Another week of work is done. Two blissful days off stretch ahead of you, brimming with possibilities. And right now you feel like a well-deserved drink. Cue five of our favourite bars from the winter guides (including one wildcard from a summery Sydney). So whether you want something carefully poured from a tap or finished with a flamed orange twist, pull up a stool and catch someone’s attention.
PARIS – Bar Demory – Craft beers
Named after the last brewery in Paris, which closed in the 1950s, Demory beer has been revived, though it is currently brewed in Germany. And it now has its own bar, a dark neon-lit space near the Centre Pompidou where artisanal beers are accompanied by homemade sausages. It’s only open in the evenings, but they’ve recently launched an adjoining grocery selling bottled beers and sausages. Favourite drink: the Pils-style Demory Astroblonde. www.demoryparis.com.
BERLIN – Geist im Glas – Themed drinks (pictured)
This living room-style hideaway is located in the trendy area between Kreuzberg and Neukölln, known locally as Kreuzkölln. The cocktails and other drinks are interesting (the garlic vodka tastes better than it sounds), the soundtrack is usually 1920s jazz and chansonand there are occasional food events (shepherd’s pie, tacos). The brick-walled back room, which has a raised wooden platform frequented by canoodling couples, is great for intimate winter chats. Favourite drink: try the Geist Russian (vodka infused with vanilla and cinnamon, Kahlua and cream). https://www.facebook.com/geistimglas.
ISTANBUL – Cezayir – Cosy
Winter was made for Cezayir. It’s like entering the rococo mansion of a wealthy Turkophile uncle. The cosy lounge is replete with Ottoman prints, smoke-stained walls and battered club chairs. In fact, the bar-restaurant started life as an Italian schoolhouse in 1901; art deco tiles and four-metre-high ceilings remain. The leather bar stools spin with Istanbul intelligentsia until 2am. Favourite drink: an ice-cold glass of aged Chardonnay from Sarafin, Turkey’s most sophisticated big name vintner. www.cezayir-istanbul.com.
SHANGHAI – Unico – Club
Sexy Latin beats, an intimate dancefloor and beautiful partygoers are the formula for hot winter nights here. The Bund-front Latin soul lounge is a gorgeous spot to gather around the marble island bar beneath giant lanterns and enjoy a fun menu of creative tapas and cocktails. Things heat up around midnight, when DJs and live musicians set the dancefloor ablaze with genre-crossing Latin and pop beats. Favourite drink: fire up the Latin spirit with one of Unico’s well-mixed cocktails, like the Maracuya Cayenne pisco sour. www.unico.cn.com.
SYDNEY – The Local Taphouse – Craft beers
Dark mahogany vintage loungers, rustic tables, birdcages and a dimly lit setting make this neighbourhood craft brewhouse a popular choice when an afternoon storm rolls in. When the sun is shining, its small roof terrace teems with beer drinkers exchanging notes on the Taphouse’s 20-plus range of craft beers. The venue regularly hosts parties, pop-up events and a free trivia night on Mondays. Favourite drink: the craft beer menu changes daily. The best way to sample what’s on offer is by ordering the tasting paddle, with five different tap beers of your choice. http://thelocal.com.au/.