When I was assigned to write a profile of Istanbul’s cocktail culture and its foremost figure, Alex Waldman, over a year ago, the city was utterly different than it is today. Before the Gezi Park Protests, a piece pontificating on the virtues of nigella seed syrup and lamenting the dearth of Sherry in Turkey had its place. But in the wake of violent clashes between citizens and an increasingly oppressive pseudo-moral regime, the government has amped up its anti-alcohol rhetoric and regulation, placing livelihoods, not to mention commercial and recreational freedoms, at risk. The future of a city’s drinking culture and its participants hangs in the balance. Read my report for Punch here. And be sure to support Alex on your next trip to Istanbul. His bar is located on Gönül Sokak (just of İstiklal Caddesi) in Beyoğlu’s Asmalımescit district.