However tenuous it might be, one upside of the recent ruble crash is that it alleviates some of the guilt I have when spending money on something frivolous because everything suddenly costs so much less – in dollars and euros! (Yes I know it makes no mathematical sense because I still make the same ruble salary and actually spending more rubles because of the inflation – but it makes perfect sense in an alternate reality where I play Jedi mind tricks on myself because DOLLARS!)
My favorite frivolity is a delicious specialty cocktail. In Moscow, well-made, and especially original cocktails are not easy to find. Many places are perfectly happy phoning it in with sub-par mojitos, G&Ts and Tom Collins’ that are mostly mixers and ice. By the way, that doesn’t stop them from charging for what is essentially a mid-shelf shot the same amount that you would pay a bottle of liquor at the store.
Which is why I get really excited every time that l discover a proper cocktail bar – like PINCH. My introduction to PINCH came courtesy of the incomparable Jennifer Eremeeva – fellow Moscow blogger (though a proper, famous one), published author and Expert Expat™ (17 years and counting).
PINCH is actually a restaurant – tiny (especially by Moscow standards), cozy and crowded, in a way that would make it seem super popular even if it weren’t. But it is, because it’s just really good. The two things I like most about it are: #2 – friendly, chatty, unpretentious staff that caters to the trendy set; and #1 – their AMAZING craft cocktails.
The list of cocktail ingredients includes lemongrass, black currants and jasmine extract – and the cocktail menu changes all the time. My favorite is Dry Cardamom (photo above on the right) – order it even if it’s not on the menu, and on top of receiving a ridiculously flirty, tangy and refreshing drink, you will also impress the bartender. PINCH is also where I tried my first ever cocktail that involved egg whites (scary!). I just loved the TLC with which the bartender made all other drinks and decided to jump in head-first into Tea Bush: a mix of Bacardi, jasmine, lemon juice, fructose, bitters and egg whites.
Oh, and they make their Bloody Mary’s with rye moonshine! And they don’t skimp on presentation either – I love their glassware, and their food plates are a work of art! Speaking of food, they have desserts made with spicy red peppers, and beer sorbet (seriously, check out their English-language menu)! And for those of you keeping booze-free, PINCH also has delicious pomegranate, hibiscus and basil & lemongrass lemonades – totally virgin. Bottoms up! PINCH is located at Bolshoy Palashevskiy Lane, 2, in the Patriarshiye Prudy (Patriarch’s Ponds) neighborhood in central Moscow. English-friendly.
17 thoughts on “MOSCOW DRINKS: CRAFT COCKTAILS AT PINCH”
Jennifer really deserves a kickback for all the business she’s bringing in via the blogger crowd, and now you too! I totally need to try that Tea Bush when I get back.
She just speaks about it with such authority that you KNOW you have to go there/try this/buy that!
When are you back? And where are you now? And OMG did you miss the party of the summer last weekend… (#HairStillHurts)
The party of the summer?! Noooooo. I’m in the Pacific Northwest at the moment, but I’ll be back June 21! Maybe when your hair recovers, there can be a second party of the summer…
Let’s make it happen!
You lost me at beer sorbet, but the cocktails sound amazing! 🙂
Welllll I havent tried the beer sorbet myself yet, so I cant vouch for it. But something tells me I will 😉 BECAUSE BEER.
Is it Bud sorbet? 😉
Count me in…
Even for the beer sorbet? That’s my girl!
NO! That’s where I draw the line, right there 😉
But it’s dessert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No. No. NO. DESSERT has chocolate in it. Or cream. Or quark. Ideally, all three.
Ok whatever those crunchy things are next to the drink…..I told you, I’m on a very uncharacteristic fried food craze at the moment…But I’ll also take any of those drinks.
They’re a cross between corn chips and rice chips… I didnt want to dilute the awesome taste of the cocktail with them. The Cardamom is THE BEST.
Hahaha, I am all about eating while drinking. I can’t hold my alcohol like I used to. I’m like a one-bottle-a-night girl now 😦
this place sounds heaven-sent!! bottoms up!
It’s the place I thought about when reading about your SF cocktail bar. Knew you’d appreciate 😉