Mojito’s distant brother, Caiprinha, uses Brazil’s most common liquor in the mix, instead of Cuban rum. If you are the kind to scoff at the notion of sipping a cocktail and down it in one gulp, the Caiprinha will paint your face pink, as it’s considered a strong drink back in its home country. Although cachaça is what defines a Caiprinha, bartender Ryu Sung-hyun skips it altogether and pours in Frangelico to give this drink its hazelnut kick, which results in its appearance of having the dark, rich layers of a tiramisu. If you haven’t tried the original recipe, try it first, then order it here to taste the real difference. 16,000 won.
Served in a martini glass as big as a fist clenched by a petite moll, this lovely cocktail was Hemingway’s favorite libation. If “classic” is your drink, the pinkness and serving size may be disappointing to digest, but the flavor is far from lady-like. “In fact, it’s a dry cocktail,” bartender Park Min-su clarifies, as he adds a drop of grapefruit bittes, an addition to complete the “Why Not” style. Fragrant, but easy to drink, the Special has a surprisingly dry after taste. The bar doesn’t have a cocktail menu, so make sure to remember its name if this sounds like your kind of serve. 15,000 won, cover charge 5,000 won.
The winning cocktail of the Pernod Ricard Bartender Championship, the recipe for Herb Village has undergone a couple changes since its 2013 victory. Fresh basil is infused in the herb-distilled Beefeater gin, and the spearmint is crushed by hand to give it that extra burst of flavor. The secret to keeping the cocktail from becoming too sweet or too dry? Broccoli juice. Vibrant, young and green, the Herb Village tastes almost like a healthy green smoothie—so to quote the award-winning bartender Benjamin Son—“it’s a really fitting drink for those who aren’t too great with the alcohol.” 27,500 won.
A highball-style cocktail can be recognized by its ice cube that resembles a thick, oversized baton, but the Peat Crush comes with year-old Ardbeg Scotch with a heap of crushed ice. Loaded with a strong peat aroma, Park Si-young (the rare find of a female head bartender in Seoul) created this signature cocktail on the spot to please a regular in search of something new. The Ardbeg will taste like a mouthful of antiseptic at first and this really is a drink for whisky lovers looking for a new adventure. As Murakami drank and wrote from Isla Island, the home of peat flavored whisky, who knows—the drink might inspire you to book a ticket! 30,000 won.
and classic cocktails to cool off
A cooler type of cocktail, the Moscow Mule saunters in at a close second after the mojito as the most popular cocktail on the menu. But if this is your first encounter with the drink, we’ll tell you now that the best Mules are made from homemade ginger beer.
This cocktail is pre-mixed in a big container and served with a gun-like dispenser to please the thousand or so visitors to the Raffles Hotel. Sure, there’s a lot of pineapple juice involved, but don’t let the straw fool you—it has a healthy amount of alcohol.
So, we’ll tell you firsthand the Ginger Cooler uses neither gin nor rum. So what are its main ingredients?
Whiskey, ginger extract, lemon and a good amount of
seltzer. A palate-cleansing cocktail to turn to after a