The drinks here are conjured up with special aromas and exotic spices in a way that you hardly ever see in Cologne. Shortly after arriving, guests are presented with salty snacks and every cocktail comes with a glass of water. While gin, whiskey and rum are found in many of the concoctions, arrack – a distillate of fermented plant juices of date palm, sugar palm or coconut palms that is also known as “toddy” or “palm wine” – is the spirit of choice at Toddy Tapper. The menu features classics such as the Ceylon Mule and the strong Amrita with Indian whiskey and arrack, spices from Ceylon and a creamy, salty finish. A fresher tasting alternative is the Paddy Mule, with pineapple, fresh notes of kaffir lime leaves, lemon and, of course, arrack.
Outdoor seating, Schillingstr. 27
Exuding an air of cool chic, this stylish cocktail bar serves up drinks with a fresh and seasonal focus. All their own creations, they are named after the local neighbourhood. The Flora Highball comes with a generous helping of gin, elderflower and a clear aroma of violets, while the addition of lemon, soda and cucumber garnish make it a colourful and refreshing option. The classic Rum Daiquiri is zesty and very dry. Named after the Agnesviertel quarter in which the bar is situated, the Schwester Agnes (Sister Agnes) cocktail is made with two different types of rum, earthy spiced berries and a fancy espuma topping. There are plenty of enticing non-alcoholic drinks to choose from as well. And the bar also offers gin tastings, cocktail courses and bottled cocktail creations that you can enjoy at home.
Outdoor seating, Sudermanplatz 3
The first thing you’ll notice once you set foot inside is that the light from the outside world is kept out by the thick curtains. Once your eyes have adjusted, there is nothing else to distract you from the drinks served here. With its apple espuma and popping candy, the Mojo – a twist on a mojito – is a really fun cocktail. However, the drink itself is prepared with precise attention to detail. The same can be said of the Maybach Club Fizz, served in a kind of Asian takeaway box with candyfloss that looks like noodles. With calvados, lemon, fig jam and a splash of soda, it’s a winning combo. Or if you want to take things up a notch, you can try a Senf Simone (Mustard Simone), a tangy, sweet ‘n’ sour creation based on tequila with pureed forest berries, sweet mustard, lime and agave syrup.
From simple classics to innovative cocktails made from self-produced ingredients, this bar is ideally equipped to quench the thirst of discerning guests in the heart of the Belgian quarter. Even with highballs and long drinks with gin and mixers – like the Raspberry Ginger Collins –there are a whole host of aromas to be discovered, such as raspberry, lemon and cardamom with balsamic vanilla. Cinema Cocktail is a fun creation with a highly original decoration: the combination of popcorn and bourbon with lemony notes is nothing short of glorious. The Ducktail, a light gin soda with lemon and elderberry aromas, takes presentation to new heights in a miniature bathtub complete with rubber duckie and espuma! The bar also sells bottled drinks – perfect as a gift for friends or an indulgent night in.
Outdoor seating, Maastrichter Str. 20
It’s never easy to choose a drink from the menu here since all the recipes sound so intriguing. The Bloody Maria with agave tequila, premium tomato juice and parmesan chip is pleasantly tangy and spicy. El Caracol is based on Chilean Pisco brandy and white tea, the raspberry dust on the outside of the glass providing a fruity bouquet. Powerful notes of aquavit are mixed with cold brew and cocktail bitters and rounded off with vermouth rosé. And the bittersweet taste of the Nordic Oil concoction complements its delicate hint of caraway. Not only are the drinks here mixed to perfection, but they all come with a twist as well. However, it’s not only the cocktails that set this bar apart: as well as the attentive service and upscale furnishings, the music in this lounge ranges from Motown to electro.
Outdoor lounge, Friesenstr. 62
(by Texts by Marco Kramer)