In good spirits: Ritz-Carlton bar manager Peggy Knuth on perfect drinks

Today, America celebrates »National Cocktail Day«. We'll just join in the toast. The only question is... with which drink? We asked Peggy Knuth, bar manager at the Ritz-Carlton Berlin, that and more. Practical: tips against the hangover afterwards. And that from us.
Text Iris Soltau & Marko Knab
Photo Bjarne Vijfvinkel /

What are some typical beginner mistakes while mixing a drink?
Before you start mixing, you should have everything ready to use. If you have to go and gather the ingredients in the middle of making the drink, the whole thing will get all watered down before you’re done. It’s also difficult to work without a jigger. Many drinks have to be mixed precisely according to recipe in order to maintain the right balance of ingredients. Three drops too little or too much can sometimes ruin an entire drink. Free pouring is something really only professionals should do.

Is there a drink where you really can’t go wrong?
The classic gin and tonic is quick to make and always a hit, and light and spritzy versions make for a good aperitif. A perfect martini, on the other hand, takes a bit more skill to keep it properly cold while stirring without watering it down. You also need a mixing glass and classic martini glasses. A good whiskey, gin, rum or vodka sour also require a bit of experience.

If you could only have one drink for the rest of your life, what would it be?
They don’t call me Champeggy for nothing. I love champagne and red wine. And I’m also always up for a good margarita.

Peggy Knuth is the bar manager of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Berlin.
She has already won international awards, including at the China Wine & Spirits Awards, the renowned IWSC in London or the World Spirits Awards. She has been managing the bar at the renowned hotel in Berlin since 2020.

Too much alcohol?

Three useful tips against hangovers

1. Stay salty
In the Middle Ages, salt was sometimes more valuable than gold. It's the same with a hangover: after a bar night and the body's water and salt balance has been thrown out of kilter, it's a good idea to have a breakfast with the mineral. Lightly salty snacks in the evening work wonders, just like a warm glass of water with a dash of table salt before going to bed.

2. A fresh breeze
Exercise in the fresh air as a hangover antidote is probably as old as the hangover itself. Oxygen and exercise get the circulation going again and speed up the breakdown of any harmful substances still in the body.

3. A recipe for an anti-hangover smoothie
An avocado, a banana and a kiwi are peeled and halved, mixed with a squeezed lemon and washed mint. Now add half a can of coconut milk, a tablespoon of almond paste, a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of chia seeds and 200 ml of water in a stand mixer. Simply mix everything - and magnesium, vitamins, sugar and water provide relief with many other healthy active ingredients.

Credit: Art Rachen /

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