Robert Simonson

Contributing Editor

Robert Simonson writes about cocktails, spirits and bars for the New York Times. He is the author of The Old-Fashioned: The Story of the World's First Classic Cocktail (2014) and A Proper Drink (September 2016).

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Does a Bar Have to Go Global to Stay Relevant?

The pop-up cocktail bar has gone from occasional incident to top-tier requisite. Robert Simonson on the roots of this trend—and why it shows no sign of slowing.

Bar Review: Revisiting Boston’s Trailblazing ‘Drink’

In the latest “Bar Review,” Robert Simonson takes a fresh look at Boston’s pioneering bar, Drink, nearly a decade into service.

Shaken, Up and … on an Ice Cube?

In recent years, some of the world’s leading bars have debuted a new breed of drink—the up-rocks drink.

Bar Review: The Petraske School Evolves

In Robert Simonson’s “Bar Review,” he offers a look at some of today’s most notable new venues. Here, he considers the loosened sense of formality at LA’s Bar Clacson and Brooklyn’s Diamond Reef.

Let Me Tell You the Rules: Lessons from Harry’s Bar

Famed for being the birthplace of the Bellini, Harry’s Bar in Venice has developed an ethos all its own.

When Did Cocktail Menu Debuts Become News?

At some of today’s most highly regarded bars, a new menu is no longer just a list of drinks.

In Search of the Ultimate Martini

We asked 27 of today’s top bartenders to submit their finest recipe for the Martini—then blind-tasted them all to find the best of the best. Robert Simonson on the search for the perfect take on the classic, and what we learned about the drink along the way.

In Search of the Ultimate Manhattan

We asked 17 of America’s best bartenders to submit their finest recipe for the Manhattan—then blind-tasted them all to find the best of the best. Robert Simonson on the search for the ideal Manhattan, and what we learned about the drink along the way.

Inside the Bars That Kicked Off San Francisco’s Cocktail Renaissance

Most of the bars that sparked San Francisco’s cocktail renaissance still remain as relevant as ever. Here, Robert Simonson and Kelly Puleio go on a tour of the places—and drinks—that started it all.

How Do Bartenders Select Their Spirits?

Amidst today’s ever-expanding spirits landscape, how do bartenders go about selecting that one perfect brand for each drink?