The Aviation Project – Having an Aviation at Timber Doodle
Charles Dickens left London for America in the cold January of 1842. In his book American Notes for General Circulation he reported what he ate and drank. While visiting Boston he wrote: “The bar is a large room with a stone floor, and there people stand and smoke, and lounge about, all the evening dropping in and out as the humour takes them. There too the stranger is initiated into the mysteries of Gin-sling, Cocktail, Sangaree, Mint Julep, Sherry-cobbler, Timber Doodle, and other rare drinks.”
Literature is a popular theme for bars. The famous writer Scott Fitzgerald himself called alcohol the “writer’s vice.” And so, when Susanne Baró Fernández opened Timber Doodle last year in Friedrichshain, she dedicated her dream bar to the great Charles Dickens. It is a tiny place, cozy, yet with a huge chandelier. The interior is late 19th / early 20th century in style and is reminiscent of an English Gentleman’s Club with its antique cabinet and its petrol wall colour. The atmosphere is hospitable and friendly, supported by the one-to-one service.
Susanne Baró Fernández is deeply passionate about hosting her guests and works magic with her liquid seductions.
Decorations include some nice souvenirs from the flea market and a stuffed bird sitting under a glass bell-jar on the bar counter. The bird is a woodcock, better known as a Timber Doodle, and one of the namesakes of this place. The name comes so smoothly from the lips that it is perfect for the name of this bar. And if you remember Dickens’ quote from above, Timber Doodle was also a popular cocktail. The recipe has been lost in time and was never chronicled. Susanne has created her own miraculous formula for a Timber Doodle. The ingredients are a well-kept secret. The drink itself is served in a lovely eye-catching glass bird. Order one, have a guess at the ingredients. and try to read Susanne’s poker face.
The drink menu is hidden between the pages of a Charles Dickens novel. With this collection of drinks pleasantly sprinkled with poetry, Susanne Baró Fernández confirms her talent for creating memorable concoctions. My first one was the Sherry’s Daiquiri. I still have the elegant notes in my memory. Mauritius ROM CLUB Sherry Spiced brings flavours of marzipan and cherries, combined with fresh lime juice, sugar syrup, and rounded off with Mozart chocolate bitters, smoked salt, olive oil and lemon. Making a drink requires love and attention to detail. The drinks here are created with homemade sirups, essences, and a playful style of drink making. You will leave this place with a happy face. A friend told me that this would be a bar I would like and she was so right.
Presentation, glassware, garnish are remarkable characteristics in delivering creative and well-balanced cocktails.
Oh, I almost forgot about the Aviation! Each bartender has their own style of bartending that represents them. You can expect a sensual pleasure at Timber Doodle. Seeking a more consistent mouthfeel and flavour, Susanne Baró Fernández updates the classic recipe with a drop of olive oil and some drops of saline solution. The oil covers the papillae of the tongue thus changing the mouth feeling again and again and gives the drink more depth and intensity. We generally respond positively to the taste of salt because it contains minerals that help our bodies maintain a proper electrolyte balance. The overall result is a flavourful synergy that heightens the anticipation of the drink.
Susanne’s Gin of choice was Love Gin, a very floral gin with a pleasant rose and hibiscus smell and hints of vanilla. This light blush pink gin is from Eden Mill, a Scottish distillery and brewery. The key ingredient of the Aviation, created in the early 1900s, is the creme de violette. It disappeared for decades and has made a comeback in recent years. Susanne used The Bitter Truth Violet Liqueur, a German brand that started producing cocktail bitters in 2006 and has brought back an authentic violet liqueur to life and on the market. It is made from wild violet blossoms that grow in the Alps which are then added to the finest grain spirit. The colour is dark blue, the nose is perfumy and floral, and the body is mild and easy, not too sweet.
Here is Susanne Baró Fernández recipe:
0.6 cl Maraschino Luxardo
1.5 cl freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Barspoon The Bitter Truth Violet Liquer
1 Lemon zest
2 drops of saline solution
1 drop olive oil
Shake with the lemon zest and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a half lavender sugar rim. Relax and enjoy!
To be continued …