Art: Patricia Sanchez. Photographs: © Danny Valdez (David Wondrich), courtesy of Simon Ford (Simon Ford).
New York and London both vie for worldwide supremacy when it comes to fantastic bars. But just as the two cities are separated by the Atlantic and a standing disagreement over the definition of the word “chip,” their cocktail cultures are also divided. To examine the differences, F&W spoke to two experts: American cocktail historian David Wondrich and British bartender Simon Ford, brand ambassador for Pernod-Ricard U.S.A. “American cocktail culture is a little more down to earth. We don’t get the flights of fancy; we have very few bars that are running rotavap distillation machines that cost $10,000,” says Wondrich. Regarding the US, Ford agrees: “There’s so much respect for the history and the fundamentals of cocktail culture,” he says. “That’s really the way America has pushed itself forward, by going backwards. You get more innovation and playfulness in the UK.” Judge for yourself in their categorical comparison below.
Art: Patricia Sanchez. Photographs: © Anna Bauer (Vests), © Tina Rupp (Tequila), © Johnny Valiant (Bitters), © Hector Sanchez (Rum), © David Kressler (Dale DeGroff), Courtesy of the Savoy (The Savoy), © iStockphoto (Gimlet), Courtesy of Pegu (Pegu Logo), © Juliet Murphy (Zetter Townhouse).