The most recent craze in Tel Aviv, cocktail bars, looks like it’s here to stay. The locals continue to explore outrageous concoctions, flavors and styles, as specialty bars and lounges pop up all over the city. We list the top spots for the most serious cocktails in town.
The latest addition to the local cocktail bar scene is Double Standard, a mixology shop by day and a craft cocktail spot by night. During the day, bartending aficionados can acquire professional tools for blending, shaking and stirring. The shop also offers high-quality barrel-aged bottled classics to take home, if you want to enjoy cocktail-bar standard Negronis or Vespers after you leave. For those who prefer to enjoy their drinks out on the town, the bar is open from 6pm and serves up some creatively bold fusions of sweet, sour, bitter and even spicy cocktails, made with unusual ingredients. If you’re serious about getting out of your cocktail comfort zone, try ‘The Charmer’, which blends red peppers, garlic and dill all in a surprisingly refreshing drink. This new spot also happens to secretly delight on the culinary level, with Cordon Bleu-trained Chef Ido Segev serving up delicacies, such as the unmissable bacon-stuffed calamari.
Mr. Bloom’s Bar is a pop-up bar located in the lounge of the Lily & Bloom Boutique Hotel. It’s open only on a few Tuesdays each month, making it one of the best-kept secrets in town usually only for connoisseurs. You have to follow the hotel on social media for the next happening, and each party is usually themed with matching DJs and a new signature cocktail. This classy hotel lobby, with its extravagant light fixtures and glass coffee tables, transforms into Mr. Bloom’s Bar, a sleek cocktail bar that specializes in Hennessey Cognac and Belvedere Vodka concoctions. Don’t miss the coffee-infused vodka cocktail topped with dark chocolate shavings.
Under the mainstream radar, BELLBOY surprises and delights in the boutique Hotel Berdicevsky lounge. With creative combinations and unexpected ingredients, including bacon vodka and grilled onion, this slightly more upscale cocktail bar is serious about drink presentation. With the quirky motto ‘do not feed the hippos’, don’t be surprised if the bartender serves your drink in a massive seashell. Give up on your usual inhibitions and try something uniquely refreshing and different.
223 was one of the first cocktail bars to kick off the trend in Tel Aviv. Whatever you feel like drinking, they’ve got it and will serve it up in great style. Strategically located on the busiest side of Dizengoff Street and a few minutes’ walk from the Tel Aviv Port, it makes for the perfect romantic spot, as well as a fun way to start off the night and continue onward to the endless nightlife options on Dizengoff.
At the Imperial Hotel, a stone’s-throw from the Mediterranean, the Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar turns the hotel’s lounge one of the most impressive drink spots in Tel Aviv. This cozy cocktail bar is renowned for specialty concoctions, precise mixology and ‘the best happy hour in the city’. The menu appears brief with seasonal drinks, but it’s all about what’s not written on it: the options are endless. The bartenders accurately suss out your taste in cocktails in order to tailor your drink. Drinks worth trying include The Spicy Indian and Bullet To The Head.
Channeling the joyous culture of New Orleans, French 57 specializes in craft cocktails, rich in flavor and loyal to the principles of traditional mixology. Blending French cuisine and an American touch, this discreet cocktail bar is tucked away on a residential side street, with inviting music to match and a relaxed dimly lit backyard. Aside from sipping on the perfect Old Fashioned, you can accompany your drink with delicious New Orleans classics, such as the crab cakes or tiger shrimp. Dissolve into the bar’s exotic ambience and taste your way into another speakeasy era with every drink.
Aria‘s lounge bar, Downstairs, is the place to be seen in Tel Aviv. Their rich range of cocktails is enticing, offering a twist on classics such as their Sumac Gimlet or the Elderflower Collins. But the biggest draw of Aria’s bar is the combination of the specialty cocktails with their delectable selection of dishes, such as the Risotto Carbonara and the Valrhona Chocolate Mousse, straight from the chef’s kitchen. With live music performances, international and local DJs and the Upstairs restaurant, the night always ends up in an all-out party, dancing away into the late hours.