The Spirited Traveller: Drink like an American in Frankfurt

Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:02pm BST

1 of 3. Roomers Bar at Roomers hotel in Frankfurt is shown in this undated publicity image.

Credit: Reuters/Handout

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(Reuters.com) - Ask two people for advice on any city and you'll receive two very different viewpoints, reflecting their various tastes, interests and backgrounds.

So when I received nearly identical lists of Frankfurt's must-try bars from two people - one in the bar industry, one ad exec/former expat - my antennae went up.

While weekdays may find these bars full of local business types, "The local Germans leave Frankfurt on the weekend to live in the country - leaving Frankfurt to the foreigners," says William Perry, who lived in Frankfurt for two years working as the European Creative for GM and now lives in the U.S.

Both Perry and Berlin-based bar expert Bastian Heuser honed in on the following three bars:

Roomers Bar (<www.roomers.eu/>), located within the Roomers hotel, part of the Design Hotels chain, the lounge is known for its sleek décor and pricey drinks.

Gekkos (<www.gekkos-bar.com/>) meanwhile, is an "American-style bar and lounge" within the Hilton Hotel. The drink selection runs to classic cocktails and the bar lays claim to the largest American whiskey collection in the region.

In addition to whiskey-centric drinks like the boozy Brooklyn (Rittenhouse rye, Noilly Prat vermouth, Picon Amer, and Luxardo Maraschino), travellers with well-padded expense accounts will also want to accept the invitation to "Pimp Your Drink" - tipples made with special reserve whiskies, Dom Perignon, and other precious ingredients - and the price tags are roughly triple or quadruple the price of regular cocktails.

Jimmy's (<here>) at the Hotel Hessischer Hof is another "American-style bar," with live jazz instead of late-night DJ action. Here, the heavy leather chairs and old-school bartenders invite patrons to enjoy fine cigars and order another round from the Fizzes and Flips and Sours that round out the cocktail menu.

So if whiskey gets top billing in American-style bars, what is the drink of choice in more typical German haunts? According to Heuser, the Aperol Spritz (Aperol topped with sparkling wine or soda) is a top choice, as is wine - which is drawing in more tipplers even at the expense of the selection of excellent local beers.

RECIPE: BROOKLYN COCKTAIL

This classic cocktail, a variation on the Manhattan (which uses sweet vermouth), is served at Gekkos.

2 ounces Rittenhouse Rye

1 ounce Noilly Prat Dry Vermouth

¼ ounce Amer Picon (a French amaro)

¼ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a Maraschino-soaked cherry.

(Kara Newman is the author of "Spice & Ice: 60 tongue-tingling cocktails," available here) (Editing by Peter Myers)

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