12. Bemelmans at The Carlyle Hotel – New York, USA

Cocktail – Champino
Campari, sweet vermouth, Champagne

Date Visited – Sep 2008

It’s no surprise that New York features twice, but where’s the Manhattan? Many a cocktail owes its fame to New York, but not many of those 19th century bars are still around, and there’s often contention as to where the cocktail actually originated. Hotel bars are usually pretty straightforward in my quest. An afternoon visit to Bemelmans after a Labor Day stroll in Central Park. Bar stool secured, menu procured, but alas, I see no Champino! Placing my order though the barman informs me that it’s their signature cocktail (tick), but not many people order it because they don’t like Campari. Hmm, that includes me, or at least it did back then! I also don’t like Champagne cocktails so this one isn’t going to be a hit. Progress is slow going, but at $22 it’s worth stretching it out, and enjoying the nibbles! Apparently the cocktail menu was created by legendary mixologist and “King Cocktail” Dale DeGroff, which will likely be the reason for Allan’s selection. Nice bar, good service, nice murals, and very popular with Woody Allen, but only on a Monday night!

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