Berlin! I’m often told that you either love it or you hate it. Perhaps Berlin is the Marmite of Europe, but when it comes to having a good time, you’ll hardly ever hear anyone complain.
The city is not just about start-ups and celebrated underground clubs, but it’s also full of interesting stories and constant surprises. Beer, wine and long drinks have been the usual choices during these warm summer days and endless nights at many of the open air locations. However, as we’re preparing to say our farewell to the summer fever in this city and approaching the cooler temperatures, let’s also say goodbye to drinks on-the-go and ask some professionals to whip up that perfect cure for our ‘Summertime Sadness’. I call them the Magicians Behind Bars.
I’ve visited just a few of my favourite spots in the city, where I was able to taste a blend of the summer countdown and the autumn takeoff in a most extravagant way.
Location - Schwarze Traube
A Bar with no Menu, but with a Question
Bartender: Atalay - the owner
1. 5 Senses
Description: There’s no surprise that Atalay, the owner of Schwarze Traube, surprised us with a special creation for Lime&Tonic. That’s what they do. Instead of handing you a menu and you ending up with the usual, they ask you ‘how you feel’. I can assure you that this time the question is quite genuine, because your feelings are the main ingredients to the cocktail. What Atalay gave us was the perfect remedy for a winter cold, so I’d highly recommend 5senses when you feel you need to give your metabolism a bit of a boost. The cocktail sure smells like the bittersweet end to the summer.
Ingredients: Gin, Fresh Lime Juice, Fresh Ginger, Homemade Tonic Syrup, Homemade Cane Sugar,
2. Rosemary Vespa
Description: Herbs add so much flavour to a drink, shaping it into something that is refreshing, clean and bright. You might usually go for a cocktail with fresh mint, but I’d recommend you try something more fragrant yet subtle for the new season.
Be careful, because the drink looks very innocent at a first glance, but once you have your first sip you’ll realise that it’s quite powerful and needs to be accompanied with some appetisers. Rosemary lends itself well to both savory and sweet pairings, so it is usually served with dates and nuts. Enjoy this extravagant cocktail at this very cozy and personal hidden gem of the city.
Ingredients: Self-infused rosemary and thyme Vodka, Gin, White Vermouth, Cardamom Bitters, Cucumber, Pepper
(Try their Secret Surprise Cocktail ‘Forest Hunter’)
Location - 25h Bikini Hotel - Monkey Bar
Berlin’s Jungle with a wild view!
Bartender: Roger Breitenegger
Don The Beachcomber Mai Tai - Monkey Style - STRONG
Description: You’d expect to be somewhere on the beach while sipping on a cocktail from a real coconut, but if there’s no access to the beach then there’s the city jungle. Why not choose the extravagant route on a night out with friends on the top floor of the 25Hour Bikini Hotel. Be aware that you’ll be attracting a lot of attention and that you’ll have a lot of fingers pointing at you saying ‘I want that one!’. It’s a very strong blend, so you’ll be facing the ‘monkey’ for quite a duration of the night.
Ingredients: 2 Types of Rum (White & Dark), Orange Liqueur, Grapefruit Juice, Falernum, Arak, Angostura Bitters
Location - Reingold
The Old Speakeasy in the Modern Century
Bartender: David the Owner
1. Beetroot Swizzel
Description: This cocktail perfectly fits our theme of seasonal change and the fact that it’s very likely to be categorised as Marmite - you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. The autumn drink, poured in a glass dressed in paper, resembling the prohibition days of the 1920s, was a drink I instantly fell in love with. ‘You simply had me at beetroot’. The natural flavours of the beetroot and the apple juice, together with the powerful touch of whiskey makes you either want to watch Woody Allen’s ‘Midnight in Paris’ or sit next to a fireplace with the legendary Louis Armstrong playing in the background. If you prefer to be more social, then there’s something right up that alley and that’s the Reingold Bar.
Ingredients: Homemade beetroot puree, cloudy organic apple juice, salt, lime, whiskey
2. Smokey Old Fashioned
Description: If you’re a regular to the old fashioned, then make sure you order this special version. An old fashioned is already extravagant by itself, but when it has a floating block of ice with a strawberry in it, then I’d call it a highlight of the night. If you’re a lady who likes her whiskey, this pretty version will get you hooked.
Ingredients: vintage bourbon, peated single malt, maple syrup, chocolate & peychaud syrup, and strawberry ice
Location - Amano Bar
The After Work Escape
Bartender: Daniel & Roman
1. Bloomsberry Fizz
Description: When you ask for an extravagant cocktail you don’t just expect it to taste fantastic but you’d like it to look quite fabulous too. At the Amano Bar, where presentation is of utmost importance, the creation of the tricolor cocktail is what you’d expect to get served. The 3 different layers stacked beautifully on top of each other, as well as the fresh scent of basil leaves and the whipped up egg yolks, will take you right back to the summer celebrations. Don’t miss out on Amano’s Rooftop Bar while the weather’s still on our side.
Ingredients: Gin, Lime Juice, Sugar, Fresh Basil, Egg Whites, Soda, Port Wine
2. Thai Massage
Description: For those who like to Spice Up their Night, this is the cocktail to order. It’s a truly beautiful experience of different tastes. It’s a battle field, where spiciness and sweetness compete. You get the kick from the chillies and ginger, the sweet taste from the honey and syrup, the overall balance from the lime juice and that happy ending from the vanilla essence. It’s a perfect drink for a refreshing afternoon but gets your blood boiling for the cooler days of autumn.
Ingredients: Gin infused with fresh Ginger and Lemongrass, Homemade honey chilli syrup, homemade vanilla syrup, fresh lime juice, a whole chili for decoration