Bramble Bar and Lounge
Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
It’s not pretentious and the quality of the drinks is unbelievable. Every drink is made to specification and every drink is fresh. I would drink daiquiris or rum swizzles or coffee cocktails. The bar is a throwback to the Prohibition era with low lighting and leather armchairs. It’s a very well-stocked bar and the staff is always good for a chat. It’s a basement bar. If you walk by it, you’ll probably miss it. It’s a very small place. They don’t have beer, they don’t have food, they don’t have coffee but you won’t miss any of that.
Forresters Lane, wWellington, New Zealand
Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s got nothing to do with cheap rooms. It has an enormous black bar. They have more than 100 cocktails listed on the menu. There are a lot of comfy places to sit down in; you get a feeling that you have stumbled into the 1940s. It is very discreet and you can nurse your drink as you listen to jazz and look at the old posters that adorn the walls.
Church Street, Melbourne, Australia
German for ‘The Room’, it’s considered to be the finest cocktail bar in the country. It’s another small bar, not easy to find. They have an understanding of molecular cocktails. They combine the new style with the classical and they come out with something phenomenal. Thursdays are a special day. That’s when the bartenders at Der Raum try out new concoctions and if you are the experimental sort, you may get to taste drinks that will become the new classics.
Regent Street, London
The Artesian is glamorous. You get there and it’s everything you want. You must have a drink made by Alex Kratena, a bartender who works over there. He makes stunning cocktails. He understands every customer. The interiors have been designed by David Collins Studio and you’ll run into some of the city’s most fashionable denizens at the Artesian. Snob quotients go through the roof here. This is the perfect excuse to sample some of the finest cocktails in the world.
Please Don’t Tell
St Marks Place, New York
Another Prohibition era bar. They make you feel like you are part of a secret society that knows where to get a drink without the government’s knowing. It’s quite a way to get inside. You have to go to a hot-dog stand. To your left, you see a phone booth. You enter it, lift the phone and then hang up. The left side of the booth opens and you have a receptionist welcoming you. It’s a scene right out of the 1930s.
(David Cordoba is global brand ambassador, Bacardi)
(This story appears in the 31 December, 2010 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)