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08.11.2011
Like in the movie scenes




 
Even the most ordinary things in life can turn into art, depending on the context. I am not talking about Andy Warhol’s soup cans or Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. What I want to talk about is the art of bringing inspiration and breathing life into things we’ve done a thousand times until they’ve lost their appeal for the simple reason of knowing what will happen next.
 
Eight years ago, Urs Zingg created a luxurious experience out of an innocent Saturday night with a tangible sense of adventure and style. His idea to organize a one-night cocktail marathon along the Zurich four- and five- star hotel bars gave a new meaning to the ordinary nights out with friends and colleagues. It took people out of the local bars and neighbourhood restaurants to lift the curtain and let them into a world of luxury and subtle elegance, modern urban design and bold cosmopolitan architecture. Where else would you try a cocktail with the name French Connection or Smokey Eyes?
 
Long Nights have become very popular over the past ten and more years. There are the Fashion Nights Out and the Long Nights in Museums, an idea that first started in Berlin in 1997 and today has spread over 120 European cities.
 
The Long Night of hotel bars is still a local idea, but it has grown steadily over the past eight years. Starting with 900 guests, today the initiative gathers 1900 visitors and is expanding towards Zurich West, the fast growing and so trendy and popular these days industrial quarter of the city.
 
The idea is that every hotel bar on the list of the Long Night chooses a theme and offers the guests a selection of drinks matching the theme. In most of the bars there is live music or a DJ. The once annual event carries the Swiss signature of excellent organization and precise instructions. There is a shuttle service running every 17 minutes between all 11 hotels and a discounted taxi fare or complimentary train fare to and from the event. The welcoming drink is included in the ticket price.
 
Last year I visited four bars in four hours. Among them were Dolder Grand Hotel and Eden Au Lac. This year one of my favorites was the five-star boutique hotel ALDEN and the theme of the Roaring Twenties with cocktails such as Hemingway and Marlene Dietrich, not to mention the excellent live Jazz performance of the swing band “Mondego”, while sipping my Smokey Eyes drink in peace at the bar.
 
Another stop I made this year was the Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel bar, located in the former industrial quarter, which today is home to cosmopolitan Zurich.The luxurious urban bar designed in graffiti tones and raw industrial materials with plenty of mirrors and glass around appealed to my “girls-want-to-have-fun” nature, which explains my choice of cocktail: Femme Fatale. What confused me a bit in this ultra urban set was the smell of fish and chips being served, but people were so hungry by that time that I assume they loved it.
 
My last destination was the Marriott Hotel and by this time everyone was up dancing and having fun with the theme of Jazz, Swing and Bossa Nova. I like the way the management had arranged the food. Small sandwiches were set on a warm bar surface near to the whole buzzing crowd of dancing and drinking people and small sweet surprises were elegantly arranged on the tall tables. The cocktail creation I chose this time carried the nostalgia of the past summer: 7-year old Havana club rum with lemon 7-Up and rosehip syrup, mango puree and basil.
 
Around 1 a.m. I left thinking I had better stop trying these fantastic cocktails, because I won’t remember anything to write about the next morning. However I had the great feeling I was on a trip and besides wearing something special that night, there was a lot more that added to the cocktail tasting exciting experience. Think Humphrey Bogart fixing a champagne cocktail for Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Imagine James Bond having his Vesper in Monte Carlo and talking to a woman at the bar, not to mention Sex and the City scenes where girls meet to have their cosmopolitans and talk about relationships.
 
Cheers!
 
Tsitaliya Mircheva


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