVE LE CORNICHON They say: “This new edition stars the small but mighty cornichon pickle, a true symbol of France!” We say: Absolute perfection in a Gibson or a Dirty Martini. (43.8% abv), [70cl] RRP €39.90 (available in UK end of May)

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BLACK CROWNED GIN They say: “Named after the Black Crowned Crane, which is one of the national birds of Nigeria, where founder Temi Shogelola is from.” We say: Support the cause and give it a try. (40% abv), 70cl RRP £39

PAST: THE FIRST 2,500 YEARS Let’s go back to Greece around 500 BC, to when tsipouro first appeared. Essentially a distillate made from the waste remains of wine production like grape skins, pulp and seeds, it evolved over the centuries from a home-brewed spirit to one produced by vine growers throughout the country. “Tsipouro is part of Greek culture, like our history, sun and traditions,” says bar manager Kostas Ignatiadis. Equal parts Greek heritage and well-kept secret.

PRESENT: REIMAGINING THE SPIRIT FOR EXCEPTIONAL NEW DRINKS Fast-forward to the present – or more precisely, to a couple of years ago – when 10 enterprising Greek bartenders, already well-respected at home and abroad for their success in the cocktail world, came together with a vision. It was to celebrate tsipouro as a unique part of their national culture, while reimagining it as a contemporary cocktail ingredient to share with the world’s discerning drinkers. They sourced the finest, largely local ingredients, from Greek varieties of grapes such as Malagouzia and Roditis to regional herbs, fresh fruits and spices, including onion, arbutus, blueberries, pears, quince, lemon peels, carob, apple geranium, angelica root, fennel and anise. They also sought out the best craftspeople in the shape of the family-run Vasdavanos distillery. Respected for working closely with local vine growers, as well as their distilling expertise, they were the perfect collaborators. Each grape variety was individually distilled for 10 hours, left to mature for three to four months, then carefully blended. Another eight hours of distillation followed, with the herbs, fruits and spices naturally infusing the final spirit with its distinct character.


How 10 dedicated Greek bartenders redefined a heritage spirit for the modern age

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The O/Purist development team 1. Marfi Bali: bar owner, Upupa Epops (Athens), and successful entrepreneur 2. Christos Houseas: international bartender and inspiring innovator 3. Alexandros Gkikopoulos: Athenian bar scene bar manager and influencer 4. Kostas Ignatiadis: bar manager, Schumann’s (Munich), and outstanding host 5. Dimitris Kiakos: bar owner, Lokali (Athens), and passionate preacher of Greek culture 6. Aris Makris: former bar manager, Le Syndicat (Paris), and international traveller 7. Giannis Petros Petris: bar owner, Tiki Bar (Athens), and cocktail and food pairing advocate

Finally, the addition of purified water took it to a perfectly balanced 42% abv. The result is a crystal-clear spirit, with delicate aromas of citrussy white grapes and hints of pear and brown bread. The taste suggests spice with minerality, delicate fresh pear and white grape. Mild honey and chocolate add a further hint of sweetness to the finish. In short, this is a clean, fresh and contemporary tsipouro, reminiscent of a quality pisco. Or more specifically, this is O/Purist. Why ‘O/Purist’? Look a little closer and you’ll discover the name is rather cleverly derived from… tsipouro. Moreover, it’s a whole new ingredient – a gift from Greece to inspire the world’s best bartenders to create countless new cocktails. “We wanted to produce a tsipouro for bartenders to use as a blank canvas to paint with their flavours,” explains bartender Nick Tachmazis. Unsurprisingly, each of the 10 Greek bartenders has already created an original O/Purist cocktail, their signature serves taking in long drinks and Martinis, a punch and a drink to have with brunch, and simple sours and elegant combinations featuring sparkling wine.

O/Purist Martini 50ml O/Purist 5ml olive brine Method: Stir over ice and serve with a Kalamata olive.

bartenders’ original vision was to minimise its environmental impact while also making a positive contribution to the local community. Made from wine grape waste, O/Purist is by its very nature a sustainable spirit. But there’s more: the vines and most of the raw materials are sourced within a 30-mile radius. During production, eco-conscious initiatives include converting distillation waste into biogas for renewable electricity, while the CO2 captured can be reused industrially or in agricultural production. As for the wider community, a portion of proceeds from O/Purist is donated to Metron

“OUR DREAM IS TO SEE NEW CLASSICS WITH O/PURIST IN THE BARS OF THE WORLD” THANOS PRUNARUS Ariston, a non-profit company that promotes responsibility in alcohol, from production processes through to considered consumption. Expect to see O/Purist tsipouro in the best bars around the world. And look forward to enjoying it in your cocktail of choice. But just before you take that delicious first sip, raise your glass to the past, present and future. Please enjoy responsibly

FUTURE: BEYOND THE BOTTLE The story doesn’t stop with the creation of O/Purist. Part of the

8. Thodoris Pirillos: founder, The Fogcutters Bar School (Athens), and Greek historyinspired cocktail creator 9. Thanos Prunarus: bar owner, Baba au Rum (Athens), and international drinks opinion leader











10. Nick Tachmazis: Artesian (London), and bar lab innovator

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THE NEW CL ASSICS Five bars adding fresh and clever riffs on the drinks we all know and love Photography ��������������������� Rob Lawson Assistant ������������������������� George Hall Drinks stylist ����������������������� Seb Davis Props___________________________June Lawrence

There’s a reason why some drinks are classics. We seek reassurance in the familiarity of their appearance, aroma and taste. The name provides a sense of security too. When the words Old Fashioned, Daiquiri and Mojito pop up on a menu, you immediately know the nuts and bolts of the drink on offer – there’s no guessing involved, which leaves you free to get on with the business in hand. Enjoying your evening and your drink. Mind you, that doesn’t mean that a cocktail recipe, however classic, should be so revered that it can’t be played around with. As long as the DNA is adhered to, it provides the perfect building block to add layers of flavour, experimentation and fun. The following cocktails are five examples of bars putting these principles resolutely into practice. An iconic Dry Martini, a crowdpleasing Piña Colada, the ubiquitous Gin & Tonic, a workmanlike Boilermaker and an elegant Bellini – five classics beautifully and brilliantly reimagined into something new.


The Classic Dry Martini The Twist Foraged Martini Three Sheets (London) London Dry gin, dry vermouth, wild nettle cordial, gypsophila garnish


The Classic Pina Colada The Twist Curry Colada Two Schmucks (Barcelona) Rum, curry spices, coconut, pineapple, Angostura bitters, salt, citrus, lime leaf garnish



The Classic Boilermaker The Twist Korean Boilermaker Jigger & Pony (Singapore) 15-year-old Scotch whisky, soju, hops, passion fruit



The Classic Bellini The Twist Mango Bellini Amaro (London) Bourbon, fermented mango cordial, bubbles


The Classic Gin & Tonic The Twist Shiso Gin & Tonic Katana Kitten (New York) London Dry gin, shiso-quinine cordial, fresh lime juice, soda water, shiso leaf garnish OUR MODELS: MARIA CIENFUEGOS KATIE ARNETT IMOGEN ROWLAND REGAN ROSS MAXINE ZAMMETT GEORGE DEHANEY EMMA BURROWS










*Available while stocks last. Whitley Neill Oriental Spiced Gin: 70cl. **Savanta BrandVue – Top 100 Most Loved Drinks Brands 2021 (H1 2021)



IN THIS ISSUE Getting inspired by the bar and books at Maison Assouline; drinking in the delights at The Lowback; learning when to shake and when to stir and zoning in on the bars putting Mexico City on the global drinks map

53 Mains & Martinis Cocktails, cabaret and great tasting tacos await in the theatrical setting at Doña

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THE COCKTAIL GIRL Poring over the beautiful books at Maison Assouline as the bar team pour their delicious drinks

There are two types of cocktailloving Londoners as far as I’m concerned: those who know about the bar offering at Maison Assouline and those who don’t. I’m extremely proud to say that I belong in the former camp. I say proud because that’s exactly how I felt as I eased myself into one of the seats early one Friday evening. I smiled (perhaps a little too smugly but I don’t care) to myself and those around me in acknowledgement of the fact that we were in what seems like a very secret club. For the record, Maison Assouline is neither entirely secret nor a club. It is, in fact, a rather stunning culture-vulture boutique specialising in books of the most ravishing kind. There are other gorgeous collectables too, including candles, stationery and bookstands, but really, the books are the main event. They’re a bit porn-like in the way they get you lusting over them – they’re unashamedly voluptuous in

The drinks are true works of art. Just like the exquisite volumes they share space with stature and deeply, delightfully tempting in status. In short, if the subjects of the books don’t resonate (who even are you?), running the gamut from off-theshelf to bespoke, designer to destination, art to architecture, food and drink to photography, then the sheer magnificence of their design surely will: they are absolutely gawjus. But I regress, I’m here to talk about the drinks… There, in the middle of the room, flanked by the aforementioned books, stunning photography and all-round

Maison Assouline 196 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9EY 46 T H E C O C K TA I L L O V E R S / I S S U E 4 0

architectural fabulousness, is a bar. Not a makeshift drinks trolley or sad shelf tucked away in a corner – oh no. This is a fully fledged cocktail bar that even has its own elegant name: Swans. It’s traditional in a way that befits the Grade II-listed building designed by renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens. And comfortable in a way that makes me feel just as at ease on my own as I would with a beau, chum or group. For which I’m truly grateful because as much as I love doing the social thing, there are times when this cocktail girl just wants to sit back and take in the surroundings without anyone jabbering away and spoiling my enjoyment of my drink. Which leads me on to the cocktails. What’s their story? Put it this way, the team is headed up by bar manager Gábor Onufer, formerly of The Fumoir at Claridge’s, with András Forray from NoMad London as head bartender. Take that as code for saying they’re more than a match for the stylish surroundings. I had two. One, the Burnt Mandarin Negroni (Plymouth Dry Gin, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, Pineau des Charentes, Campari and burnt mandarin) from the Choix du Swans (Choice of Swans) menu; the other the Gstaad Glam (Hennessy VS Cognac, Banane du Brésil, sugarcane, Darjeeling, cocoa and clarified coconut milk) from the Assouline Travel Cocktails menu. What can I say? They’re true works of art. Just like the exquisite volumes they share space with. I adore this space, it really is a true London gem.


THE COCKTAIL GUY The latest offering from the Hawksmoor team definitely floats this cocktail guy’s boat

Why call a bar The Lowback? On the way there, my date asked me that very question. Fortunately, I was able to impress her with my (earlier researched) knowledge. Apparently it’s named after a small vehicle used to launch and guide boats. Obviously. And given the bar’s striking location in Canary Wharf, surrounded on all sides by water, the first impression was certainly that it was actually afloat. An impression reinforced as we made our way across gangplank-style walkways in order to gain entrance. Once aboard we found ourselves in a very large and buzzing bar. Although not directly utilising the Hawksmoor name, it had a definite air of that everexpanding and impressive family. Consequently, we expected great things.

The focal point is an impressively long bar (nine meters we discovered). There’s lots of highly polished wood, great acoustics for the energetic soundtrack and just-right lighting. And there’s a good choice of zones including plenty of stools at the bar, tables for dining and intimately inviting booths. It equally suited large groups and couples, locals and after-workers. Overall, we felt it had the appealing vibe of an upmarket Manhattan tavern. We settled into one of the aforementioned booths and turned

The Lowback 1 Water Street, London E14 5GX

Unsurprisingly our eyes, though, were drawn to the Martinis section 47 T H E C O C K TA I L L O V E R S / I S S U E 4 0

our attention to the drinks menu. With a hint of a nautical theme, its sections included Riviera, for lighter aperitivo-style drinks; Landmarks, for iconic Hawksmoor drinks and an eponymous new signature serve; Bottles of Cocktail, for celebratory sharing; and Sundowners, for indulgence later in the evening. And the delightfully headed Steady Ship offered a great selection of non-alcoholics. Unsurprisingly our eyes, though, were drawn to the Martinis section which, much to our pleasure, presented five variations on this drink. Given our shared devotion to a Martini this was always going to be our starting point. I went for the Ultimate Gin (Hepple Gin, Aperitivo Co. Dry Vermouth and Filicudi lemon oil), while my date was drawn to the Japanese Delmonico (Ki No Bi Gin, Schofield’s Dry Vermouth and yuzu bitters). As with all of the Martinis on the menu, they were ice cold, thanks to being frozen at -15°C and served from Thermos flasks. We loved them so much we also shared a Pink Gibson (Absolut Elyx, Audemus Umami Gin, Aperitivo Co. Dry Vermouth and pink pickled onion), which was another winner, and we could easily have completed the line-up with the final two, but given the allure of the rest of the menu we moved on. From the Landmarks section I went for the Tom & Jerez (Porter’s Tropical Old Tom Gin, fino sherry, pear and lemon juice), which was one of those drinks that revealed its complexities more and more with each delicious sip. My date loved her Pecan Godfather (Bulleit Bourbon, pecan butter, oloroso and tonka bean) from the Sundowners section, describing it as delightfully sumptuous and the perfect drink to round off the evening. Along the way we also tried the langoustine scampi with tartare and lemon, and fried chicken with scotch bonnet vinegar and kimchi slaw. Both very tasty indeed, and just the ticket for sharing with our cocktails. Eventually we had to head back to dry land, but we’ll be on board again very soon. The Lowback. locations/thelowback


LIQUID INTELLIGENCE Cocktail making tips from the top, with Zoe Burgess

ice will change the requirements. My advice to you is to pay attention to your environment and ingredients and taste each drink you make to teach your palate. Stirring is a very accurate method of combining, diluting and chilling ingredients in a cocktail tin. This method makes dilution easily monitorable as it gives us the flexibility to stop stirring and taste the drink before we strain it. We can then judge if we’ve hit the dilution sweet spot or if we need a few more stirs to get us there. This is important when making a spirit-focused cocktail such as a Martini, Old Fashioned or Manhattan as our

Dilution is a balancing act and something you can only learn through the practice of making and tasting cocktails.

Stirred Dry Gin Martini 50ml gin 10ml dry vermouth Olive or lemon disc to garnish Method: Fill a cocktail tin with cubed ice. Add the gin and dry vermouth to the tin and stir. Double-strain into your selected glass, garnish with an olive or lemon disc that’s had its oils expressed over the surface of the liquid and serve.

Shaken Margarita 50ml tequila blanco 25ml triple sec 25ml lime juice Lime wedge to garnish Method: Fill a cocktail shaker with cubed ice. Add the tequila blanco, triple sec and lime juice to the shaker then seal and shake. Doublestrain into a saltrimmed rocks glass, garnish with a lime wedge and serve.

focus here is the flavour profile of the main spirit; we need to retain the aromatic quality of the gin or bourbon while we evolve this to create a new overall cocktail flavour profile. Visually, stirring produces a transparent liquid with great clarity – an important consideration as part of the fun of cocktails is how pleasing they are on the eye. Personally, nothing beats the look of a crystal-clear Martini in a beautiful glass. Shaking is a more aggressive method that’s carried out in a sealed cocktail shaker. It also combines, dilutes and chills but here we have the additional effect of adding texture to the liquid as shaking aerates it. Shaking can make dilution a little trickier to judge as we don’t have the same flexibility of tasting as we make. It’s a method often used in sour cocktails where we need a little more dilution to integrate the sour taste of citrus with the cocktail’s other ingredients. A shaken cocktail will have a cloudy liquid when served and most importantly this cocktail will have more texture on the palate; feeling light and almost fluffy. If you happen to make a cocktail with an egg white foam then you are in for a textural treat – this transformation is something that only happens when you dry shake a cocktail (that is, shake a cocktail without ice first, then add ice and shake a second time).

‘The Cocktail Cabinet: The art, science and pleasure of mixing the perfect drink’ by Zoe Burgess will be published 1 September 2022 at £20, Mitchell Beazley, Available to pre-order.

Left: Sorry Mr Bond, you were wrong!



Stirred vs shaken? It’s the ageold question that still divides people, especially when hosting and making cocktails in the home. You may be well schooled in the reasoning behind the methods involved in making cocktails and have established your preferences. But, for those of you who’d like a little information on how these methods of making affect a cocktail or wonder why this is debated, then read on. Firstly, and most importantly, both stirring and shaking add dilution and chill to a cocktail and this should not be overlooked. Warm, overly alcoholic cocktails are hard to consume let alone enjoy. So, irregardless of your cocktail choice be aware that the goal here is to create a palatable drink. The correct amount of water added via ice dilution will make or break a drink as it opens up its flavour profile, making everything more perceivable and enjoyable. Dilution is a balancing act and something you can only learn through the practice of making and tasting cocktails. There is no set rule as to how many stirs or shakes produce the correct result, as factors such as how warm a room is and the quality of your

Bourbon + Acqua Bianca Liqueur + Cherry syrup = Pick Me Right Up 45ml Bourbon 20ml Acqua Bianca Liqueur 10ml Acerola Cherry Syrup Method: Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and stir over ice. Strain into either a a Rocks glass with ice or a Highball glass and top with soda for a lighter variation.

TAKE 3 INGREDIENTS Kat Stanley-Whyte Bar Manager, Uno Mas, Edinburgh

“The most pared back cocktails can be the most fascinating and are a happy addition to my repertoire. This concoction is a very simple and lighter, more refreshing twist on the classic Bourbon Pick Me Up whilst retaining the core citrus and mint notes throughout. “I love a cheeky bit of mint so utilising the

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incredible aromas of Salvatore Calabrese’s latest liqueur adds a smooth, delicious finish to this cocktail. The beauty of a simple cocktail is that it can be adapted with a single additional ingredient so if you’re wanting a slightly longer serve (ideal for the warmer weather) fire into a highball and top with soda. Enjoy!”


Where we’ve been, who we’ve seen and what we’re loving this season

Checking out the glamour at Bar Joséphine on the ground floor and the recently opened Bar Aristide, the clublike speakeasy upstairs, at Lutetia, Paris

Soaking up the gorgeous views with expertly made drinks mixed up by Raven Rudolph at Kokeye, at Mango House, Seychelles

Tasting an array of perfectly judged cocktails, Greek wines and delicious tacos at Loco Taqueria Tequileria, Athens

Enjoying the one-night-only extravaganza where London venues The Connaught, Satan’s Whiskers, Lyaness and Hot 4 U took over Schmuck Street in Barcelona

Making friends with Taka and Maka, the two resident giant turtles at the Takamaka Rum distillery, Seychelles



Joining a host of industry friends at the launch party of the ‘Once Upon A Time’ menu at Donovan Bar at Brown’s Hotel, London Interviewing Jenson Button before joining him and selected guests for a special dinner to celebrate the launch of Coachbuilt Whisky (p. 17)

Having the privilege to read through the heartfelt messages from bartending legends around the world, to bartending legends around the world, all contained in ‘The Bartenders' Travelling Book’

Stroking an original, signed, first edition of ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’ before it went up for auction at Christie’s, selling for £3,250

Surveying the rum and cognac barrels ageing in Cellar 66, the new floating barge from Maison Ferrand, Paris

And a few notes from the home front… WHAT WE’RE MAKING…

We’ve been revisiting a few of our favourite gin-based recipes: the Aviation, the Gimlet and, inspired by International Women’s Day (8 March), the Hanky Panky (gin, sweet vermouth and Fernet-Branca). Created by the first lady of cocktails, Ada Coleman (head bartender at the American Bar at The Savoy from 1903 to 1926), it’s become a new favourite.


It’s not always about cocktails; sometimes we want to enjoy our drinks totally unadulterated. Top of our list right now is Red Red Rye from The Oxford Artisan Distillery, a sumptuous, very quaffable triple-matured rye whisky with a beautifully rich wine finish. And for a contemplative, supersexy juniper spirit, we’re going Seventy One Gin all the way.



Have you discovered Spirits Network yet? Already big business in the US, the channel has recently launched in the UK. We’ve been tuning in for cocktail how-tos, histories of specific spirits, food and cocktail pairing ideas, plus the bits where you get to meet the makers behind the brands. All of the featured spirits are available to buy at the click of a button. We predict big things.

E AT & D R I N K

The Water House Project 1 CORBRIDGE CRESCENT, EAST LONDON, E2 9DS. THEWATERHOUSEPROJECT.COM (£££) The vibe: Be aware, this is not the easiest place to find. Having turned off a main road, we headed down an unpromising alley. However, our perseverance was to be well rewarded. Eventually we spied huge windows framing an appealing warehouse-style space, with an interior like a large, lush living room. Settling in we were able to enjoy the spectacle of the open kitchen. It was a joy to see the beautifully choreographed, military-like precision with which each course was prepared and presented by Gabriel Waterhouse and his fantastic team. The overall effect is fine dining made informal.

Above: Gabriel Waterhouse (centre) and team at work; Top right: The simple and stylish setting at The Water House Project; Right: One of the dishes from the sumptuous ninecourse dining menu

The food: It’s a set nine-course tasting menu that changes monthly, reflecting seasonal produce and championing local ingredients. Relieved of choosing dishes it was simply a case of sitting back to savour course after course. And every dish was sensational. Just namechecking a few that came our way sets the mouth watering again: sweetcorn mousse, raisin chutney, herring roe; celeriac, St. Ewe egg, winter truffle, hazelnut and brown butter; Herdwick lamb, black garlic, kohlrabi, rosemary. Each was sensitive, sumptuous, sublime.








Experiencing the redefining of the neighbourhood bar in luxurious Kensington style, sitting back and sampling nine sumptuous courses with exceptional non-alcoholic pairings, and joining an uplifting celebration of mezcal and women in a unique arts space…

The drinks: Our welcoming aperitif was a lovely take on a Gimlet (gin, lime leaf infusion and syrups), which reworked the traditional lime ingredient to excellent effect and had a luxurious mouthfeel. Interestingly, the menu offers two pairing choices: alcoholic, with some exceptional wines, or non-alcoholic. In the case of the latter, the creativity and understanding of ingredients and flavour demonstrated in the food was apparent in equal measure in the drinks. Given the quality of the Gimlet and the alcohol-free creations, we would love to see a future menu pairing dishes with spirit-based cocktails. We imagine it would be very special indeed.

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Doña 92 STOKE NEWINGTON HIGH STREET, LONDON, N16 7NY. BARDONALONDON.COM (££) The vibe: Descending the stairs we stepped into a fairly small, quirkily appealing basement bar that blends a celebration of mezcal with tasty tacos and vibrant live arts performance. The design of the space is theatrical with bright colours, fluffy textures and lots of intriguing eccentric details. But the attitude is wholly authentic. Founded by Thea Cumming and Lucia Massey – it’s about, in their words, “Independent Creativity. Empowered Femininity”. Founded by, run by and a celebration of women.


The vibe: Imagine taking all the smartness, service and atmosphere of a favourite fivestar hotel bar, then condensing it into a bijou neighbourhood venue. That dream came vividly to life when we headed to Amaro. Warm colours and seductive textures make for understated yet elegant surroundings. And the always smiling, very engaging team ensured that every guest felt special, going above and beyond to cater to their individual requests.

The food: first and foremost, Amaro is absolutely a bar not a restaurant, but be sure to share a dish or two. The charcuterie and regularly changing cheese selection both sat nicely alongside our drinks. There’s also a small pasta dish of the day. The standout, though, was the tuna tartare (tuna, avocado, wasabi mayo, sesame seeds, soya and parsley). Its appearance suggested a fine-dining experience. As for taste, if we’d ordered this in a restaurant we would have been more than happy, but having it served as a ‘bar snack’ was extraordinary. The drinks: Given that this bar is headed up by Elon Soddu, formerly

of The Savoy, it’s hardly surprising that the drinks have an air of luxury about them. The menu consists largely of classics but on looking a little closer and chatting with our bartender we discovered a whole lot of creative variations. The Peach and Pomelo Gimlet (Beefeater Gin, peach and pomelo) balanced the two fruits nicely for full-on flavour. The Pear Old Fashioned (Dewars 12-Year-Old Whisky, Sauvignon Blanc, Palo Cortado, pear and Angostura) combined wine and whisky to delicious, surprising effect. We also loved the Mango Bellini. (Wild Turkey Bourbon, mango and bubbles). All in all a rather delicious treat.

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The food: Tacos and mezcal is a match made in heaven. And the tacos here are heavenly indeed, courtesy of Tigre Tacos. We shared a selection including the Baja Fish (beer-battered catch of the day, topped with white cabbage and chipotle mayo), Camarones (grilled king prawns, habanero and roasted pineapple salsa) and Calabacitas (courgettes, baby corn, hibiscus flowers with El Tigre’s salsa verde and feta cheese). All were bursting with fresh flavours and suggested sunshine. The drinks: Wherever you might be on your mezcal journey, this place should be circled in red on your map. The carefully curated selection of artisanal bottles offers an inclusive, welcoming introduction to the spirit, while aficionados can indulge in a grown-up sweet shop of choice. As for the mezcal-based cocktails, the extensive menu features sections such as ‘Sharp & Sassy’, ‘Badass & Boozy’ and ‘Fruity & Fabulous’ to aid your selection. We could happily have ordered the eponymous Doña (Dangerous Don Cafe Mezcal, ginger, lime and white vermouth) all evening, with its exceptional combination of spice and fruitiness. And what can we say about the Sabrina (Picaflor Mezcal, aquafaba, lime, pink peppercorn, habanero shrub and agave)? Apart from it perfectly showcased the mezcal, underlining its spice perfectly.

MEXOLOGY: Why Mexico City is top of the sip parade With four of its bars appearing on the 2021 World's Best Bars List, little wonder why Mexico City is a cocktail lovers' hot spot. By Arturo Torres Landa Fresh and fabulous, cocktails at Limantour


efore we get to the bars, it’s worth rewinding to the factors that gave rise to this worthy recognition. For that we have to go back to the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when a revival of traditional drinks such as tequila and mezcal led to a new breed of bars devoted to more sophisticated versions of these agave-based spirits. While tequila took hold among bon vivants aged 40 and up, its more artisanal cousin drew the attention of a new generation: millennials. Mexican spirits were breaking free from their traditional cantina settings and moving into bars in more gentrified areas, where people were looking to savour each sip rather than knock back shots. This revival was promising, but another factor helped to send mixology culture soaring in the city too: the boom in contemporary Mexican cuisine. Loaded with learnings picked up in Europe and the United States, a new wave of Mexican chefs started opening up successful restaurants to global renown – the likes of Enrique Olvera of Pujol and Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil. People started dining out not just to enjoy a particular dish but to find out what else the restaurant’s star chef had put on the menu. The culinary culture was gaining momentum, exploring trends from across the globe – and bartenders followed suit. The stage was set for signature Mexican cocktails that go well beyond a shot of tequila. As exemplified by the five bars here…


Licorería Limantour

Sitting at number six on The World’s 50 Best Bars list, Licorería Limantour is the only venue in North America to reach the top nine, and it’s an absolute benchmark in Mexico City’s bar and cocktail culture. The bar opened in the central Roma neighbourhood in 2011, a year of rapid gentrification in the area, and its choice of name is telling: by choosing ‘Limantour’, the surname of one of the wealthiest families in early 20th-century Mexico City, Licorería Limantour was choosing excellence. Renowned mixologist José Luis León

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heads up the bar (here, and at Baltra too, ranked 38 on the list), and Licorería Limantour’s most recent menu, Confabulario, includes creations by Italian bartender Dario Schiavoni and Hedda Bruce of Tjoget, in Sweden. At Limantour, they don’t think twice about making use of colourful, juicy, fleshy fruit garnishes, in drinks that hark back to 1960s beach cocktails – with a twist that’s very kitsch. So, whether you order the Chile Ancho (espadín mezcal, chile ancho, cherry, orange and pineapple), or the Pixtle (almonds, mamey pulp and Flor de Caña), you can be sure your drink will be straightforward, colourful and filled with the essence of Mexico.


THE FIGURE José Luis León is the most notable bartender in the Mexico mixology scene. He graduated with a major in tourism and has represented Mexico at Diageo World Class in 2010 and 2021. Heading up the bar and shaker at Licorería Limantour, Baltra and Xaman, José Luis is not shy about his predilection for Mexican spirits and ingredients. The best example is ‘Qué chula es Puebla’ (how pretty Puebla is), a drink with poblano chili and hoja santa (a Mexican herb), proving that good cocktails don’t need to rely on complicated processes. To the contrary, you could say the success of this drink lies in its simplicity and the perfect balance between flavour and texture.

Experience Art Deco glamour at Handshake Speakeasy

Handshake Speakeasy

Mexico City is no stranger to the rebirth of speakeasies, and Handshake Speakeasy is among the best. Thanks to the vision of Mexican mixologist César Ponce and Dutch bartender Eric van Beek, this Juárez neighbourhood bar landed 25th on The World’s 50 Best Bars list. To get inside, you have to reserve on Instagram; you’ll then get a secret code, which you show at the cigarette vending machine that serves as the entrance. Once inside, the dark walls, angular Art Deco chandeliers and spectacular bar with brass detailing round out the elegant atmosphere we associate with the Prohibition era. On offer, there’s an emphasis on creative drinks made with local products, many of them grown in the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, a pre-Hispanic farming region in the south of the city. Despite this, the bar’s latest menu has notable Oriental touches. Must-tries? The Butter Mushroom Old Fashioned made with Maker’s Mark,

TO GET INSIDE, YOU HAVE TO RESERVE ON INSTAGRAM; YOU'LL THEN GET A SECRET CODE beurre noisette, pecans, chanterelle mushrooms and a delicate enoki mushroom garnish: it’s unexpected, with a smooth, umami flavour. Another cocktail that shows Handshake Speakeasy’s refined technique is Dame Blanche, featuring Beefeater London Dry Gin, Greek yogurt and lime, with a perfect, crystal-clear ice cube sprinkled with white chocolate floating on top. @handshake_bar

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Hanky Panky

At the corner of Turin and Versalles streets, also in the Juárez neighbourhood, there’s a casual, unremarkable quesadilla restaurant. But those who know the password can take one of its secret entryways to step inside Hanky Panky, ranked 12th on The World’s 50 Best Bars list. The decor style isn’t easily defined: set in a small space that feels akin to a basement, neon signs and industrial lamps illuminate the bar. Leather seats are reminiscent of a typical pub, while the vibe and crowd recall a happening beach bar – and all this under the gaze of a fake, stuffed bison head. The menu is equally eclectic, feeding off the creations of

The team, drinks and interior at Hanky Panky, number 12 on The World's 50 Best Bars list



Located in the Del Valle neighbourhood, Kaito sets itself apart from the mixology available in the rest of Mexico City with its izakaya bar featuring conceptual drinks, many of which are inspired by anime and Japanese pop culture. The all-female team is led by Claudia Cabrera, who was given a best bartender nomination for the Tales of the Cocktail Best Bartender in 2020. The drink to try? The Geisha, made with crystal tequila, sake, pink grapefruit juice, raspberry, lime, miso and nori seaweed. @kaitodelvalle

numerous bartenders who take over the bar each month. Recent guests include Haley Traub of Attaboy, in New York and Buenos Aires bar Tres Monos. Though the menu is ever-changing, Hanky Panky is known for its versions of classics like the Pink Aviation with gin, cherry liqueur and green lime, or the silky-smooth Whisky Sour – and you must try the dishes that go with each drink, created by renowned chef Maycoll Calderón. Everybody loves the esquites (Mexican street food made with boiled white corn and epazote herb) served with shrimp.

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After passing through the enormous wrought-iron door at 85 Salamanca Street, the first thing you notice is an early 20th-century elevator. Its doors open to reveal Rayo’s creative director, Tito Pin-Pérez, who immediately gets to work making Gin & Tonics using a small service table at the back of the elevator to store the ingredients. Enjoy the 12 seconds it takes you to travel from the ground floor to the rooftop with a fresh, sparkling beverage. Rayo opened in January 2022 and, adapted to the needs of the new normal, most of the bar consists of a terrace, the focal point of which is a maguey plant lit up by a neon lightning bolt: a nod to the preHispanic legend about the origin of the intoxicating maguey-based beverages. At Rayo, alongside tequila and mezcal, they celebrate other national spirits, like bacanora, the liquor of the state of Sonora that is gaining popularity among Mexican mixologists. Another notable thing about Rayo is that here they also carry out their own clarification – perhaps best reflected in the Avery Milk Punch, made with St-Germain, Strega, Aperol, Grand Marnier and the house moonshine. It also features cinnamon syrup and a vanilla infusion, all topped off with a gorgonzola-stuffed olive – bite into the olive, then sip the cocktail to best enjoy its explosive, balanced flavour.

Code orange at Ololo



Getting to this speakeasy bar in the central Condesa neighbourhood isn’t such a clandestine affair, though it does have an original location: it’s set on the mezzanine above the kitchen of Niich restaurant. The tight space is entirely decorated with orange furniture and upholstery, all created by Mexican design firm La Llave Maestra. So, when you walk into Ololo you feel like you’ve entered the control centre of a retro-futuristic 1960s spaceship. This is in large part due to the huge circular window with views of the restaurant tables, while the sounds of Latin jazz and new disco pour in from above. Under the direction of the young bar manager Xchel Montoya, the drink menu includes a number of classics using tequila, whisky and gin, but with contemporary twists – the Negroni, for example, has been adapted to give it a light orange hue. Among the original creations, you have to try the Pa’ap: tequila blanco, ginger beer, crème de cassis and chili syrup. Herbal and dry, it’s an excellent representation of the drinks trending in a city that still has plenty of libational surprises up its sleeve. @ololo.condesa

Celebrating national spirits at Rayo

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3 4





1. Best for that caffeine fix

2. Best for a citrus kick

3. Best for gym bunnies

4. Best for an escape to Italy

5. Best for a flavour experience

The next best thing to having one made for you in a bar, this heady mix of cold-brew coffee liqueur and vodka gets the balance of smooth, sweet and bitter spot on. Serve icy cold.

Featuring London Dry gin, ginger juice, pressed apple and lemon juices and ginger extract, this bad boy is fresh, zingy and packed full of serious flavour.

Sparkling, blue-green drink, boasting spirulina, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and highgrade vegan protein. It’s caffeine-free, low in sugar and only 30 calories.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to trying the original recipe at Harry’s Bar in Venice, close your eyes, open this can and allow this peach/organic fizz combo to transport you there.

Empirical create drinks for an unparalleled flavour experience. Can 02 is a case in point, combining sour cherry, black currant buds, young pine cones and walnut wood. Delish!

MOTH Espresso Martini, 25ml (14.9% abv)

Ace + Freak Ginger + Lemongrass Mule, 250ml (5.5% abv)

FUL White Peach Natural Blue Boost, 250ml (0%abv)

Sipful Peach Bellini, 250ml (4.5% abv)

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Empirical Can 02, 330ml (8% abv)





The best cans to pack in your cool bag when the heat is on Photography Rob Lawson



6. Best for Martini lovers

Whitebox Drinks Freezer Martini, 100ml (34.4% abv)

Tiny but mighty, no freezer should be without these nifty cans. Made with Porter’s Gin, dry vermouth and lemon zest, they pack a very impressive punch.

7. Best for umami goodness

8. Best for British bubbles

Balancing vodka, tomato juice, Amontillado sherry, fresh lemon juice, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce and a dash of soy and Tabasco pepper, this recipe is bloody perfect.

Crisp, dry and positively fizzing with sunny vibes, these beauties prove that canned wines made with British grapes should be taken seriously. A picnic essential.

The Bloody Classic, 250ml (6.3% abv)

The Uncommon Bubbly White Wine, 250ml (11.5% abv)

9. Best for summery feels

10. Best for G&Ts on the go

For those who taste in colour, this one is a pale shade of green. Its clean, citrussy taste comes from blending French wines with Cucumber Seltzer.

The best G&Ts start with a premium base and this can is no exception. Made with 6 o’Clock Gin, partnered with a premium tonic, it’s one of five varieties, including Damson & Ginger.

Something + Nothing Sauvignon Blanc + Cucumber Spritz, 330ml (4% abv)

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6 o’Clock London Dry Gin & Tonic, 250ml (7% abv)


BRING ON THE FIZZ Like cucumber? Then you’ll love this elevated Champagne cocktail – simple to make but absolutely bursting with style and flavour

Cucumbagne (Makes one)

2 cucumber slices, plus a ribbon of cucumber, to garnish 20ml Hendrick’s Gin 10ml lime juice 10ml sugar syrup* Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée NV Champagne, to top up Method: Muddle the cucumber slices in a cocktail shaker, then add the remaining ingredients, except the Champagne, and shake well with ice cubes. Fine-strain into a flute. Top up with the Champagne and garnish with a cucumber ribbon.

*Sugar syrup 250g caster sugar 250ml water Method: Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low to medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved (do not let the mixture boil). Leave to cool before pouring into an airtight bottle. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.

Created by Jorge Oliveira, Claridge's Bar, London. From Claridge's: The Cocktail Book (Mitchell Beazley/Octopus Publishing). Available at

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