I’d like to start off my commonwealth content career with an article i’ve wanted to write for a while now, and it’s fitting that it is about my favourite cocktail. The Moskau Mule. I write it the way a German would because my favourite experience drinking it was at a bar in Regensburg, Bavaria; the town where I have lived for the best part of a decade. The bar was called “Hab und Gut” and it remains to this day the best cocktail establishment I have ever frequented. The name translates to “worldly goods” or “personal effects” (depending on which translation you choose online) and the guy who ran it was a cocktail genius. He had spent many years learning his trade in Berlin before moving to Regensburg and opening his own place. He knew how to set the scene, with dim lighting, light jazz music (sometimes played on a gramophone) and delicious nibbles placed at every table (everyone loves wasabi nuts). He knew how to deliver the customer experience, and thus could charge a little extra for the things he served, as should be the way. But most of all, he knew how to make a cocktail that made you happy. If I’m not happy when drinking a cocktail, then I am drinking a collection of stuff with alcohol, sadly adding to the units I shouldn’t have consumed already this month.
I would like to describe myself as adventurous, but when it comes to food and drink once I have found what I like I stick with it. There’s no reason to order something you’ve never tried before if you’ve already tasted something fantastic and can have it again. Example: for 6 years the only pizza I ever ordered was the quattro formaggi and when I ordered it from the right pizza place it was always worth it. Even the “food guilt” felt immediately after of having consumed a large pile of melted fat on carbs is justified if it tastes great. I recently moved on to a spicy salami pizza but that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, when it comes to finding a great cocktail, when I tried this guy’s Moskau Mule I was hooked. It was strong but not overpoweringly so that you would wince after every gulp. Furthermore, he made his own liquorice vodka, a process quite simple and very recommended if you want to mix up your vodka experiences. Add lots of ice, mint leaves (untouched, or maybe give it a good clap before throwing them in) and spicy ginger beer (Thomas Henry does a good one). The rest is just being able to mix those things up the way an experienced mixologist does. Date night with my wife was always enjoyed, and the snu snu after wasn’t too bad either, but that’s also a story for another day (and other blog).
For health reasons, the owner of Hab und Gut had to quit his late night profession and close his bar. Later I heard that his health deteriorated before sadly passing away, he was in his 40s. He was always nice. I have never had a Moskau Mule since then that I have enjoyed quite so well, and probably never will. This is quite a sad ending, but in truth: once you have found a place that sells great cocktails, you miss it when its gone. Here's to you Hab und Gut mixologist!