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Issue 67 - Harry's great bar game

Whisky Magazine Issue 67
November 2007


This article is 10 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Harry's great bar game

Whisky Live Paris rekindles some fond memories for Dave,and sparks a few thoughts about pricing

Eating spaghetti with old whores in the cheapest restaurant we could find. Packing in sufficient fuel for the next round of wandering. Searching for a leather jacket in the flea market, scrawling orders on the table cloths, trying to be blasé about the great dazzling expanse of Paris. Carousing through the backstreets, staying in African hostels, we fenced with baguettes and lost our train fare home on a Dolly Parton pinball machine and the cheapest and largest bottle of red wine we could find, waking with teeth that taste of metal.

Eventually, as all drinkers do, I discovered Harry's. Over the years I worked up from beer to cocktails to whisky and back again. Sat there hoping that osmosis might filter through the wood and into the pen.

Now, after many years a return. The street smells of sardines, the neon is still red, the bartop softened by years of elbows. Order a daiquiri, let its sharpness bring some life back to a dulled palate. Think of Whisky Live Paris and how it used the extreme to underline whisky's quality. Not just the collector's items and rarities on every table, but how the cocktails had to be eaten rather than drunk, how the tea was a Pu-er vintage which smelled of a dunnage warehouse.

The extreme gives perspective, opens up new possibilities.

The mind goes back to Shiseido's black marble salon in the Palais-Royal where Serge Lutens' fragrances have taken perfume to its most intense and hallucinatory. Of how his Cuir Mauresque has a connection with the ...

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