Rationally speaking: Sophisticated intoxication every now and then is thoroughly worthwhile. To find out what it takes, when and how the subtle loss of focus currently works in the most stylish way, we questioned three of the best Master mixologists in the world.
The 20th Century Cocktail
”My «Pick me up», to move smoothly from the day into going out mode.“
His Gin Basil Smash has been a triumph worldwide since 2008: However, it is not his personal creation alone that makes Jörg Meyer one of the best in his business. The maker of the legendary „Le Lion“(Boilerman Bars, Cinchona Zurich etc.) in Hamburg also knows how to sweet talk with fine anecdotes about the history of the classic. While he recommends a Martini to focus, Meyer selects the 20th Century for the sophisticated loss of focus. „Which type of drinker does the cocktail suit? The experienced. He no longer has to look. He enjoys and observes.
If I could choose, an iconic city bar would be the perfect location for enjoying this cocktail. Interesting people, elegantly dressed, create a unique atmosphere. It is early evening and everyone is has a certain degree of tension: What will happen tonight? The 20th Century has been around since the 30s. It was mixed for the maiden journey of the 20th Century Limited Train, the most elegant express train in America. An impressive miracle of technology in Art Deco design with a bar. It is my opinion that a drinker should unearth something old in its own right and perfect it with the right ingredients over time. I would say it needs a gin that screams to you. HEPPLE. Lots of it. Fresh lemon. An extremely rare wine, bitter from Corsica, because it is the only one that ensures a long reverberation on the palate. CAP CORSE! And the secret ingredient, a homage to the elegant Roaring Twenties, a Créme de Cacao blanc. An exotically spiced, crystal clear cacao Brand: DUTCH CACAO.
On the first sip of this cocktail the juniper simply jumps out at you. You are grateful. Relaxation pure – not some random, different creative eruption in a glass. Then the refreshment emerges from the lemon. Wonderful. A quarter second later the lemon and cacao battle on the palate for predominance. To the sensory advantage of the palate. The long finale follows. The flavor of the wine diffuses through the Cap Corse. Cannot quite pin it down, but there is a surprising level of peace to be experienced, when the four flavours of juniper, lemon, cacao and wine blend to create an unexpected taste sensation. The result is umami. You sit, are silent and enjoy. The theatre at the bar. And the orchestra in the mouth. Staccatissimo! My „Pick me up“, to move smoothly from the day into going out mode. And never forget: Intoxication shows your true character. If you lose countenance here, it is time to work on yourself.
“Caribbean holiday in a glass”
Philipp Kössl, Master Mixologist in the Zurich Gastro temple IGNIV, was inspired by the lockdown to create his current favourite drink: „The CryZtalColada is a smoothie, and in my opinion, a very cool variation on the exotic evergreen. The”milk washing“ – a technique from the 17th century gives it a clear, light flavour and makes it so much fresher than the traditional version. When I taste rum I automatically think of a zest for life and the lightness of the summer. And of parties with lots of friends. As a number of these feelings seem so remote in 2020, I wanted to experience the longing in a cocktail. I always say: It is a Pina Colada in a white tux – elegant, with zero stickiness, the pure flavour of the Caribbean. A drink that begins fresh and funky, tastes of rum and pineapple, then gives you the coconut kick. The fun leads to an extremely long finish and major „melting“. Suits this year down to a tee, sun holidays were after all always difficult in ”real life“.
This feel-good drink is perfect for an easy and relaxed atmosphere: A few warm rays of sun falling into the room, accompanied by Izzy Bizu, whose song ”Diamond“ brings a smile to my face and no appointments – that is the CryZtal Caribbean holiday in a glass. To avoid a rude awakening, I recommend the following guiding principle: Know your limits and don’t try to impress anyone. The odd sip of water also never hurts. It is time for one of our IGNIV Mocktails at the latest before one of the coconuts falls on your head.
“As soon as the cherry no longer tastes good, the magic is over!”
Tina Turner, Bill Clinton and Arnold Schwarzenegger were already his guests, of course you do not have to have star status to enjoy the art of Master Mixologist and author Hercules Tsibis in the Zurich ONYX-Bar at Hotel Park Hyatt. ”One of the drinks that really takes me on a journey, which lets me drift off into another era, is a classic: the Manhattan! Or should I say MY Manhattan! If not the most immortal of all, then I would have to say that it is one of the most wonderful drinks that has ever been invented. The perfect time of day or night to enjoy it? I would like to refer to Ernest Hemingway at this point, one of the greatest bar visitors and drinkers among the drunken writers. In the morning he was steadfast, this was the time for working and writing: „I was drunk one thousand five hundred and forty seven times in my life, but never in the morning.“
Accordingly – and also due to the magic of the night – the time after the sun has gone down, is certainly the best time to enjoy this drink. I am thinking of the classic bar feeling, preferably in New York. A wonderful Jazz pianist with a repertoire that entices you to dream. Dark, smoky, the babble of voices that rocks you into a trance and gives you the feeling of being in a time machine catapulting you into another era. The Manhattan is also nothing without its magic cherry. It begins as a raw and powerful classic, hard and without mercy. After the second sip there is a certain degree of heat. The red Vermouth comes to the fore, its sweetness and the herbs come to life and the whiskey invites you to dance. With each sip from the whiskey glass filled with ice cubes, the Manhattan gains in nuances and freshness. After the first few sips I bite into the Maraschino cherry and leave it to work its magic in my mouth for quite a while. I take a sip of the ice cold bitter sweet drink, it meets the cherry and caresses my palate. Something harmoniously sweet and fresh invigorates my dreams and makes me drift into other dimensions. There is definitely a fine line between unrestrained pleasure and unrestrained digression. I always recommend that one listens to the drink carefully and pays attention to the cherry. As soon as you no longer taste it, it is time to go – the magic has passed.
Photos Copyrights: Depositphotos.com, MYR, Lelion, Park Hyatt Zurich, IGNIV