Saturday hangover? Then I’ve got a great idea. You could spend the day hiding under the bed sheets, but unless it’s with that pair of strippers you met last night then I’d recommend against it. Instead, get yourself back in the game and out on the town. There is nothing more noble than the act of hair of the dog, and where better to enjoy such remedy than in the place that scooped the top cocktails prize at our Best of Warsaw awards last December. Who’s that, you ask? Secado…
Looking back at our awards, I’d say they went pretty much to form with all the expected favorites romping home with gongs. Perhaps the only surprise was Secado, a newbie in a category that’s been pretty open ever since Warsaw’s most famed cocktail maestro, Danny Undhammar (Porto Praga, Essence), departed this city. But while Secado might be unfamiliar, and might have been a wild card, make no mistake, here’s a place that demands a visit.
Occupying a corner tenement, Secado eschew something of an easy charm – while you wouldn’t call it a cocktail bar in the organic sense of the word, there’s something here that’s got people buzzing. Most part restaurant, bit part bar, there’s a flexibility here that has turned it into one of those places where people meet, eat and generally hangout – not always in that order. And as for the drinks, they’re really very good.
Using their own mixes, Secado present a succinct list of must-try cocktails. Short enough not to bewilder people, but long enough to maintain interest, the cocktail menu strikes a perfect balance between classics and house specials. Of the former, the Old Fashioned is an exquisite blend of bourbon, cane sugar and a spray of Angostura. Served in a chilled tumbler with a heavy fist of ice, it’s a top sip and a simple example of bar tending done right.
Yet it is the house specials that people really talk about, in particular, their best seller: the Bloody Hell. Using Chopin vodka infused with horse radish, pirri pirri and basil, this pimped out version of the Bloody Mary incorporates chili syrup and wasabi into a high octane drink that bites like a wolf.
In truth though, we’ve yet to find a drink that doesn’t hit the spot – from the Black and Chili (vodka, strawberry mousse, balsamic, chili syrup, mint, lemon juice), to the Concombrechili (vodka, passion fruit mousse, cucumber, chili syrup), it all tastes so good. And cocktails aside, further praise is reserved for highly decent food, the Grimbergen beer, a hilarious toilet, and a smoking room that’s been properly ventilated – no need to hand your clothes to a tramp after a night spent in there. If there’s something we don’t like about Secado, then we’ve yet to find it.
(Words & Photos: Alex Webber)
Secado ul. Marszałkowska 66, facebook