A man of passion enjoys a good cocktail. I have three, plus one, go to cocktails: the vodka martini, the rye manhattan, and the Sazerac. The plus one is the Versper.
While the cocktail is an American invention it has been taken to new heights in London. If you have the good fortune to find yourself in London here are the best of the best cocktail bars. These three locations represent the pinnacle of mixology and customer service.
CLARIDGE’S: If I find myself alone in London after work, out with the fellows or in a cheeky mood with Scarlet, Claridge’s is the bar for me. My drink of choice is the rye Manhattan, prefect. Words cannot describe this drink–it is perfect, a transcendent experience. When I need a bit of a change, I order a Sazerac with an absinthe wash, and that puts me in a good mood.
CONNAUGHT: When I am dressed to the nines and Scarlet is looking sensational in her high heels and tight leather trousers we head to the Connaught Martini bar. While it is certainly the bar to see and be seen it is the best martini in London. Have the Connaught Martini with a whiff of essence like cardamon, ginger, or lavender. For me a Connaught vodka martini made with Babicka wormwood vodka and a lemon twist is truly an amazing experience.
DUKES: James Bond fans cannot travel to London without a stop at Dukes. Legend has it that Ian Fleming drank here and by all accounts he did. While Fleming did not invent the Vesper, it is what he drank and he drank it at Dukes. The Vesper Martini is a cocktail that was originally made of gin, vodka, and Kina Lillet. Dukes has their own variation on this fabulous drink, Dukes uses No. 3 London Dry Gin, Lillet Blanc, Angostura bitters, and Potocki vodka, a Polish vodka, in honor of the real-life inspiration for Vesper Lynd, Polish-born Christine Granville who was a wartime spy and reportedly Fleming’s lover. By the way the Vesper is stirred and not shaken.
Enjoy London and CHEERS!
Skip the Ritz, it is old, it is in need of repair and service is terrible. The Rivoli Bar is sleek, but it is all looks and no substance.