It took me a while to enjoy O'Clock. The first two visits were disappointing but as bartenders from other places kept saying Carlos Moreno was a great mixologist, I visited a third time and realised my issues were (in some ways) personal. I prefer drier libations and Carlos Moreno has a sweet tooth. Most of his creations seem to involve marmelades, for example. See "Marmelade de Bourbon": Bourbon, Curaçao, Orange Juice, Bitter oranges marmelade. It was nice and balanced but it's not the sort of drinks that I really love. or "Love me tender": white rum, rose's lime, lavender syrup, cranberry juice. Enjoyable but... The best cocktail I've had there is called "Charleston" (I'm sure there are a lot of cocktails called Charleston): Rye, Kola Tonic, Chartreuse Elixir Vegetal, yellow berries marmelade. Now, this drink was truly fantastic and if you ever visit O'Clock, you need to try it.
Given that the place is huge and gets pretty busy on a saturday night, I wonder if there might be a consistency issue too. The team is top notch but still... the old-fashioned on my first visit was a huge disappointment, the one on the third was way better. How can I explain the difference?
Overall, it's a place that's definitely worth the visit but if you don't have a sweet tooth, make sure to let your bartender know...
Bottoms Up Havana Cocteles Ginger
Thanks for taking the time François to get to experience O'Clock and give it a chance. You definately raise a good point overall and remind us that there can often be a "flavor profile" associated with an establishment that may, or may not, work with everybody. Just as an absolutely fabulous vegetarian restaurant might not suit the tastes of a dedicated carnivore (or perhaps more importantly vice versa), the overall style of a particular bar/bartenders drinks may not be the cats meow to all drinkers. I think a bar with fabulous drinks of a particular style may not be a fabulous bar, if they can't adapt to the style of their customer.
Part of the issue I had was that the bar area was so busy that the first two times we were sat quite far and didn't get the time to engage that much with the staff. The third visit gave us more time to actually specify what we liked and what we didn't and it made a big change. Next time I'll go there, I'll try to get a stool at the bar and see how "adaptable" they are...