The Varnish pop-up bar in Stockholm

Eric Alperin, The Varnish
Bartenders' Choice Awards are at again! After a number of successful pop-ups here in Stockholm with great bars like Trick Dog, Pouring Ribbons, The Dead Rabbit Grogery & Grog and Dutch Kills, the time has come to bring one of LA's best bars to this side of the pond. On October 3-4, the bar at Story Hotel will host Eric Alperin and Max Seaman from celebrated speakeasy The Varnish, which has been located behind an unmarked door inside the restaurant Cole's in Downtown LA since 2009. The Varnish has been on The World's 50 Best Bars list two years in a row and won awards like Best American Bar and American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail. Unfortunately I will be in Berlin for the German Rum Festival, but at least I've experienced the real thing and can promise that the pop-up will definitely be worth a visit - or two! Also, let's hope that they'll bring their delicious French Dip sandwiches!

Myself enjoying a delicious
French Dip sandwich at Cole's
Anyway, if you can't make it to this fantastic opportunity to meet some of LA's finest cocktail makers and sample their skills, here's how you make one of their signature cocktails that will be served during the weekend - enjoy!

Smuggler's Notch
60 ml Havana Club Añejo 7 Ãnos
1 demerara sugar cube
2 dashes Orange Bitters
Absinthe rinse

Rinse the inside of a rocks glass with approximately 10 ml absinthe. Dissolve the sugar cube in a little soda water in a mixing glass, add the rest of the ingredients and stir with ice. Strain into the rocks glass, add a big ice cube and garnish with orange zest.


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