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November 08, 2013

The Gift of Know-How: Drinks.

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"No matter how much emphasis we put on the craft of mixology," says Joaquín Simó, "the bartender always needs to remember he’s serving guests, not drinks." With that kind of customer-centric attitude, it's no wonder that his cocktail bar Pouring Ribbons is a favorite in New York's East Village. Chosen to be our drinks aficionado for the Gift of Know-How, Simó created a signature cocktail for DWR called the Great Dane.

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A grapefruit garnish transforms the Great Dane into a Danish Devil.

The reviews of this Aquavit-based concoction ranged from "I could drink these all night" to "I'm high on the fumes," but everyone agreed it is beautiful. "Aquavita is essentially the national spirit of Scandinavian countries," explains Simó. "Its strong of note of caraway and anise is very identifiable with Scandinavian culture."

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Pouring Ribbons tables have slots for menus. Why don't all restaurants do this?

To create the drink, we outfitted Simó with Cylinda Line barware designed by Arne Jacobsen and expanded upon by Peter Holmblad. Originally sketched on a napkin in 1964, it took three years and new technology to make the stainless steel, seamless structures possible to produce.

"There’s nothing here that isn't absolutely necessary," says Simó as he begins to create a drink in the Cocktail Mixer. "There’s just the right amount of tensile strength within this. It’s the perfect size and it just feels great in the hand. I'm a huge fan of Jacobsen's work and have his Swan Sofa at home."

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The focal point of the wood-clad Pouring Ribbons interior (other than the bar) is a half-moon window cut into one wall, perfectly framing the classic tenements across the street. "It was inspired by a photo of a turn-of-the-century Parisian apartment that one of our designers, Dieter Cartwright of Warren Red, showed us," says Simó. "No matter where you’re sitting, you’re always reminded that you’re in this village."

To see a video of Simó making his signature cocktail for DWR, go to dwr.com/knowhow.

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