Last month we visited Sin City, and had a blast! Well known for frozen Margarita yards and free well drinks in casinos, there are also some fantastic proper cocktails out there to discover. Of course there are far too many bars to visit in one (or twenty) trips, but here are my top five of 2017 in the order we visited them.
In the heart of Amsterdam, on the Lijnbaanssteeg, not far from Centraal Station, you will find Tales and Spirits. Without a doubt the drinking highlight of our trip to Amsterdam, as well as being the most fun venue we visited.
The highlight of the night was definitely Polynesian themed cocktail bar, Sugar Cane. Badged as ‘A taste of the Tropics in South London’, it was a very nicely laid out bar, decorated in traditional Tiki Bar style. All the bar staff were wearing Hawaiian shirts, and the lights above the bar looked like puffa fish!
I love Callooh Callay. Tucked away off the main drag in Shoreditch, London, it has all the fun of a secret bar but never leaves you feeling left out. We made an unplanned visit recently when we found ourselves in the area, and wanted to show some friends who hadn’t been there before. We made our way into the small front bar area, and quietly asked if there might be any room ‘on the other side of the wardrobe’. Luckily, there was a table booked for a party not due for another hour, so we took our chance. Once through the Narnia-style wardrobe door, we found ourselves inside a beautifully decorated room, with tin bath sofas and tables made out of sewing machine stands!
We had such a fun experience at Cocktails in the City, the only problem was we were not there long enough to try them all!
Every stall had such friendly and knowledgeable bartenders, who had a real passion for the work they do. However, after much exploring, chatting and tasting of their wares, I managed to choose three cocktails to sample. They were all delicious in their own way, and I would visit all of the bars in question. So, in the order I sampled them, my three recommendations are as follows:
Last Sunday I spent a fantastic afternoon at Cocktails in the City, an outdoor festival of cocktails in beautiful Bedford Square Gardens. Somehow, in quite a small area, they had created an alternative world, far from the hustle and bustle of London. 25 of the best bars from the city were hosting, paired with quality spirit brands. The best bartenders in town were creating speciality cocktails that showcased bar and spirit to perfection. It was also a lovely sunny day, which helped to create a fantastic atmosphere. As well as the bar stands, there was a tent for cocktail talks and presentations, food stalls, and a host of garden games, such as croquet and boules, to entertain the crowds.
I had read about a chilled-out speakeasy called Dutch Kills, promising a ‘There Will Be Blood’ atmosphere and a great range of traditional cocktails. Intrigued, we jumped off the train at Queens Plaza on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. This was our first trip into Queens, and we didn’t really know what to expect. We walked along Jackson Avenue from the station, our initial excitement dimming as once the station activity dwindled we seemed to find ourselves completely alone on what looked like an abandoned stretch of road. Undeterred we strolled through the city heat until we reached the corner of Jackson Avenue and Dutch Kills Street, where we had been told we would find the bar…