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Wolfgang Mayer about a bar at its best

«I want to be able to look at the bottles on the shelves. To me, that’s a bit like sightseeing.»

It was love at first sight for Wolfgang Mayer. «When I came here as a guest for the first time more than ten years ago, I knew right away that this was where I wanted to work,» the Widder Hotel bar manager explains. One and a half years later, he managed to land his dream job. It must have been fate somehow; Mayer loves the conversations he gets to have with guests, his work with exclusive drinks, and jazz. «I have played the trumpet for many years, and I knew, of course, that the Widder Bar regularly hosted outstanding live concerts,» he recalls. «Today, I cannot imagine this bar without its shiny piano.»

Wolfgang Mayer feels completely in his element when there is music playing in the background and ice cubes are dancing in the bar’s cocktail shakers. «You drink with your ears first! Sounds are as important to a place like ours as lighting – or expertly created drinks. People should not have to shout at each other if they would like to have a conversation. I think that is very important.» What else does he appreciate in a bar? «Enough seats directly at the bar,» he says without hesitation. «I want to be able to look at the bottles on the shelves.

To me, that’s a bit like sightseeing.» The Widder Hotel bar offers more sights than most others: Its shelves hold more than 1200 spirits, more than half of them whiskies. To put it in football terms: A bar playing in the Champions League.

Wolfgang Mayers recommendation for an evening in Zürich

«The Rosso restaurant near Hardbrücke station probably makes the best pizzas in town. Guests enjoy them sitting in an old warehouse with large windows and a view of the train tracks and lights of the old industrial quarter.

The ideal place for a nightcap is Bar 63 (Kreis 4). The owner creates his own rum editions.»

The “PSI” – Widder Bar’s signature cocktail

  • 3 cl Amontillado Sherry
  • 3 cl Antica Formula (red vermouth)
  • 1 cl Rose’s lime juice
  • 0.2 cl orange flower water

The Widder Bar serves the stirred drink in a tumbler and with an oversize ice cube.

words by Alex Kühn

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