Berlin: 5 cocktail bars for a (shaken, not stirred) night out

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Choices a-plenty at the Black Lodge in Berlin. Photo: Black Lodge
Choices a-plenty at the Black Lodge in Berlin. Photo: Black Lodge

By Molly Hannon in Berlin—

The cocktail renaissance is no gastro-fetish, but has become a lasting and lovable trend in cities around the world. Berlin is no exception and now the gritty capital, renowned for its vibrant nightlife, adds new verve to the art of mixology. With warmer weather in the forecast, spiked punch is a must this summer.

Here is our list of Berlin’s top five cocktail bars:

Neue Odessa
Torstraße 89
10119 Berlin
+49 171 839 8991

Torstraße is the place to be and to be seen. The popular Mitte strip boasts some exceptional fine and dines, wine bars, design shops, and grungy dive bars. However, if you crave a stronger and fancier pour, then head to Neue Odessa, one of Mitte’s poshest watering holes. From sleepy Sunday evenings to rowdy Friday nights, Odessa is always packed with Berliners—all thirsty for eye-opening libations and a slice of Berlin nightlife.

The venue attracts an eclectic crowd of Mitte locals, posh newcomers, curious tourists, and other members of Berlin’s stylish set. Odessa’s breathes new life in to common cocktails, such as popular, “Moscow Mule,” stamping them with its own unique flavor. Drinker beware: Odessa’s drinks are as beautiful as its clientele and as potent. Fortunately, the U-8 and a long line of cabs is waiting nearby.

Katz Orange
Bergstraße 22
Berlin 10115
+49 309 832 08430

Katz Orange is a newcomer to the Mitte gang. Opened in January 2012, it is the brainchild of founder and owner, Ludwig Cramer Klett. The restaurant-cum-bar sports all the right trappings of stylish Mitte dive, but also manages to maintain a laid-back aesthetic, which is part of its charm.

Head barkeep, Oliver who once shook and stirred at New York’s notorious Soho House, creates Katz’s crafty cocktail menu, whose funky names are just one aspect of their allure. Try the “Pearfect Martini,” a tantalizing mix of elderflower liqueur, Kettle one vodka infused with you guessed it, pear. Or try a “Grape Me,” one of Katz’s most popular drinks composed of Pisco, elderflower liqueur, fresh lemon juice, mint, basil, and white grapes. Both are refreshing and not to mention, dangerously drinkable.

And if you start to feel peckish, no need to stuff your face with a döner or currywurst, since Katz’s kitchen dishes out some fine food. Tucked off Invalidenstraße, Katz also boasts a spacious patio, perfect for summer imbibing.

The Black Lodge
Sanderstraße 6
12047 berlin
+49 306 165 5735

Twin Peaks fans don’t be fooled by the Black Lodge. This nascent watering hole, located in Kreuzkölln, is no homage to David Lynch. Although its black and white tiled floor and plush velvet chairs hidden in the back evoke subtle elements of the popular noir TV series, classy cocktails are this lodge’s real trump card.

From the classics, such as the “Gin Fizz” to in-house iterations, such as the “Mexicana” and the “Fisu,” the Black Lodge has quickly become a popular spot for Kreuzköllln locals, all eager for a casual night of imbibing against the backdrop of good tunes and kitschy atmosphere.

Soju Bar
Skalitzer Straße 36
0999 Berlin
+49 030 4881 2460

The popular South Korean restaurant Kimchi Princess also boasts its own bar. Located off Görlitzer Bahnhof, Soju Bar, much like its princess sister exudes all the right elements of East Asian food culture. Customers will delight in its Eastern-inspired drink selection composed of imported Korean distilled liquors (known as “soju”), mixed with fresh-squeezed tropical juices, all guaranteed to rejuvenate pale-faced Berliners.

With DJs turning tables on the weekends and weekday nights, Soju bar positions itself as the perfect nightcap to your spicy meal next door.

Drayton
Behrenstr. 55
10117 Berlin
+49 030 680 730 473

Drayton is the latest installation of the Cookies Empire. And guess what, ole Cookie has done it again reviving and reinvigorating the better half of Berlin’s raucous nightlife. Much like the Club and the vegetarian-minded restaurant, Cookies Creme, Drayton takes an original and somewhat unconventional approach to the art of the cocktail, blending together a 1920’s speakeasy swagger with funky art deco decor.

Its cocktail list of sweet and sour bitters, and infused liqueurs position it as a potent go-to, paving the way for a night of first-rate boozing, and perhaps inspiring you to dance later on at Cookies’ Cage.

Also in our guide: If you’re looking for a cool, affordable place to rest after your night out, stop by our city guide to read our recommendations for the best budget hotels in Berlin. Our editors have inspected, photographed and reviewed the city’s most affordable lodgings and tell it like it is. Read more in our Berlin guide.

About the author

Molly Hannon is an American travel and culture writer based in Berlin. She has written for the New York Times, NPR, the DailyBeast, Gambero Rosso, TimeOutBerlin, and La Cucina Italiana. Read more of her writing on her Web site: http://mollyhannon.com/

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