Words by: Jane Ryan
When production company REFRAME went to Istanbul they heard rumors of an underground cocktail bar in the city which serves well-balanced classics. At the helm was Alex Waldman, a US Expat who's been living in Istanbul for twelve years and now runs the only craft cocktail bar in the city. The team produced this outstanding video all about Alex and his passion for excellent drinks, which we were only too happy to showcase.
What are your hobbies?
Reading, cinema, cooking, sailing, scuba.
Who has been your biggest influence?
Who could answer?.. Nina Simone? Lenny Bruce?
Why Turkey, why Istanbul?
I came here in 2003 for a film project; still here 11 years later.
What are your favourite restaurants in Istanbul?
Asmali Cavit, Enver Usta, Ozdeveli Pide.
What are your 10 best bars in the world?
With far too little research done and in no particular order: White Lyan, Clover Club, Scofflaw, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Mayahuel, Rickhouse, Elixir, Le Lion, Lucky Liquor, The Baja Room.
What is the cocktail of choice at the moment in Istanbul?
I must confess I don't know what's popular citywide; we're currently serving a lot of Hyde Park Swizzles, Hurricanes, and God Shave the Queens.
- Hyde Park Swizzle- gin, lemon, elderflower, cucumber, ginger and celery bitters.
- Hurricane- Black Strap rum, cachaca, spanish brandy, passionfruit, grenadine and New Orleans bitters.
- God Shave the Queen- bourbon, strawberry, IPA syrup and aromatic bitters.
What's your personal favourite drink?
These days it's mostly Gin Rickeys, neat rum, and shots of Fernet with half a lemonized beer back.
What's the retirement plan - rum hut on the beach / stay in Turkey / conquer somewhere else in the world?
I'll take the rum hut; and the adjacent jetty with sailboat...