Alexandra Cocktail Bar – The New Menu
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Alexandra Cocktail Bar celebrated its first birthday in February and launched a new menu. The bar offers great and award-winning drinks and knowledgable, friendly and well dressed staff, that make it definitely worthwhile coming here.
This wasn’t my first visit, I returned to celebrate the first Anniversary of my favourite place in Istanbul together with the great people behind this concept. They put so much work and passion in this place and Turkey is facing bad times at the moment. Alexandra Cocktail Bar isn’t only a bar. It is a whole house located in Arnavutköy with a beautiful view of the Bosphorus. The place hosts two bars, one in the ground floor and one on the roof top. You will find a restaurant between them like a delicious filling of a sandwich. This is the perfect place to enjoy a mix of Turkish and international cuisine and a mixture of serious cocktails. All parts seem to work well together.
Before I left, the cocktail menu was just a nice list of drinks. Now they present a handmade and solid book. If you open the cover you will find the explanation of their “House Cocktails: “some people dedicate time, passion and love to serve you something from their house and tried to share a part of them with you.“ By having a closer look, you have a selection of pictures. Each picture corresponds to the main character of the drink. A nice slogan will help to understand the drink as well as the listed ingredients. A nice detail is the last page for those who are lost. It is a list of flavours and spirit directions like rum, cognac, raki or vanilla, rose petal and coconut. Just point on one of the words or ask the bartender.
I had the pleasure or the challenge to taste all of the new drinks in a larger group. You cannot argue about taste but you can discuss it. The presentation is perfectly tailored to the idea of the drinks. The Pasa Cayi is a perfectly balanced combination of rum, cognac, cherry stem and walnut bitters served in a traditional tea glass. The Martinez is very classic and the Chef’s Negroni has a herbal note due to the sage. Some grapes take a bath in a coupette. They look tempting and the taste is nicely balanced to the sweetness. A secret recipe and more of an appetizer.
The picture were provided by the talented Salih Erçetin. I met him and his camera in Istanbul.
The brain behind the bar is Osman Fethi Baycan. He has already won numerous competitions. The drink Amor Duro on the cocktail menu is a winner in the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition. Recently he became a finalist in the Bacardi Legacy Competition for Turkey. Therefore he created a concoction called eFe.
It is the story about how a Cuba Libre became a cocktail. A well-executed and tasty one!
The drink combines rum Bacardi 8, Martini Rosso, reduced cola, maple liqueur and drops of hazelnut oil. Served in a chilled coupette and garnished with a lime peel. The hazelnut oil is very aromatic and leaves a silky and pleasant mouthfeel. By the way Turkey is the largest hazelnut producer in the world. The reduced cola is an essential part of the drink. I have seen Osman many times drinking cola, it seems also essential to him. The global final is this year in Berlin. Osman, I will keep my finger crossed.