Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Midweek Food Musings: Cocktail Scene in Berlin

Somewhere between Mad Men and Elvis Costello lies the Berlin cocktail scene. I’ll explain: basically, there are many cocktail bars that feature many sexy drinks like the one I’m currently hot on: the vodka gimlet (maybe it’s the glass….love those martini glasses!). So, on one of our lovely Berlin evenings, hostess Holly took us to Victoria Bar  located on Potsdamer Strasse—near Postdamer Platz.  With a soundtrack of blues, reggae, and soul, and bartenders that command not only the bar, but also the English language, this bar seems to be a hit for visitors and expats—as well as the local crowd.  They have a menu that features only cocktails and beer (no food!) and walls filled with interesting photos/memorabilia (I’m told it’s a changing display). There are low hanging soft lights (we love those, right ladies?)  a long bar, and dark wood—and leather couches in the back, the feel is retro-ish comfortable. Actually it reminded me of some of those old-time wood paneled suburban basement bars in friends’ homes.   
Berlin bartenders are serious about their craft, and do it well. And, like many other Berliners I saw, the Victoria Bar bartenders (okay, especially Nicho) could be Elvis Costello stand-ins.  (And though we were told that he made awesome drinks but didn’t crack smiles, we certainly got him to do both!)
Here’s one recipe for vodka gimlets. This is a great cocktail to accompany  tapas like the Salmon Tartare recipe I posted on Monday. Ah—chill the glasses simply by filling them with ice and a bit of water for a couple of minutes. Prost!
 Serves 1
2 ounces vodka (Grey Goose, Kettle,…your favorite)
1/2 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice

Combine in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Serve with a twist of lime.

Nicho's gimlets--lined up with "shots" of water--great for pre-drinking hydration!
With Matthias and Karen--Holly was our photographer!

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