World's Greatest Hotel Bartenders
Courtesy of Creative Cocktail Consultants Corp.
Brian Van Flandern
New York City
Hotel: The Carlyle
Bar: Bemelmans Bar
Van Flandern is a rarity among barkeeps, as his background is blue-chip Michelin (he helmed the bar when Thomas Keller’s Per Se opened in New York in 2004). It wasn’t long before such flair-filled, first-class skills led the storied Bemelmans Bar to poach him and turn over its cocktail list. Known for making food-friendly cocktails, Van Flandern likes to pay special attention to ingredients; he cooks up homemade tonic water using quinine powder imported from Brazil, and even scours the Internet for rare 19th-century bitters to use in re-creating classic recipes.
Signature Cocktail: Agave Gingerita
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
- 2 oz. Don Julio Blanco 100% Agave
- 1 oz. fresh-squeezed ginger juice
- 1/2 oz. agave nectar
- 1/16 oz. Amaretto
Shake egg white and lime juice in Boston shaker tin until frothy. Add ice and remaining ingredients and shake vigorously again. Serve in rocks glass with candied ginger garnish.