Warsaw’s cocktail scene has traditionally been defined by its plagiaristic tendencies – in its early days, it was compulsory to look like a slick first class airport lounge; more recently, we went through the whole tedium of the speakeasy fad. Now, though, it’s about individuality. Join us to sip inside the places that have truly broken virgin ground…
Inspired by The Jetsons, the moon landings and the atom, Paloma Inn is a groovy blast of lunar lines, pea green colors and furnishings and fittings that are retro-futuristic. The experience is compounded by easy listening muzak, 70s menu faves like fondue and mega fun cocktails like the Green Bubble (melon liquor, cognac, tarragon, lemon juice and fizzy water).
Va Bene Cicchetti
Rich in golds and operatic reds, the stylish Venetian theme includes table legs painted in gondola stripes and a signature mural made from mirrored shards. Drinks are works of art. Tailored around Italian ingredients, these number six interpretations of negroni and a concise roll-call of Prosecco and Martini-based drinks. The speed with which they’re fixed belie the quality at play.
Black and white photos referencing the history of this former gentleman’s atelier gaze from the walls onto an interior heaving with brass, terrazzo and blue velvet finishes. A café by day, come evening Zaremba moves into cocktail territory with craft ingredients resulting in drinks like the Hemingway (Maraschino, house-made clarified grapefruit juice, coconut sugar and Zaremba’s own rum blend).
Finding a smaller bar would probably require a magnifying glass; tiny as it is, Aura’s Moroccan-style design is mysterious and engaging – promoting the heavy use of swivelly chrome stools and Persian rugs, the heavy hint of retro glam is balanced out by a crowd that strays into the head turning category. Making them a real one-off is an exhaustive collection of bourbons.
Lane’s Gin Bar
Krakowskie Przedmieście 42/44
For something ginspirational hit Lane’s, a premium cocktail bar nestled on the ground floor of the Bristol Hotel. Having mixed for the likes of DiCaprio and Madonna, the bar chief’s pedigree skills aren’t to be questioned. The menu includes a foxtrot through the world’s finest small batch gins and is enjoyed in a floaty ambience of peachy-pink colors, brass, glass, stone and satin – for something In The Know, ask for a cocktail from their semi-secret recipe book penned by regulars.
Sakebar by Nobu
Filled with light during the day, come dusk the curtains sweep shut to close guests off from the outside world. Sensual fragrances waft around, complementing a luxury menu touting bottles of craft sake that peak at PLN 3,000. Fixed by immaculate staff, cocktails are also prominent and include the refreshingly aromatic Summertime Sadness.