I went looking for the best whiskey sour ever, and the answer was, like in those old legends about the meaning of life, right under my nose: in Boutiq’bar the proportion of whiskey and sour is always right, the egg foam has perfect thickness and consistency, and no one frowns when I ask for a smoky Irish whiskey. The best time is the early evening, when you enter from the blazing sun of Paulay Ede street, the air inside cool and fragrant with spices, cardamom, cloves and basil, the light a muted caramel orange, as if the sun outside were filtered through the body of a Negroni.
It’s the kind of place where you can come with friends but also alone and find good company. The kind of place you imagine James Bond dropping in for a Martini, shaken not stirred, or Philippe Marlowe slowly sipping a gimlet, thinking about death and forgiveness. Hemingway could have scribbled a quick short story in one of the brighter corners, if he found a friend to lend him some cash (and cash only, cards are not accepted).
Besides the much-loved classics, new mixes are dreamt up seasonally, such as the recently debuted daring but fabulous Sicilian gimlet with olive oil, or the ever more popular Budapest Barbeque, mixing gin with touches of peach, maple syrup and cranberry. You can also kick off the evening with some Hot Turkish shots, but remember: in Boutiq you should get drunk on life, not alcohol.