T+L Reports: Vodka Straight Up
When he's not busy crafting slinky dresses for the runway, Roberto Cavalli is consumed by his other passion; vodka. The designer recently launched his own namesake brand (sold through Southern Wine & Spirits; www.southernwine.com; $60). The light, floral liquid is made with water from the Piedmont mountains and grain from the Po River Valley and is filtered through layers of crushed Italian marble. Here, he shares his favorite vodka bars.
"I never pass up the exquisite selection of Caspian caviar at Grand Hotel Europe [Nevsky Prospekt; 7-812/329-6000]."
"I adore Vodka Bar [13 Old Bailey St.; 852/2525-1513], which serves more than 100 kinds of vodka."
"Wódka [12 St. Albans Grove; 44-207/937-6513] infuses wonderful vanilla and ginger-root varieties."
"Yar [22 Via Mercalli; 39-02/5830-9603] is a little slice of Russia in Italy."
V13 Vodka Bar & Studio
A New York speakeasy vibe, custom and classic cocktails, and more than 100 vodka varieties are the hallmark of this SoHo spot. The young and hip crowd may hit this lounge bar before heading to one of Hong Kong’s many clubs. Cocktails range from the classic Cosmopolitan to the quirkier Moscow Mule, made with ginger beer, lime, and angostura bitters (the vodka goes without saying). There's even a Walking on the Peaches cocktail, made with ginger ale, peach schnapps, and apple juice, and DJs spin indie tunes.
Belmond Grand Hotel Europe
National landmark with neo-Baroque façade and Art Nouveau interiors that is the perfect base from which to explore the city's cultural attractions: it's near the Russian Museum and the Mikhailovsky Theatre. At the hotel’s Art Nouveau lobby bar—once frequented by Dostoyevsky—order your vodka neat, the way the locals do.