Around the world, once-obscure, old-fashioned spirits are enjoying a youthful revival.
Japanese Whisky: Bartenders everywhere are embracing this lighter, sweeter alternative to scotch, be it single malt (Suntory Yamazaki 12-year) or blend (Hibiki 17-year). At Tokyo’s Bar High Five, it’s poured over an ice “diamond” hand-carved from a huge block.
Whenever I’m in Dublin—and I try to get there once a year—my first stop is always Grogan’s Castle Lounge. It was my local in 1991 when I was a student at Trinity College, and I still can’t help thinking of it that way. Later I’ll hit the Stag’s Head for a pint and brief communion with its taxidermied namesake. And I’ll drop into Kehoe’sto make sure the snugs are still in place and for a bit of banter with the barmen.
They'll take Manhattan... and make you a damn fine one, too. Amid New York City's ever-expanding cocktail renaissance, these five impresarios are (vigorously) shaking things up. (Pictured left to right)
For the cocktail magician and author of Liquid Intelligence, curiosity is the prime ingredient. His arsenal at this annex to the East Village’s Momofuku Ssäm Bar includes a centrifuge, liquid nitrogen, and a 1,500-degree red-hot poker (for caramelizing the sugar in his French Colombian)—but his flash is always in service of flavor. Signature Drink: The preposterously green (and nitro-muddled) Thai basil daiquiri.
This year’s overall America's Favorite Cities winner has a bit of everything: great food, an exciting bar scene, and endless curb appeal.
1. Because the city is a legitimate culinary capital. Queue up for a table at North, a modern Asian hot spot by James Mark, a David Chang protégé, or book at Birch, an ambitious chef’s counter with a focus on local ingredients (whelks; quahogs; foraged herbs).
In South Beach, new mixology programs suit every type of night owl.
Where to Drink… When You’re Young & Sexy
The young and cool head to the Broken Shaker at the Freehand Miami for the handcrafted cocktails like the Golden Nugget, with rum and Florida citrus juice. Ping pong tables and bocce are part of the action for this hip hostel.
This Swedish city across the Øresund strait from Copenhagen is emerging as Scandinavia’s hippest hub. Here, four reasons why.
Because some of the region’s best chefs are setting up shop. Cheap rents and a food-obsessed public have lured bright culinary talents. At B.A.R Krog & Vinbar, the tasting menus by Robert Jacobsson—a former sous-chef at Copenhagen’s Noma—push boundaries even by Nordic outside-the-box standards (think ash-and-elderflower sorbet with cucumber and vanilla). Chef Robin Eriksson recently moved from Stockholm to open Tryne Till Knorr, serving simple, refined dishes with a local emphasis. Don’t miss the stone-baked cabbage wedge topped with a hunk of 36-month-aged Comté and a perfectly pan-fried egg.
Here’s a Nashville story: we’re tucking in to authentic muhammara and makanek near the front entrance at Epice, a Lebanese bistro in the city’s up-and-coming Twelve South neighborhood, when the actress Hayden Panettiere—who plays the upstart young country singer in the ABC series Nashville—walks in. It’s the lunchtime rush, and the sun-splashed terrace of the restaurant is jammed. Panettiere and her friend wait, in full view of the dining room, for the hostess to return from seating a table. Maybe a minute or two passes, and we start to imagine the moment when the room will erupt in a pandemonium of camera phones and proffered Sharpies. We should have known better. We’d been prepped for this very moment by Matt Bolus, a young chef who moved from Charleston, South Carolina, our hometown, to Nashville several years ago. “Nashville’s like L.A.,” he’d reported back to us, “but with the soul of a small Southern town. I’ll look up from the pass and see Nicole Kidman in the dining room, but people respect that she’s a person, eating at a restaurant. Nashvillians would never beg for an autograph or sneak a selfie.”