Brrrr… December is here and its time to huddle up with friends holding spiced libations within warm, cozy confines of a cocktail bar. Well not just some cocktail bar off the street or travel guide app, I am talking the World’s Top 50 Bars or atleast ones to look out for. Some of these bars have special menu of cocktails created for the festive season and some have a seasonal menu worthy of festivities come December or February. If you are visiting, travelling or living in either of these nightlife capitals do make a special visit to sip some of these cocktail recommendations. Let the merry times begin !!
Drum roll please because we start the list with this year’s Top spot on the World’s Top 50 Bars – Dead Rabbit in New York City. Why is it the best? Well if it’s 72 historically accurate cocktail menu is anything to go by with 30 new additions and it has been at the second spot for two years finally grabbing its deserving space. Founded by Irishmen Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry this ode to Irish – American history is a stickler for perfection. Dead Rabbit shared the recipe of The Jailbird and recommended it for the festive time as its the only cocktail on their menu that specifies – Served Hot. So if the New York freezing temperature during Christmas or New Year’s Eve is a hindrance to your celebration there is a remedy and it’s served in Manhattan on 30 Water Street.
2 Dashes Dale DeGroff bitters, 0.25 oz Macadamia , 0.25 oz Orgeat, 0.25 oz Madeiria, 0.75 oz LeMorton Calvados Domfrontais, 0.75 oz Old Forestester . Served hot
Apart from this concoction, you can glance through its menu at the Parlour Room for a variety of cocktails to enjoy while you celebrate.
NoMad Bar : Standing this year on number 8 spot on World’s Yop 50 Bars, this all wood, green leather dimly lit bar at The NoMad Hotel in Manhattan reminds us of the good ‘old days of the 20s when bars and speakeasy were at their peak in New York. Located on the 28th and Broadway, its name is inspired by the cocktail rich historic neighbourhood of North of Madison Square Park where legendary classics were created. Leo Robitschek has created a beverage program that celebrates classically-focused cocktails while having a special festive menu as well as large-format drinks and a selection of reserve cocktails crafted with rare spirits. The libations for the holidays on the menu are,
Spirit, Spice, and Everything Nice
Fernet Branca, Green Chartreuse, Salted hot chocolate, Angostura Cream
Hot Buttered Rum
Venezuelan Rum, Compound butter, Fall spices
Mama Welker’s Cider
Bourbon, Honey crisp apple cider, Cardamom, Peppercorn
Amontillado Sherry, Absinthe, Chicken Jus, Tomato Water, Herbs
For more details visit The NoMad Bar
The famous attract the successful or vice versa? The NightJar has been both with its rich interiors of a classic speakeasy, vibes of debauchery and the drinks that you’d proudly display on your Instagram mantle. Sitting at number 19 on the world’s top 50 bars, they have a new menu out once a year and it sticks around till the next ones on its way. Sign of an all-rounder-bar ladies and gentlemen! They recommend a list of libations for the festive time and I am sharing some of them so you know what to order with a click. These cocktails are based on the prohibition, pre-prohibition and post-war.
Hennessey Fine | Nightjar Amaro | Chambord | Grenadine | Mandarin | Lemon | Dried Roses
Death in the Gulf Stream
Bols Oak Aged Genever | Soursop Puree | Fresh Carob Syrup | Lime | Pineapple Mint
Ron Zacapa | Hennessy Fine de Cognac | The King’s Ginger | PX Sherry | Lime | Orange | Halva Orgeat | Palm Wine
Cocktail a la Louisianne
Johnnie Walker Gold | Mancino Rosso Amaranto | Benedictine | Orange Liqueur | Agnus Castus Berries | Nightjar Bitters | Absinthe
There you have it! While on your Christmas holiday in London you may want to warm up your evening quite literally. For more details visit NightJar.
The Capital Bar in Knightsbridge will give you some respite after that exhaustive shopping experience at Harrods. They have the finest selection of cocktails to champagne with Cesar being at the helm of its operations and the youngest ever UK Keeper of the Quaich – a Society at the heart of the Scotch Whisky industry. Their festive menu includes some inspiring recipes,
Bourbon, Amaretto, Sherry Brandy, Cranberry Juice
Apple Spice Punch
Bourbon, Vanilla Liqueur, Apple Juice, Gingerbread syrup, Cinnamon powder
Chocolate Raspberry Martini
Raspberry Liqueur, Vodka, Creme de la Creme, Double Cream, Coffee
This is a cozy luxury boutique hotel and worth a visit for these holiday beverages. For more details visit The Capital Bar.
Bramble is a watering hole on Queen Street near Stockbridge neighbourhood of Edinburgh and at 47 on the Top 50 list. If you ask me Stockbridge is one of my favourite places in the city to stay and mingle away from the bustle of Princes Street and Royal Mile. Bramble is a distinct milestone on Edinburgh’s road to being more than a single malt capital and having European cocktail bars taking notice. It doesn’t have a special menu for the festive season but then when did you need a reason to celebrate in Edinburgh? Some of the cocktails to try during the holidays are quite warm and spiced up to warm into the evening.
Bombay Sapphire Cream Gin, Martini Bianco Vermouth, sugar and Mozart Chocolate bitters
Bulleit rye infused with seasonal berries, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, DOM Benedictine, Mulled wine syrup, Peychaud’s bitters and Angostura bitters
Butter Scotch Cocktail
Butter-washed Monkey shoulder whisky, Aperol, Oloroso Sherry, ginger jam, vanila sugar and Peychaud’s bitters
Nine Ladies Dancing
Wild Turkey Bourbon, Brittot Creme de Figue, Campari, freshly squeezed lemon juice & cranberry sauce.
For more details visit Bramble.
Just as the name suggests Tales and Spirits is an anecdotist of a wide variety of spirits and their fusion in a glass. It is housed in a 16th-century building and has antique cocktail articles to display. This its third year in the Top 50 list and sits at 18 in 2016. It has an enormous range of cocktails perhaps a reason why they don’t have a special festive menu. Some of the recommended cocktails for the festivities are:
4 different rums, pineapple, lime and grapefruit juice, falernum, cinnamon syrup, passionfruit, absinthe and bitters
The Botanist gin, sugar, Bittermen’s Boston Bittahs, cinnamon stick, lemon zest
Zacapa 15 rum, hazelnut-honey syrup, Fee Bros. Black Walnut bitters, honeycomb.
Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, cinnamon spice syrup, Bittermen’s Habanero shrub, Bittermen’s hopped grapefruit bitters, ginger & clove.
For more details on the food and drinks menu visit Tales & Spirits
Hemingway Bar – An ode to a great traveller and lover of tipples – Ernest Hemingway, this Czech Republic bar has famously taken the name of one of the most ardent patrons of bars around the world. He is known to have taken interest in improving many recipes hence has many cocktails named after him. The Hemingway Bar devotes considerable attention to his drinks of choice: absinthe, rum and Champagne. This bar has the most extensive absinthe varieties in the Czech Republic and you can even request for the rare replicas of the best absinthes made. However, unlearn or erase your knowledge of this mysterious and obscure spirit as the bar serves absinthe in the most traditional way. Their rum selection has over 200 varieties but you are sure to sip some of the best cocktails in Europe at the Hemingway Bar. Of their entire list of cocktails Miss Bobo, Hemingway’s Gasoline, Chocolate Factory and Arrested After Dark are recommended.
Please see the Cocktails menu for you to enjoy.