The first time I knocked on the door of 1930 it was 2 years ago, on a mild night of March. I was out for drinks with a colleague until we ended up in front of a rolling shutter of a small shop in Cinque Giornate neighborhood.
That day, I entered the door of a place that nothing has in common with a cocktail bar but that actually hides the entrance to the charm of a past era and the highest expression of the world of mixology.
That day, I entered the best cocktail bar in the world.
An elegant bearded gentleman walked me through a camouflaged door and as a wandered Alice, I found myself in a room filled with the sound of a piano, striped wallpaper, dimmed lights and a retro decor. I was traveling in the past. I was in the '30s!
Since that day, every time I go to Milan, I cannot avoid booking a table in this timeless and fascinating place, and enjoy time in sips of balanced drinks and homemade distillates.
With the past of time, I started getting more and more familiar with their menu (changing seasonally), where each cocktail is a character or a story.
You can meet Victor Hugo or Pulcinella the traveller, come back to your childhood with The Jungle Book, The Sleeping Beauty or Hansel and Gretel, travel on the Orient express or down to the tropics, drink a Negroni with lard or a Courvoisier with Roquefort...
I love every single cocktail I had the opportunity to try but there are some that I love even more:
- Faro di Scozia (Scotland lighthouse): sea, soil, milk and whiskey in a lantern in the light of a candle. If you close your eyes, like a sailor, you could feel a gentle sea breeze on your face and smell the ground of the approaching lands. The chosen whiskey is a Laphroig Quarter Cask to bring in all the strength of its smokey essence
- Caronte (Charon): the ferryman of souls comes wrapped in its dark cloak in a smoky boat. Its essence is a mix of whisky and red pepper and a dash of black ink, dark like the night and the perpetual sleep
- Pure cocktail: the elegant balance of Japan, with its Nikka Pure Malt and Umeshu, a plum liqueur flavored with shiso.
- Il Mare (The sea): simply the sea, its smell and the calm movement of the waves advancing on the shore.
I traveled around, tried dozens of cocktails and drank in the 'best' cocktail bars in the world but I never found a place like 1930: not the same atmosphere, not the same creativity, not the same pleasure when holding the glass, not the same excitement when calling Ben to book a table to a new adventure, not the same feeling of loosing the perception of time.
That's why 1930 is the best cocktail bar in the world.