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Category Archives: Happy Hour

Cortiina Hotel Bar – München – Revisited 


Almost three years ago I wrote a post on one of my favorite Manhhattans that I have ever had.  That drink was served by an excellent bartender.   I decided to go back to the Cortiina Hotel Bar in Munich and see if that fantastic drink still existed.   

My only request was for it to be made with Basil Hayden bourbon. I left the rest up to the bar host/server (Djemal) and bartender. Note: The fact that this bar has at least seven different types of real bourbon tells me they are serious. Many times in Europe a bar carries Jack as their “bourbon”… And that’s it. Ugh- oh please. 

As with my first time here, I knew upon arrival of my cocktail, and before I tasted it, that is was perfect. The mixed liquids were beautifully see-through. (A 4:2 ratio was used for the bourbon and vermouth) and very importantly, they never saw the inside of a shaker.  The amount of vermouth didn’t darken the drink to look like over steeped English tea, it was still a bourbon colored cocktail. Perfect. 

Well, I was right.  It was made perfectly by a bartender who definitely cares about what they are doing and knows how to do it.  The drink was as crisp as physically possible, they used what I presume to be home made or small batch brandied cherries that could likely be locally acquired.  Everything was perfect, including the slight hint of bitters. 

I definitely recommend this bar as a must do while in Munich, but as it is small and popular, I recommend that you plan to wait to get in or make a reservation. 

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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Around the globe, Happy Hour

 

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Palmer House Chicago – Shaken, really?

  
I watched in horror as my bartender shook my drink as if it was some type of Shake Weight workout regimen.  My Basil Hayden bourbon had no chance of making it out alive. Despite having a nice flavor, my Manhhattan had a head. There was a “mousse” loose in Chicago. Thank the gods it had 3 Maraschino cherries which made me smile a little.  

The Palmer House Hilton Lockwood Bar has a great vibe but somehow the steps to make a great cocktail got lost 😦

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Happy Hour

 

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The Round Robin Bar at The Willard Hotel, Washington, DC. 

  

 
Screaming in at 112.8 proof, this Wild Turkey Rare Breed Manhattan, was an interesting way to end a day in Washington D.C.  The Round Robin Bar is a fantastic combination of both ideal location within the capital and historical vibe.  The Willard Hotel, in which the bar resides, was the host to a meeting that started on February 4, 1861, and was the  last attempt to get the North and South to come to a peaceful resolution of differences before the Civil War. 

This drink may have helped get a better result at the meeting, as it was full to the lip of the glass with liquid jetfuel.  I requested the mixture, and in hindsight it was probably too high temp for the drink.  The Wild Turkey, while a very nicely constructed bourbon, has too much screamin’ rebel in it for the vermouth, bitters and three little cherries to handle. 

 

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Amerisports Bar – St. Charles, MO


At the Ameristar Hotel outside of St. Louis – It is incredible that a bar can screw up a Manhattan this badly. Visually, it is without a cherry, orange and/or any sign of life. Wrong glass too. It is pretty much straight Jim Beam (thank god they were able to get that into the glass properly).

But wait, there’s more! When it was served it had a floating object, that I thought was a bug – but that turned out to be a fleck of cherry skin.  Seriously it was the size of a red pepper fleck you put on a pizza.

I usually write how nice it is have to have a bartender that cares and how much that matters to having a great drink delivered – this was reverse world , a bartender that didn’t give a shit, and a drink that tasted like it.

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Happy Hour

 

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What Makes A Good Bartender?

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In New York City there are more than a few bars and each of them have the bartenders that work them. However not every bartender is a good one and the bad ones can truly throw off the relaxing vibes of being in a bar with friends.

So what makes a good bartender? There isn’t one answer to that question but with some of my own research and asking around, I have managed to make a list of 3 qualities of a great bartender. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Happy Hour

 

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A Perfect Custom Manahattan at The Republic Smokehouse and Saloon

There have been many times where I have been able to form an opinion of a Manhattan before I have taken the first sip, usually when I do this it doesn’t bode well for the drink. Often times this happens when my drink looks like a cloudy sandstorm spinning in my glass.  However, in this case, I was able to form an immediate strong positive point of view for three reasons:  1)The color of the vermouth was a warmer deeper color than usual and, 2) It was clear of any particulate air bubbles – clear amber heaven, and 3) there was a proper, not emergency beacon red, dark maraschino cherry at the bottom.  I knew then that the bartender Collin, at The Republic Smokehouse and Saloon, was the real deal. I called him over before my first taste and asked about the brand of Vermouth and if it was a brandied cherry. The vermouth was Carpano Antica Formula, and the cherry was not brandied, – it was just a deep black maraschino cherry.  Both made a big difference. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Happy Hour

 

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Blenheim and Bourbon at Hudlow’s Tiki Lounge

Every now and then I relax at my own place, sit at my tiki bar and have a drink.  Rather than my normal Manhattan I decided to mix up a spicy Blenheim Ginger Ale and bourbon.  I was first introduced to this drink at a great bar in Manhattan called Great Jones Cafe.   It is made with Blenheim Ginger Ale from South Carolina. This soda will knock you back on your feet and takes no prisoners. It is freakin’ fantastic. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in Happy Hour

 

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