On my recent trip to South Africa, I gave myself a little “trip within a trip” by stopping in Zurich for about 12 hours. Although it was Christmas Eve and I expected that I might be jet lagged, I made plans to meet up with two of my friends from time spent in Zurich many years ago. They obliged and promised to take me for a cocktail in a city often more known for its beer.
Upon my arrival, Zurich was cold and wet – but not quite cold enough for snow. My friends met me at the airport and we drove about 15 minutes directly to CLOUDS – a bar atop Prime Tower, the tallest building in Zurich and 2nd tallest in Switzerland. After a brief security check, we took an elevator 35 floors up to a well-appointed lounge full of people sitting on plush couches and oversized leather chairs. Although when we arrived the sky was a bit rainy and overcast, the sun soon prevailed to give us an unencumbered view of Zurich’s city center, Lake Zurich, and the mountains beyond through its large vertical windows.
While in college, I spent a summer in Zurich as an intern in finance and my drinking in those days (both at home and abroad) consisted mostly downing whatever beer was on hand – in Zurich, typically a Heineken or Feldschlösschen. Back after a few years, I was now excited to see what the city’s bar scene had to offer in terms of cocktails. Readers of this blog know that I fall hard for a bartender’s suggestion or favorite, so I was immediately drawn to the “Barchef’s special” Rabbit in the Cup.
My drink arrived quickly in a small, but spectacular, teacup. Although I was saddened by what looked like a meager serving of the drink, this sadness was soon offset by the teacup itself, which appeared to be some sort of Hendrick’s special edition teacup. It was so detailed and unusual, I wish I had kept it!
Now on to the drink itself – the Rabbit in the Cup consisted of Hendrick’s gin, carrot juice, orange juice, and a bit of cucumber. It was very mild and actually incredibly refreshing for my first drink of the day. Keep in mind that it was about 7am on my body’s clock. As far as I know, this was the first carrot cocktail I have ever had and I must say I really liked it! It wasn’t citrusy or earthy at all; it was refreshing and quite mild. The drink came topped with a nice little rollup of slices of carrot and cucumber.
Satisfied that I had enjoyed a new cocktail in a new city, I slowly finished my drink and then harkened the old days by ordering a Heineken to wash it down.