Nine of the best cocktail bars in Europe
Europe is home to some of the best cocktail bars in the world. For the Month of N, we're highlighting nine you'll want to visit for a nightcap (or two).
7 min read
Europe is a cultural melting pot where the world’s best and the brightest come to eat—and drink. Which means that it boasts some of the best cocktail bars in the world. Mixologists across the continent are constantly pushing the boundaries of what’s possible within the confines of your glass—and sometimes beyond.
So, next time you’re planning a European adventure, a visit to one of the nine best cocktail bars on our list is an absolute must.
Where you’ll find it: Florence, Italy
Signature cocktail: The Sukiyaki Western, a heady, powerful concoction of Nikka Coffey Grain whiskey, lemon juice, azuki syrup, and teriyaki sauce.
If you’re on the hunt for the most mysterious bar in Florence, Rasputin never fails to please. It's nestled behind a chapel-like door in the beautiful Santo Spirito quarter, and you’ll need to ring a nondescript bell to enter. Once the peephole opens and you're deemed fit to pass, you'll be directed toward a secret staircase. At the bottom, prepare to be transported into a decadent, speakeasy-inspired bar from the 1920s. The only thing more impressive than the period-appropriate ambiance? The cocktail selection.
The menu consists of a few signature drinks and some reinterpretations of the classics. If you’re a whiskey fan, you’re in luck. The back bar has a great selection of whiskeys, many of which are used in their cocktails.
Where you’ll find it: Paris, France
Signature cocktail: Select from one of the bar’s rotating menu of four signature cocktails to guarantee a taste of the unexpected.
Tucked away on a sleepy side street in the 17th arrondissement, UC61 is one of the best-kept secrets of Paris. However, if you don’t know it’s there, the bar's metallic facade can be easy to miss. It's small and discrete, and you’ll need to ring a buzzer to enter. Once inside, you’ll discover you’ve walked into the belly of a gorgeously lit submarine-turned-cocktail bar.
With its nautical speakeasy vibes and impressive list of signature and classic cocktails starting at around €13, UC61 is both affordable and fun. Plus, if you can’t find what you’re looking for on their curated menu, the staff will make cocktails to order. While a German submarine may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think about unwinding with a delicious drink, UC61 proves that submarine-chic can be surprisingly cozy.
3. Baba au Rum
Where you’ll find it: Athens, Greece
Signature cocktail: The Baba au Rum Cocktail, which is often referred to as an "umami daiquiri." Made using Barcelo Imperial rum from the Dominican Republic, sweet sherry, oak, lime, vanilla, and basil, this signature cocktail is sure to make a lasting impression on your tastebuds.
One of the first bars of its kind in the city, Baba au Rum is at the center of Athens’ growing cocktail scene. While rum is undoubtedly Baba au Rum’s most cherished spirit, they offer a variety of stunning cocktails using inventive ingredients. Plus, nearly all the herbs and botanicals used in their concoctions are homegrown, giving their drinks an authentic and tasty twist. Its fun, playful interior matches the vibrant creations you’ll find on the menu—and with over fifty different rums to choose from, it’s truly a rum-lover's paradise.
Where you’ll find it: Bucharest, Romania
Signature cocktail: Take your pick. Choose a drink from a rotating menu that highlights seasonal, local ingredients.
Bucharest’s first "botanical bar," FIX uses a blend of Eastern European and locally sourced ingredients to craft a vibrant cocktail menu. Because the drink selection is based on what's in season, the small menu changes frequently. This means you can enjoy the complex flavor profile of these carefully concocted drinks at their absolute best.
FIX is located in a former printing house known as the Universul building. The bar’s interior showcases an impressive display of plants that are stunningly illuminated—creating a warm, natural atmosphere perfect for cocktail drinking.
5. Thief Bar
Where you’ll find it: Oslo, Norway
Signature cocktail: Choose anything from the most recent signature cocktail menu. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.
The stunning Thief Bar is located inside Oslo’s trendy Thief Hotel, which is popular with creatives, digital nomads, and jet-setters alike. However, even within its stunningly opulent and playful setting, it’s the inventive cocktail menu that takes centerstage. Each drink has a unique story to tell. In the past, the menu has been inspired by artworks from the Astrup Fernley Museum of Modern Art. Movies are another popular motif, as past drinks have borrowed their names from films like Inception, Ocean's 12, and Seven Years In Tibet.
No matter which cocktail you choose (perhaps you’ll try more than one), the award-winning bartenders will make sure your experience at Thief Bar is absolutely unforgettable.
6. The Black Lodge
Where you’ll find it: Berlin, Germany
Signature cocktail: A classic old fashioned.
The Black Lodge is a must for all Twin Peaks fans. What it may lack in cutting-edge artisanal cocktail design, it makes up for in novelty and ambiance. Decked out in luscious red-velvet curtains, black-and-white zigzag flooring, and a hidden room playing Twin Peaks on repeat, the Black Lodge will transport you to a world in which the owls are not what they seem.
However, in true Lynchian form, the bar is difficult to find. The location lacks signage, aside from a small business card pinned to a bulletin board outside. But rest assured, if you’re standing in front of the black door on Sanderstraße 6, you’re in the right place.
7. Mercy Brown
Where you’ll find it: Krakow, Poland
Signature cocktail: Blood, Sand, and Surfing, made from Havana Anejo Especial, MB cherry vodka, lime juice, pickled orange, and angostura bitters.
A speakeasy-style bar in Krakow with an incredibly inventive entrance (hint: enter the Smakołyki restaurant and ask to see the wardrobe), Mercy Brown has established itself as one of the best cocktail bars in Europe—if not the world. Adorned with chandeliers, velvet drapes, and plush seats, this bar might give you the feeling that you’ve traveled back in time. But the cocktail menu is anything but old-fashioned (fear not: they offer those, too).
If you can, try to snag a spot at the bar. Here, you’ll get a front-row seat to watch the talented bartenders create their drinks. Make sure you also have a good view of the stage, as Mercy Brown is famous for its burlesque shows and jazz nights.
8. The Gate
Where you’ll find it: Glasgow, UK
Signature cocktail: The Block Party, a magical combination of gin, homemade rhubarb syrup, bitters, citrus, and elderflower fizz.
Referring to itself as a "modern Scottish pub," Glasgow’s The Gate is adored by locals and tourists alike. Located opposite the Barrowland Ballroom, an iconic music venue, The Gate is a spacious but cozy bar right in the heart of the city.
In true Scottish style, all drinks are treated equally—from complex cocktails to local beer from the tap. Boasting over 160 whiskies and 30 gins, many of which are Scottish, The Gate’s cocktails offer a true taste of contemporary Scotland. With a menu of six signature cocktails that change every six weeks, you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by the selection no matter when you visit.
Where you’ll find it: Barcelona, Spain
Signature cocktail: Paradiso’s signature drink is the Super Cool Martini, made by mixing brown sugar, Mancino vermouth, mustard seeds, Beefeater 24 gin, fresh fennel, and oregano. For the stunning finishing touch, they add water to the mix that’s been kept in a Supercooling Magic machine, creating a mini iceberg in your cup right before your eyes.
Hidden behind a pastrami shop a short walk from the sea, Paradiso boasts a stunningly lit back bar and a strikingly modern yet cozy interior. Here, cocktails are all part of a grand performance. Each is served with an elaborate speech from the bar staff explaining how the ingredients and flavors combine and why they were selected. Every drink is a visual spectacle that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible inside a cocktail glass. With multiple awards to their name, Paradiso is leading the pack when it comes to innovative cocktail design. It’s an absolute must-visit the next time you’re in Barcelona.
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