The Renaissance of the Bar

The Renaissance of the Bar

The Renaissance of the Bar

Written by Daffy

Playing Devil’s

Grandfather to the cocktail is not something for which King William of Orange is often given credit. Years of good harvests left Britain with a surplus of grain. To aid the economy & the health of the nation, King William reduced the taxes on distillation. The only known defence against the frequent deaths through water-borne cholera, typhoid & dysentery was after all, alcohol. A sudden abundance of alcohol, and gin in particular, ensued.  It would be some time before what came to be known as the goddess of spirits was to be infused with creativity & become the basis for the sophisticated cocktails that we enjoy today.

By the 1860s the creativity and exploration had begun, as recipes such as ‘Gin Cocktail’ made with gin, ginger syrup, aromatic bitters & a splash of water appeared in publications for the first time. Professional barmen swiftly seized the air of creativity & countless original & imaginative new cocktails began to appear on both sides of the Atlantic.

When the United States was forced into Prohibition many of the most talented & imaginative barmen came to the UK and Paris and perhaps the best known of these was Harry Craddock whose 2,000 cocktail recipes became in 1930 the Savoy Cocktail Book but for the back half of the twentieth century the evolution of the cocktail was seen to have somewhat slowed.

The Renaissance of the Bar

Now, like no other time in history we are seeing a true Cocktail Renaissance with more inventive & inspirational barmen progressing their craft like never before. Using science, food and drinks technology, theatre, ultimate professionalism and service within incredible settings.

Combining of the best of the past with all that can be created today, the skills and passion of the barmen who bring their wisdom from a wide sphere of genres, décor contributing just the right ambience & exceptional service, make the bar the perfect place to provide the most incredible of experiences.

We were very privileged to be invited last week to just such a bar – The Devil’s Advocate in Edinburgh. The atmosphere all night was of celebration. There were the greatest of cocktails; there was music; there was dance; there was magic; there was friendship; and underpinning all of this there was outstanding service, creativity and professionalism. The culture of the truly great barmen & the truly great bar are very much alive and well in Edinburgh at The Devil’s Advocate. Ladies and Gentlemen The Renaissance of the Bar is upon us!

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