An American bar in Vienna

16 Aug

Even the Amerikan-bar in the centre of the Kaisergarten (in charge of no less a celebrity than Herr Pohnstingl!) will not offer the tourist the hospitality he hopes to find. He will find neither Americans nor American drinks. The cocktail – that boon to all refined palates, when mixed with artistry and true poetic feeling – circulates incognito at Herr Pohnstingl’s. Such febrifuges as masquerade under that name are barely recognisable to genuine connoisseurs, by Rabelaises of sensitive esophagi, by true lovers of subtly concocted gin and vermouth and bitters. But the Viennese, soggy with acid beer, his throat astringentized by strong coffee, knows not the difference. And so the Amerikan-bar flourishes.

— HL Mencken, George Jean Nathan and Willard Huntington Wright, Europe after 8:15 (New York: Bell and Cockburn, 1914), pp. 53-4.

Not, it should be pointed out, the famous bar designed by Alfred Loos.


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