Black-tea ice cubes, sultana swizzle sticks, honeycomb, vodka, gin, rye and more all shaken and stirred and muddled and served for your pleasure - meet the drinks (and their makers) you'll find at the year's biggest cocktail carnival
Late night drinks in lush surrounds are order of the day here
First published on . Updated on .
Say what you will about Hemmesphere – the table-service only rule enforced by cocktail waitresses in floaty dresses, the big groups of out-of-town execs letting loose on their night out, the expensive drinks – they really do deliver the goods. The cocktails are made with a high level of skill. If you’re lucky enough to have bartender Tim Philips at the cans you’re in for a very big treat indeed. But either way, there’s a consistent level of excellence here you won’t find in many other bars in town. They don’t dumb their drinks down, and are very happy to push short, boozy and brown (we love the Hammer – Rittenhouse rye, apricot brandy, lime, pecan), as they are flirty and fruity. How about a Lima Cobbler - a mix of plum pisco, blackberry liqueur, strawberries and rhubarb bitters – to freshen up? Hemmesphere is a bar with staying power. They celebrated their tenth birthday recently and you can understand why they've gone the distance – the huge room with its exposed beams could very easily double as a ski lodge (did somebody say Hot Tub Time Machine?) where order of the day is a lazy recline and a few cocktails. There’s a late night supper menu (available 10.30pm till close Wednesday – Saturday) replete with mini burgers and gyoza. And they don’t close till 3am. Late night drinks, a plate of ham and mustard – what more could you want?