Which is the city’s hottest new bar or nightclub? As part of our quest, we will feature six new entrants to Delhi’s nightlife. The Teacher’s Origin Best New Bar/Club of the Year winner will be announced on the night of the HT City Crystals People’s Choice Awards 2010.
The Blue Bar
Today, we take you inside The Blue Bar and Rubicon Bar
The Blue Bar
Facing the hotel’s central garden and the swimming pool, the décor of this quiet yet swanky new five-star bar is part-bohemian and ultra chic. The bar has already gained recognition for the range of creative cocktails on offer, the popular ones being the Matahari, Fig Jagger, and Blood and Sand. It is also known for reviving some forgotten classics, as well as for its range of infusion cocktails — the bacon-infused vodka is a big surprise. Another highlight of the menu are the ‘saketinis’ — cocktails that feature sake as their base. Those looking for something unique can try the AWOLs, or Alcohol Without Liquids! And if you are a whisky aficionado, The Blue Bar has around 56 varieties of single malts, as well as a wine list of more than 450. There is an eclectic selection of gourmet appetisers to munch on. Evenings see the resident DJ spin jazz, rhythm and blues, progressing to electronica, so guests can shake a leg. Calling it a “cocoon for the very stylish and uber cool crowd,” head bartender Joao Paulo Rodrigues says, “The Blue Bar offers uniquely designed drinks like infused martinis, frozen and forgotten cocktails and signature vodka infusions. We revive the classics with the finest and freshest ingredients. It’s the only bar in Delhi offering an alfresco experience with a view to the pool.”
Rubicon is the name of a shallow, red-coloured river in Italy, which perhaps explains the rich ruby-coloured lighting in the corridor leading you to the bar. ‘Rubicon’ also means ‘point of no return’, and the plush, elegant interiors and excellent drinks menu certainly conspire to keep you there for a long time. The first thing that one notices here is the spacious seating that offers privacy to every patron. The drinks menu is exhaustive, with a great collection of cocktails. Sip on a Maracuja as you dig into sushi rolls, or try the Grand Mojito, which is the signature cocktail here. However, it is the whisky collection that steals the show here — there are 66 kinds on offer, including five which are extremely rare malts. The appetiser menu is a good mix of continental and Indian dishes. A Cristal Lounge is dedicated to champagne and champagne cocktails. Between 8 pm and 11 pm, a DJ takes to the console to play lounge and retro. According to Kumar Saswat, assistant food and beverage manager at The Leela Kempinski hotel, “The USP starts with the decor, which gives it a very regal atmosphere. It’s a bar for the successful executive. What makes it stand out is the passion we share for whiskies. We don’t want to be known as a cocktail bar... we want to be known as a malt bar, because a [single] malt is for someone who has achieved something in life.”