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Third time’s a charm. This year’s cocktail extravaganza was hashtagged (as always) with a tip of the hat to the Clash. (See #londonculling and #rockthecasbar entries.)

From our base at the Mondrian London, we headed out to the shard for lunch.

The food at Aquashard is remarkably good. Fuel up!

After lunch, it was off to the Alchemist. Espresso was in the cards since it was early yet.

Next we paid a visit to our friend Alessandro (and delivered greetings personally from Jacques Bezuidenhout) at Duke’s hotel bar. Simply put, Duke’s somehow makes the best martinis in the world. Better to only have one.

Plans called for a visit to the Ritz bar, but we ran into a shoe-ware issue (someone had on trainers that cost as much as a car). So fuck the Ritz. We will be back never.

No worries, the Connaught Bar manned by Micheal was incredibly great. We sat at the bar. Somehow the Connaught became our home away from home with two visits the next day during much fun was had.

We paid a visit to Gerry’s Wines and Spirits to amass a treasure trove of Amer Picon and some very old Cuban rum. Graham and insta-graham were a blast. Gin tasting occurred.

Then it was time for prophylactic ramen at Bone Daddies. Great ramen with a rock and roll vibe. Beer seemed like a good idea.

Bar Swift was our next target. Without a reservation we shlepped downstairs. After a round, our waitress took pity on us and gave us a great round booth. Then we got into the George T Stagg 2016. Wise?? Of course it was wise.

Next up was a visit to one of our all around favorites, the American Bar at the Savoy. Our barman on point at the establishment did what he could to find us some Catoctin Creek rye to use in the Red Lips Rye. He had 24 hours. Sadly, his attempt was unsuccessful, but he did put in a real effort.

We always seem to get stuck at the American Bar for 2 or 3 rounds, after which we head downstairs and transfer our tab to the Beaufort. Two of our party bowed out after the American Bar visit around 10:30.

It was left for the remaining cocktail enthusiasts to pull all of the weight. Down to the Beaufort we went. Frankly we were not impressed with this visit. Though we love the bar and past visits have been fun (if not expensive as hell), there seem to be too many Russians around for comfort these days.

Back home to the Dandelyan it was. We made it in time for fernet and a last call that seems to have involved two CR#2’s and six Liberals. These things happen!

So, after all this we somehow ended up opening a bottle of champagne at 2am on the balcony. That was a bad idea.

You would figure that we had learned our lesson, but we had not. The next afternoon after some ramen (medicinal this time) at Monohon ramen we walked over to the Zetter Townhouse for some hair of the dog.

Which naturally led us back to the Connaught Bar to see Michael again before our fancy night out.

We leave you with a recipe for a Coburg Collins
50 ml London dry gin (no 3)
20 ml lemon
15 ml simple syrup
10 ml fino sherry
2 dashes celery bitters
top up with soda water over big ice.

#LondonCulling

April 16, 2016

Well it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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How many fabulous cocktails bars can you visit in 12 or so hours (without rushing)? Who will be left standing (or wobbling) at the end of the day? And most importantly, who will be culled?

We began at the Hutong restaurant at the Shard. The view was fantastic, the food was good, and the company was superb, but the most ridiculous part was the urinals (with a view over the city).

Our supposedly quick tube ride over to the Savoy was thwarted by British public transportation ridiculousness. Tried to buy three day cards on the underground. One was printed, my card was charged for three and a cryptic error message that was entirely unhelpful was displayed. After 15 minutes trying to solve the problem and get a supervisor to give us a refund, we decided the process was not worth completing. So you owe me 24 pounds London underground!

The best part? We used the tickets once.

We started at the American Bar in the Savoy which has a fancy new menu as of January. As always, the drinks were as pretty as they were delicious.
savoy american

The best drink we had was no longer on the menu—the wingspan. A recipe can be found in this NPS entry.

Wingspan: American Bar: Savoy: London

Wingspan: American Bar: Savoy: London

We had attempted to head down to the Beaufort bar around 4:15 until we discovered that it was not open until 5. That left us time for a wingspan. Then we had our bill transferred down.

The beaufort has an entirely different jibe.

The Pan American Highway
20 ml bacardi 8
15 ml zacapa 23
15 ml diplomatico
10 ml amer picon
2.5 ml fernet branca menta
10 ml roasted coffee maple syrup
3 dashes chocolate bitters
Stir down. Strain. Serve in coupe with an interesting piece of ice.

A few light snacks of gruyere and foie gras were not quite satisfying us at this point. So it was off to find some light dinner.

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We ended up at Blind as a Pig where our very cute waitress was happy to play along with our silly shenanigans. Emergency clothes pins were distributed.

Our emergency clothes pin supplier was remiss to be photographed

Our emergency clothes pin supplier was remiss to be photographed

We did some napkin art as follows, which seemed entirely clever at the time.

Sated with mac and cheese, fish and chips, and other finger food, and protected by our large supply of emergency clothes pins, we were off.

Next up was the posh Connaught Bar. Connaught is run by Sardinians, who would dearly like to have some fun but who are not really sure whether they are allowed to.

We introduced the Connaught to the Liberal.

Then it was midnight and time for the great cull. What happened? Everybody dropped out but NPS! Lol. I believe it might have been wiser to stop myself.

In memorium of those who left us during the great cull #londonculling

In memorium of those who left us during the great cull #londonculling

Instead, it was off to visit the Dandelyon Bar at the Mondrian again. By now it seems that we know everybody, but it was a special treat when Iain Griffiths was in the house. Iain helps Mr Lyan create new properties. The planet is small.

Could this really be a good idea?

Could this really be a good idea?

Finally, all energy was gone and it was up the lift to crash. Candles on the porch were a special touch.