Exclusive: Five Signature Cocktails From Four of ‘The World’s 50 Best Bars’
We’ve long suspected that the most awesome job in the history of humankind is that of judge for The World’s 50 Best Bars, which involves, obviously, jetting around the globe and sampling the work of many of the most skilled drinks alchemists in existence – what’s not to love?
This year’s winners do represent a genuine international tour, though both #1 and #2 – Connaught Bar and Tayēr + Elementary – are located in London, one of our absolute favorite drinking cities. But the top ten is rounded out by Barcelona’s Paradiso, Athens’ The Clumsies, Buenos Aires’ Florería Atlántico, Mexico City’s Licorería Limantour, Hong Kong’s Coa, Saint Petersburg’s El Copitas, Singapore’s Jigger & Pony, and finally New York’s Katana Kitten.
Connaught Bar had long been one of our most favored spots for a sophisticated tipple, tucked elegantly into the plush Mayfair hotel of the same name. And Mark Sansom, Content Editor for The World’s 50 Best Bars, perfectly sums it up thusly: “It’s a testament to [Director of Mixology] Ago Perrone and his team’s continued pursuit of excellence, which is encapsulated in the way they have developed and modernized the Martini cocktail.”
But he is also quick to acknowledge the unprecedented difficulties of the last twenty-one months, with the on again, off again shutdowns imposed by the various COVID surges – the insidious Omicron being just the latest.
“It’s been another incredibly tough year for hospitality” he observes, “and the industry’s resilience and togetherness through these challenges is humbling. We hope that the positive stories around the bars’ success in the awards will help to drive vital business in the weeks and months to come.”
Perhaps a bit surprisingly, only four US based bars made the Top 50, with three of those – Katana Kitten plus Attaboy and Dante – calling New York City their home, joined by Miami’s Café La Trova. But hoping to contribute to a more positive aura going forward, we asked all four to give us a peek behind the magic of one or two of their signature cocktails – though we vigorously encourage everyone to get out and support these establishments right now, and throughout 2022…which we’re hoping will be a year of decisive recovery.
Fluffy orange juice 3oz
Method: Add Campari and a little OJ. Stir to combine.
Garnish: Orange Wedge, white plate
“We used to walk in off the beach at North Bondi Italian, straight into a bar that just served Campari and freshly squeezed grapefruit or orange. It was run by one of the old legends of the Australian bar scene.
We wanted to replicate that same simple ritual, when we opened Caffe Dante. It’s the trademark of what we do – find ‘innovation through authenticity.’ This really became the trademark of our program, sourcing only the best quality ingredients, combining them with classic recipes, and serving them in the best form.
Orange juice should always be juiced to order, and combined with the Campari, this taste will transport you somewhere magical.”
2 oz blended Scotch
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
.38 oz honey
.38 oz sweetened ginger juice
Method: Shake and serve over a large cube, top with a float of Islay Scotch
Glass: Rocks glass
Garnish: Skewered ginger candy
Created by Sam Ross at Milk & Honey, the 2000s precursor to Attaboy, the Penicillin quickly made its way through the cocktail world and has secured its place as an internationally recognized modern classic. It’s the most requested drink at Attaboy to this day.
Katana Kitten, NYC
1.25oz. rye whiskey
.75oz amaretto liqueur
.75oz salted plum shrub
.75oz freshly squeezed & strained juice
.75oz egg white
Method: Add all ingredients in a shaker to incorporate them together. Add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice.
Garnish: Lemon twist (discard) + yukari
Masa Urushido: The inspiration comes from Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s take (whiskey & amaretto base), but this one delivers a Japanese umami twist. Sweetness of honey, touch of fruit & salt from the Japanese picked plum “ume,” with fresh lemon and a nice rye bringing the balance together.
Café La Trova, Miami
1 ½ oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
½ oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
½ oz lime juice
½ oz simple syrup (1:1)
¼ oz cucumber juice
6-8 mint leaves
Method: Add ice, shake for 15 seconds and serve double strained
Glass: Martini glass
Garnish: Cucumber wheel and a mint leaf
Julio Cabrera: “This is an award winning cocktail inspired by the traditional Cuban music band Buenavista Social Club.”
Café La Trova, Miami
2 oz Casa Noble Tequila reposado
¾ oz cayenne-agave syrup
¾ oz lime juice
¾ oz guava marmalade
Method: Add ice, shake for 10 seconds and serve strained over crushed ice
Glass: Clear Tiki mug
Garnish: Guava & cheese “timbita” in a cocktail umbrella
Julio Cabrera: “This cocktail was inspired by the traditional Cuban music singer, Faustino Oramas, ‘El Guayabero’.”