As he prepares three of his favourite cocktails for MR PORTER, Mr Charles Schumann proclaims, "I am not a mixologist, I am a bartender." The straight-talking, straightforward founder of Schumann's bar in Munich, Germany, believes that when it comes to cocktail hour, keep it simple and elegant. "In a real cocktail bar, a man's outfit is very important," he says. "His clothes should be suitable for the evening. I've always said that I'd get to an age when I'd only wear suits, like Gianni Agnelli, and I've reached that age."
To recreate that elegant ambience - or at least its refreshments - at home, Mr Schumann, 70, maintains that "a couple of bottles of your favourite liquors are enough, but make sure they're premium quality. Gin and vodka allow you to make many different cocktails." His one rule for aspiring bartenders? "Never drink when you're behind the bar."
A veteran of the international institution that is Harry's Bar, Mr Schumann has been running his own establishment to much acclaim for more than 30 years. He even wrote a book, American Bar. So when is the proper cocktail hour? "The best hour is the blue hour - the hour after work finishes is the best time to have a cocktail, particularly after a really bad day or when you're with a very nice lady."
2oz English gin
A dash of Campari
A dash of Carpano Antica Formula
1 lime twist
Strain into a very cold Martini glass and add the lime twist.
¼oz lemon juice
¼ to ¾oz sugar syrup
1½oz white rum
¼oz dark rum
A slice of lime peel
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and add the lime peel.
¼oz Six Grapes port
¼oz Schumann's Port (Niepoort port - late bottled vintage 1996)
A dash of orange bitter
1tsp powdered sugar
and pour them into a champagne flute.
Slowly pour in the champagne to fill the flute.