About Susan L. Schwartz

When I was 13, I saw Venice for the first time and immediately fell in love with La Serenissima, thus I knew then and there that my stay at home days were over. It was always a dream to see the whole world, I am making that happen. With a well-worn copy of Freya Stark’s autobiography in my back pocket, I have set out to bring you the Best Bits this world had to offer.

How to make herbs work in a cocktail

The political revolution in Romania may have gone down in 1989, but our guest today is quietly starting one of his own. Heading down to his bar, Fix Me A Drink, don’t expect a menu of 300 drinks. Each one of Alex Ciomârtan’s cocktails is a masterwork of ingenuity. Drawing not only on his studies in Western Herbal Medicine, Alex brings nostalgia, history and passion to each and every drink.

After years of living in London studying, as well as drinking in the city’s greatest bars, Alex felt it was time to come home. He is one of very few mixologists, if not the only, in a city filled with bars that knows sometimes cinnamon is not just cinnamon. Depending on its terroir, even a small […]

July 18th, 2017|Best Sips Worldwide|0 Comments

How to make a gin change color right in front of you

Just a few days in Four Seasons Fairways and you feel like you have been coming for years. Our guests today all have that special quality in a bartender – making you feel welcome even before you order your first cocktail. Rui Pereira, Victoria Murphy, and Nuno Fonseca found their way to Quinta do Lago and, thankfully for us, are set to stay!

Rui’s face changed when talking about gin, Vicky couldn’t wait to make me her Caipirão and Nuno beamed when describing how he loved it so much here that, even when he left to try something else, he was drawn back. Still a homely place does not always equal great cocktails.

A resort usually cranks out jugs of Harvey Wallbangers and Frozen Daiquiris with […]

July 11th, 2017|Best Sips Worldwide|0 Comments

A Bit of Portugal: Four Seasons Fairways in luxurious Quinta do Lago

Everyone throughout history has wanted the Algarve – from the Phoenicians to the Romans, the Visigoths, the Moors, the Spanish up to the modern day slicer, aka golfer!

In my opinion, there are three reasons why this tiny bit of the world was so attractive. Geography is one! The Southern most region of Portugal’s coastline is almost entirely accessible. The climate – how can you beat an average of 25 C or 77 F in winter?

The last reason has to be Four Seasons Fairways, one of my Bits of Perfection. For those who came to Quinta do Lago before it was open, you had the misfortune to have to stay somewhere else, but we who live now get to stay here, and often!

During my short stay, I began […]

July 7th, 2017|Destinations, Portugal, Quinta Do Lago|2 Comments

How to celebrate Independence Day just right!

It’s tough to imagine our next guest going to work in tails and pinstripe trousers at Fortnum & Mason in their Wine and Spirits department, and on his gap year no less. Now, in his new role as Global Brand Ambassador for Woodford Reserve Bourbon, Tom Vernon can be a bit more casually dressed. Of course, when he’s rustling up a few Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby every year, his glad rags emerge!

Tom is no stranger to Woodford Reserve, he’s been their UK Brand Ambassador for five years. Now as Global Brand Ambassador, his playing field has grown bigger. For someone whose first cocktail was a Manhattan, this job is a dream.

With Declan McGurk, now Bar Manager of the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar, as […]

July 4th, 2017|Best Sips Worldwide|0 Comments

A Bit of Belgium: De Loop van Ghent – What to do on a Sunday in Ghent

Sundays are sacred in Ghent. Most of the shops are closed and students go home to have lunch with their parents. Still in a city as vibrant as this, of course, you don’t need shops or students to have a fantastic day and find loads to do on a Sunday in Ghent.

Unknowingly, the Cypriot and I discovered a great way to spend the day without any FOMO (fyi, a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the Fear Of Missing Out.) I don’t know how many of you read my post Le Loop de Paris. Read it. Then you will discover the walking tour that the Cypriot and I do when we only have one day in Paris. I believe we have now found […]

June 30th, 2017|Belgium, Destinations, Ghent|0 Comments

How to make your grandmother’s liqueur into a modern-day cocktail!

Jereon’s grandmother came up with a plan – keep making elderflower liqueur and no one in her family could stay away. Needless to say it worked, worked so well that her grandson took up the helm and made all of Belgium want it as well.

Little by little, RoomeR has grown from a small cottage industry, selling 200 bottles a month, to now producing over 100,000 bottles a year. Not only does it tastes delicious, but it couldn’t be prettier. Pure white elderflower petals dance around in the golden liqueur within its iconic, test-tube like bottle!

Jereon and his partner, Tine, have worked hard to make RoomeR a socially responsible workplace, employing those who might not be able to work otherwise. They are dedicated to making […]

June 27th, 2017|Best Sips Worldwide|0 Comments