Superstar Bartender Alex Kratena Creates Cocktails Inspired by the Cities We Love

Leah Bourne

Photo Via Sugarloco

Alex Kratena, the lead bartender from The Langham London, and arguably one of the best bartenders in the world, came stateside recently to create a cocktail for each of the Langham’s U.S. properties—the Langham Huntington, Pasadena, The Langham, Chicago, The Langham, Boston, and Langham Place, Fifth Avenue, in New York City—inspired by the various cities the hotels are based in (pictured above).
“I had a great time creating these,” Kratena told us. “It wasn’t the first time I have ventured outside London—I love to get inspired by places, so this was chance to go little abstract and at the same time.”
Having worked around the world as a mixologist, Kratena knows full well that tastes can vary. “I’ve learned to appreciate what works and what doesn’t in different countries,” he said. “It makes you think about the overall experience of each cocktail—the intensity of ingredients, strength, presentation. There are markets in Europe that prefer spirited, straightforward drinks. On the other hand, many countries in Asia often prefer cocktails with lower alcohol content, while patrons in South America tend to have a slightly sweeter palate.”
As for Kratena’s cocktail of choice, personally? “Negroni and a small beer on the side,” he shared, of what he orders in his off time.
One of the cocktails that Kratena created for this cocktail program, the Lady Pink, was inspired by a New York City graffiti artist named Lady Pink, whose work was popular in the 1980s. The drink combines rhubarb, citrus, bitter orange, and Fino, creating a light drink perfect for sipping this spring. While the drink now has a permanent place on the bar menu at the Langham Place in New York City, if you can’t make the trip, here’s how to make the cocktail yourself at home.
Lady Pink Cocktail
1.25 ounces of Tio Pepe Sherry
1 ounce Merlet Triple Sec
1 ounce rhubarb water
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce agave nectar
2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
1 piece grapefruit zest
Shake it up in a shaker (you’ll need some ice), strain into a champagne flute or another cup, and add zest. Voila! Drink up.
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