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Cocktails by Brian Silva
A dark wood bar where the barmen expertly mix classic cocktails, a Martini (stirred never shaken), a Gimlet, a Bloody Mary on a sunday afternoon. Understated glamour of a by-gone era and simple old fashioned elegance
THE COCKTAIL HOUR...by Bernard Barbuk. Restaurant Magazine.
...Rules has always done cocktails, without making a big deal of them, but now it will - with a reinvented cocktail bar which lets people enjoy a drink before, after or instead of serious feeding.
The mixologist is Brian Silva, ex-Home House, Scott's and The Connaught Hotel. His choice of standard cocktail glass, quite stubby and about 75ml capacity, is the size classic cocktails were meant to be.
His list contains just 10 cocktails. "Long lists confuse people," he explains, "we'll be able to make anything anybody asks for, without a modern twist. But these 10 are special to Rules."
That 'modern twist' is also a Rules twist, and a Silva twist. All 10 recipes are his, with charachteristic touches (eau-de-vie, grapefruit, absinthe, the no-longer-made Cinzano Orancio), all with a base ingredient and between two and four other flavouring ingredients. Classic Cocktails 'made the way they used to be made'.
No homemade infusions. No assortments of muddled berries. no 'cocktail speak' descriptions either. Another Silva doctrine is: "Don't try to be clever, just focus on making great drinks."
The bar's offer has to be special - an enhancement of the restaurant, not a competitor. Thus, more substantial bar snacks during the week than at weekends, and no brunch. The drinks list is separate and individual too - not least, old bottled liqueurs hunted down by Silva. "A cocktail bar isn't about the cocktail per se, but the people who come into it and the drinks should be right for them."
Silva's way is good business, in one of London's best-known destinations.
From BR to Rules...Re Cocktail Bar
I have always been a fan of Classic Hotel Bars because of their devotion and care to the Classic Cocktails. As a fan of the Dry Martini, I believe it is the ultimate test as with only a couple of ingredients in this simple recipe, it has to rely on technique and an awful lot of care.
Your timing is impeccable as I feel the trend is for Classic Cocktails and they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. The hottest bar in Sao Paulo, Brazil, right now is called DRY and is all about Classic Cocktails.