Possibly the world’s best bartender

In the middle of Strøget , there is a fine narrow side street called Badstuestræde. In the middle of Badstuestræde, there are some steps that lead down to a cellar. At the side of the steps, there is a bell you can ring. Den Ny Spritfabrik’s man did just that one summer’s night, at the end of August, around 22:00.

The door is opened by a well-dressed waiter/bartender (wearing a tie or bow-tie – I don’t remember). We are shown through a curtain and sit down at the bar. The bartender holds polite conversation and fills two glasses of champagne, before with a smile, he takes me and my two companions to a charming table in the softly-lit locale. And so we find ourselves guests in the cocktail bar, Ourselves Alone. Søren works here, a man who has had an excellent, long-term relationship with the Den Ny Spritfabrik (don’t tell anyone – but he also makes great cocktails using D Argentum). But it isn’t Søren’s wonderful cocktails we are after tonight!

We want to see a legend in action!

Jim Meehan of PDT (read more about Ourselves Alone and PDT in the text below) must take most of the honours for the development of cocktail culture. The approach here is miles away from the waiter Boldt in Matador – we are closer to Noma quality here! Experiment after experiment, test after test – just about the entire globe is researched and explored in the search for exciting ingredients that can make your cocktail even better. The service is also a world away from two cold bottles of beer served at Barbar Bar – every drink is presented the way a dish is presented at a Michelin star-rated restaurant. Naturally, there is a menu:

Jim Meehan has created a menu with four exciting cocktails (see the first two above) – we’ll come back to those in PART 2. But first a little more detail …

The clientele of a modern cocktail bar: Who visits such a place?

People of all kinds it seems, even though there might be more of the “creative class” than any other, and it is also clear that the atmosphere is very much more hipster than disco – people’s behaviour is different too. They come here to enjoy their cocktails rather than to get drunk (though perhaps they overindulged after we left?!). Well-dressed too, though I did spot a pair of jogging bottoms. Den Ny Spritfabrik’s man actually felt that he was somewhere quite cultural, something not normally associated with a bar.

But then again, Ourselves Alone is no ordinary bar. Like Denmark’s famous Ruby Bar, it is clearly inspired by PDT, or maybe we should just call it psst!

PDT stands for Please Don’t Tell, and it’s a little in-joke, because it is only through word-of-mouth that you find Jim Meehan’s legendary cocktail bar in Greenwich Village in New York. There are no signs and no advertisements.

The entrance is through a fake telephone box!

In other word, the bar relies on “people in the know”. There is something wonderful about being in an amazing place that no one else has heard of – and naturally, that is part of the concept. Another special thing about the place, is the relaxed atmosphere, and not too big, so the intimate atmosphere surrounds you like a cloud while you are there (of course, smoking is prohibited at Ourselves Alone). However, the most important thing is that world-class cocktails are served!

A review of the cocktail menu and more about Jim Meehan in PART 2. So stay tuned!

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