Part 1 – Two Bars, Two Negronis, One Unforgettable Experience
Seiberts Classic Bar & Liquid Kitchen
It took me a few days to recover from my excessive birthday party. I celebrated the night to my birthday at the first anniversary party of the Bar Zentral in Berlin. The next morning I went to Cologne and the day after I spent at the Open Air Bar Market back in Berlin.
So, back to my adventure in Cologne. I wanted to visit Seiberts for two years and now I finally made it. The Little Link opened its doors in the same year and was also a planned destination for that night. What to write about bars and bartenders who are nominated on serveral award lists? What to write about them as everything has already been said?
The most important thing in a bar, from my point of view, is the hospitality. So, let me tell you about two great hosts and two great Negronis. The evening started magical after five o’clock. A house entrance, a bell and a friendly welcome. Despite of the lovely warm weather my place of choice was at the bar. The courtyard is beautifully decorated with antique furniture but I prefer to sit at the bar. I am always looking for a warm welcome and a comfy bar stool. And the chairs are absolutly comfortable with an upholstered seat, backrest and soft leather surface. It is like sitting in an armchair. The interior is classical and reminds of an exclusive grand hotel bar or a gentlemens club with Chesterfield sofas but with a silghtly feminine touch. Fresh flowers, pillows, individually chosen decoration, chandeliers, heavy curtains and beautiful wallpaper. There is much to discover but the place does not appear flamboyant. There is a cabinet as high as the ceiling and full of spirits, obviously well organised and colour-coordinated. On the top shelf you will find a huge collection of Stählemühle bottles. In the meantime, I browsed though the menu. Here you will find heaps of drinks but all of them perfectly categorised, so you won’t get lost. The green cover is pleasant to touch without any traces of use. This menu already passed through a lot of different hands, I learnt, and here you also find the attention to detail and highquality products. The octopus on the cover friendly took his chapeau claque off, and is the logo and identity mark of the bar. Unfortunately, the menu does not fit the handbag 😉
But what to drink in a classical bar? A classic and of course very old cocktail. Crustas are not very often found on bar menus except at this place. I like the combination of spirit, acidity and sweetness. The Buffalo Crusta combines Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Grand Marnier, Port, homemade red wine syrup and a large orange zest to my first concoction of the evening. The thick sugar rim, the so called crust gives its name to the drink. Homemade ingredients are a matter of course and also the usuage of the sous vide technique brings intensive flavour into the drinks. The Gin & Tonic is legendary. The cold drip method transforms the drink into one of the best. Probably the best known procedure used at Seiberts is the art of barrel aging. The next drink recommended to me was a Brooklyn aged three months in a sherry cask. Wonderful, so lovely balanced and served on a nice ancient tile coaster. I visit a lot of bars, but that doesn’t mean a lot of good drinks. That night I had one best drink after another.
The heart and communication center of a bar is the counter. I found many different approaches meanwhile. At Seiberts the counter has a slight cloud shape, so the bar staff is possible to overview all guests in front of them. My crackers were never empty and my water was always full. The heightened seat position brings you to a face-to-face level to the bartender. You will find a first-class consultation, cultivated manners, discreed but warm-hearted at the same time. Mister Seibert himself entered the bar, dressed in his elegant white bar jacket and I became a bit nervous. I love to go to bars, absorb the atmosphere, enjoy drinks tailored to my taste. I have a great respect for the craftsmanship. Seiberts is not only a “Classic Bar”, it is also a „Liquid Kitchen“. The unique homemade ingredients are created in the in-house kitchen. Behind the scenes a lot of preparation is done to provide this first-class environment. Quality and continuity are the keys to success. The team shows absolute commitment in their work driven by strong passion and dedication. You will find yourself in a cocktail fairytale with attentive hosts, relaxed and delicious drinking. If you are on the way to the bathrooms you can take a look through the specially manufactured porthole of the Liquid Kitchen. I always expect at first-class places correponding toilets. The luxurious hand peeling exceeded my expectations.
Now we come to the last drink and my best Negroni ever.
I already mentioned the huge selection of spirits. This includes a wide variety of rare spirits. We had talked about it and I told them that today is my birthday. Suddenly a bottle of Campari from 1955 with 30 % vol., an old Punt e Mes and a bottle of Beefeater Crown Jewel was placed in front of me. I got a really breathtaking Negroni for my birthday. The taste was strong and smooth, very well balanced and had a present coffee and red berries flavour. Outstanding experience, and this is exactly why I am travelling from bar to bar. With the “Fridge Pack“ of Goldberg, another gift, I moved on to the next adventure. This was one of my milestones in bar history and definitely not my last visit.
You will some professional pictures and the menu here. My impressions are here: