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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bookended by the Carlsberg and Tuborg breweries, the Danes have long been a nation of beer drinkers. But a new generation of bartenders is driving a vibrant cocktail culture in Copenhagen.
And as of two years ago, the city has its own signature quaff, the Copenhagen Cocktail.
Created by Gromit Eduardsen, bartending partner at 1105 (www.1105.dk),
the drink has a cheery pink hue and lightly fruity flavor and won a contest sponsored by Danish liqueur brand Cherry Heering. (Cherry Heering also is a key ingredient in the classic Singapore Sling and Blood & Sand cocktails.)
However, don't expect to find the drink on every cocktail menu in town.
At Ruby (rby.dk/), offerings run to classics and seasonal libations with international influence, such as the Mirabellini (hazelnut-infused pisco shaken with Mirabelle plum jam and topped with dry Champagne).
Hidden speakeasy The Union (Store Strandstrde 19; 1255 Kbenhavn K) is also noted for its excellent drinks, which flow from midnight until the wee hours - but don't look for the Copenhagen Cocktail there either.
You can however get one at Mash (www.mashsteak.dk/),
short for "Modern American Steak House," a prime venue for business lunches and dinners. "It has a great bar team," Eduardsen says, "and it's probably the best steak house in Scandinavia."
Among Eduardsen's rather lengthy list of other must-drink spots: The streamlined Oak Room (www.oakroom.dk/) in the Nrrobro "Latin Quarter" district, "seductive 1800s-style cocktails" at Salon 39 (www.salon39.dk/) in Frederiksberg, and pretty much any of the myriad new bars opening at a fast clip in the hip meat-packing district known as Kdbyen (the name translates as "Meat City").
For work-hard/play-hard types, Copenhagen "rocks all night long," says Eduardsen, pointing to Simon's Copenhagen (here)
as a great example; the late-night dance spot is housed in an old art gallery. Not a bad way to get your Copenhagen Cocktail on.
RECIPE: Copenhagen Cocktail
(Courtesy of Gromit Eduardsen) 5 cl Genever 2 cl Cherry Heering 2 cl freshly pressed lime juice 2 cl Sirop de gomme (sugar syrup) Dash of Angostura bitters Shake over ice. Strain into chilled cocktail coupe. Garnish with an orange twist. Watch Eduardsen make his award-winning cocktail
Editing by Peter Myers and Paul Casciato