10 Parisian temples to the art of the cocktail
Comfortable speakeasies, cosy armchairs, intimate atmosphere, delicious drinks… Cocktail bars are the perfect setting for exhilarating evenings sheltered from the cold. Paris Region gives you a selection… Off the record!
Tucked on the 19th floor of the Mélia Paris La Défense hotel, the Skyline Lounge & Bar is the unmissable night spot in western Paris. Its breathtaking terrace with views over Paris and the Eiffel Tower provides a chic and intimate setting, perfectly matched by its elegant cocktail and tapas menu.
153 shades of chic
Three rooms: triple the fun! Such is the maxim of the uber-hip 153, set a stone's throw from the Centre Pompidou in the Marais. Let yourself be tempted into the jazzy Boudoir by their cheeky cocktails – including the "Badass" and the "Coin G" (a pun on the French for G-spot and quince, or "coing") – before titillating your taste buds in the Cantine or adventuring into the Cave Mystérieuse…
Tucked amid the 500 slot machines at the Enghien-les-Bains casino, just north of Paris, the fluorescent dome of Pearl's Bar provides a welcome lighthouse for players looking to take a break! Open all day, the bar serves tempting cocktails, like Peace & Love and Sex on the Beach, as well as an impressive list of whiskies and light snacks.
The shaker master
For more than a decade, the Experimental Cocktail Club, tucked down a side street in the Montorgueil neighbourhood, has been the uncontested leader of the Paris mixology movement. As you draw back the red curtain at the entrance, you'll find Chesterfield sofas, a beautiful wooden bar and, above all, exquisite craft cocktails that combine infused spirits, fresh juices and unusual spices.
A New York-style speakeasy
With no sign outside, the discreet Little Red Door has managed to create a cosy corner of New York right in the heart of the Marais. On the menu you'll find cocktails inspired by architectural trends: Modernism combines gin and champagne, while Art Nouveau sparkles with fermented dates and violet tea. Take your pick!
The Bluebird – the name inspired by a Charles Bukowski poem – is a gin lover's paradise. Located between Bastille and Nation, here you can taste up to 30 different cocktails, from revisited classics to offbeat new creations – all shaken and stirred in the hipster-chic atmosphere of a 1950s Californian bungalow.
The Café Moderne, with its hip and retro décor, walls covered in comics and stunning glass roof, provides an edgy watering hole in the heart of Bastille.
Take your pick from more than a dozen house cocktails, served in unusual glasses, like the Nothing But a Gin Thang served in a glass resembling an egg shell.
Looking for all the world like a low-key Mexican taco shop, Candelaria is actually home to one of the Marais's best-kept secrets: at the back of the restaurant, behind the staff door, is a dimly lit, hidden bar, where the tastes of Mexico are ready to explode in your glass!
Be warned: its star cocktail, the peppery Guêpe Verte (Green Wasp), is aptly named…
The mythic Bar Hemingway at the Ritz, a second home to the writer who inspired its name, reopened in 2016 after the hotel underwent a four-year renovation. Cocktail aficionados flock here to taste the creations of Colin Field, three-time winner of the Best Bartender in the World title.
Call of the sea
Upholstered in wood and leather and dotted with sea-blue notes, CopperBay evokes the deck of a luxurious yacht. Drop anchor here to discover the astonishing Chesnut cocktail, the exotic Tod's Revenge, laced with Shiitake syrup, and the unexpected, savoury lentil Bouillon.
Shake it up
Looking to handle your shaker like a pro? Make for the European Bartender School, in Montreuil, the Paris reference for bar training.
After an initiation class to learn the basic skills, take off to the specialist mixology store Oogy Wawa, located in the 15th arrondissement, to stock up on equipment.
- Copyright image: Aldo-Pared