The world of mixology has experienced a renaissance in recent years, with bartenders around the globe experimenting with creative flavor combinations, innovative techniques, and stunning presentations. Speakeasies, those hidden gems tucked away behind secret doors and hidden entrances, are the perfect setting for these mixology masterpieces. In this post, we'll take you on a journey through some of the best speakeasies worldwide and introduce you to their signature drinks that you must try.
A Brief History of Speakeasies
Before we dive into the world of mixology, let's take a brief look at the history of speakeasies. These clandestine establishments first emerged during Prohibition in the United States (1920-1933), when the sale and consumption of alcohol were illegal. People would gather in secret locations, known as speakeasies, to enjoy their favorite libations away from the prying eyes of the law. Today, modern speakeasies are inspired by this era and often feature hidden entrances, dim lighting, and a strong focus on craft cocktails.
The Best Speakeasies and Their Signature Drinks
The Laundry Room, Las Vegas
Located within the Commonwealth bar, the Laundry Room is a cozy speakeasy that requires a secret text message to gain entry. This intimate venue is known for its handcrafted cocktails and bespoke creations. One of their signature drinks is the Velvet Smoking Jacket, a smooth concoction made with scotch, velvet falernum, and Angostura bitters, garnished with a flamed orange peel.
PDT (Please Don't Tell), New York City
Hidden behind a phone booth in a hot dog joint, PDT is one of the most famous speakeasies in the world. The bar is known for its inventive cocktails and has even published a book detailing their creations. One must-try drink is the Benton's Old Fashioned, a twist on the classic Old Fashioned, made with bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and Angostura bitters.
The Gibson, London
The Gibson is a stylish speakeasy in London's Shoreditch neighborhood, known for its innovative cocktails and vintage-inspired décor. Their signature drink is The Gibson Martini, which features pickled onion-infused gin, dry vermouth, and a garnish of house-made pickled onions.
El Paradiso, Barcelona
Hidden behind a secret door in a pastrami shop, El Paradiso is a chic speakeasy that transports visitors to a world of refined mixology. One of their standout creations is the Mediterranean Treasure, a vibrant drink made with gin, limoncello, basil, and a splash of tonic water, garnished with a sprig of rosemary.
The Varnish, Los Angeles
Tucked away in the back of Cole's French Dip in downtown Los Angeles, The Varnish is a hidden gem that has won multiple awards for its exceptional cocktails. The Remember the Maine is a must-try, featuring rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, and absinthe.
Little Red Door, Paris: Known for its artistic approach to mixology, Little Red Door's signature drink is the L'Artichaut, a mix of Cognac, artichoke liqueur, and bitters.
Bitter & Twisted, Phoenix: Housed in a historic building that once served as Arizona's Prohibition headquarters, Bitter & Twisted is known for its playful and innovative cocktails. Be sure to try the Duck Bath Punch, a quirky drink featuring duck fat-washed bourbon, peach liqueur, lemon, and ginger beer.
28 HongKong Street, Singapore: This award-winning speakeasy is known for its exceptional service and creative cocktails. One standout drink is the Whore's Bath, a unique combination of gin, yuzu marmalade, lemon, and a hint of absinthe, topped with sparkling wine.
The Library, Berlin: Hidden behind a bookshelf in a whiskey bar, The Library is a cozy speakeasy with a literary twist. Their signature drink, the Hemingway Daiquiri, pays tribute to the famous author and features white rum, maraschino liqueur, grapefruit, and lime.
The Art of Mixology and Why It Matters
Now that we've introduced you to some of the best speakeasies and their signature drinks, let's explore the art of mixology and why it's essential to the speakeasy experience. Mixology is the art and science of creating cocktails, combining flavors, techniques, and presentation to create a memorable and enjoyable experience. Speakeasies place a strong emphasis on mixology, as it allows them to differentiate themselves from traditional bars and create a unique atmosphere.
The resurgence of speakeasies and the focus on mixology have led to a greater appreciation for craft cocktails and the skills of talented bartenders. Mixologists are constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible in a cocktail, experimenting with new ingredients, techniques, and presentations. As a result, visiting a speakeasy is more than just an opportunity to enjoy a delicious drink; it's an immersive experience that engages all the senses.
If you're looking to level up your mixology skills or enjoy a memorable night out, consider booking one of Fun Date Idea's speakeasy experiences. You'll learn from expert mixologists, discover hidden bars, and even try your hand at crafting your own cocktail creations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a speakeasy?
A: A speakeasy is a hidden bar, often featuring a secret entrance or hidden location. They first emerged during Prohibition in the United States and have since evolved into modern establishments with a focus on craft cocktails and mixology.
Q: How do I find a speakeasy?
A: Speakeasies often have unmarked entrances, hidden doors, or require a password for entry. To find one, you can search online, ask local bartenders or friends, or book a speakeasy experience with Fun Date Idea.
Q: What is mixology?
A: Mixology is the art and science of creating cocktails, combining flavors, techniques, and presentation to create a memorable and enjoyable experience.
Q: Are speakeasy cocktails expensive?
A: Speakeasy cocktails can be more expensive than those at traditional bars due to the focus on high-quality ingredients, creative techniques, and unique presentations. However, the price varies depending on the location and specific cocktail ordered.
Q: What should I wear to a speakeasy?
A: While there is no strict dress code for speakeasies, many patrons choose to dress up in vintage-inspired attire or smart-casual outfits to match the ambiance of the establishment.
Q: Do speakeasies only serve alcoholic beverages?
A: While speakeasies are known for their craft cocktails and focus on mixology, many also offer non-alcoholic options, mocktails, or virgin versions of their signature drinks.
Q: Can I host a private event at a speakeasy?
A: Many speakeasies offer the option to host private events. You can contact the specific venue for more information or explore private event options with Fun Date Idea.
Q: Are there any speakeasy-themed bars that offer dance lessons or other experiences?
A: Yes, Fun Date Idea offers a variety of speakeasy experiences that include mixology lessons, dance lessons, and more.
Q: What are some popular speakeasy-themed cocktails?
A: Some popular speakeasy-themed cocktails include the Old Fashioned, Sazerac, French 75, and Negroni. However, each speakeasy often has its own signature drinks that showcase the creativity and expertise of their mixologists.
Q: Can I learn mixology at home?
A: Absolutely! There are many resources available online, including tutorials, books, and even virtual classes. If you prefer a hands-on experience, consider booking a mixology class with Fun Date Idea to learn from expert mixologists in a fun and interactive environment.