Searching for Craft Cocktails in Religious Lands

If I begin a story with the words “Jerusalem and Istanbul,” you might think I am going to write about politics, religion, history or culture. But, I am going to talk about cocktails. Yes, cocktails.

Craft cocktails, making drinks with quality spirits and fresh ingredients, has been a trend that has taken off around the world. In many cities, it is easy to find restaurants and bars that have evolved past the Red Bull and vodka drinks.

But, in the heart of two religious epicenters, craft cocktails are just starting to make a place for themselves. Both Jerusalem and Istanbul have a drinking culture. There are bars and clubs for the 20-something crowd. They drink beer, wine (locally produced in both countries), whiskey and of course, overly sweet mojitos, cosmos and Red Bull and vodka. But, as the 20-somethings become more sophisticated 30- and 40-somethings, where can they go to enjoy a drink? Gatsby, Jerusalem’s very first craft cocktail bar, and Alex’s Bar, Istanbul’s only craft cocktail bar, are the answers.

Read the complete story at the Napa Valley Register.