A cucumber lets you wonder – bartender showed their skills during the Long Night of the Hotel Bars in Berlin

Cool Cucumber or a Hendrixini in the QUI Bar. © 2019, Photo: Fritz Hermann Köser

Berlin, Germany (Gastrosofie). From Potsdamer Platz to Singapore it is only a stone’s throw, at least in the Mandala Hotel, a popular meeting place for Berlin’s nightlife of a rather dignified kind. In the local Qiu-Bar, a friendly employee serves the legendary signature drink from the equally legendary Raffles Hotel in a slightly different form: the Singapore Sling. Here with Cherry Blossom infused gin, orange and lemon peel, Heering cherry liqueur, Cointreau, pineapple and lemon juice. Bar manager Umberto Fabricio Büchler tasted it at the Raffles hotel, on the spot, and changed the recipe a bit. A fluid cross over work of art with an exciting interplay of sweetness and acidity, with a variety of flavours, none of which glossed over another in the glass, and although rather fruitful leaving gin and liqueurs remain clearly perceptible. To reinterpret old classics and to develop new recipes at the same time makes this bar so special.

Taking a look at the La Banca Bar. © 2019, Photo: Fritz Hermann Köser

Some of the guests are wearing white ribbons on their wrist this evening. You can let yourself drift and be driven through the Long Night of the Hotel Bars, which took place last Saturday in Berlin. From 8pm to 1am, shuttle buses run from bar to bar. In addition to the transfer, there is also a voucher for a welcome drink. A total of twelve venues offer high quality cocktails, free nibbles as well as entertainment. In addition to dignified houses like the Palace Berlin, the Steigenberger or the Westin Grand, top names such as the Waldorf Astoria were also involved – or the Hotel de Rome, a Rocco Forte Hotel. Subtle House music sounds from the La Banca bar, you can hear why the young man at the turntable is called DJ Smooth. Just as gentle was the welcome drink, a Cuja Mara made of, among other things, vodka, liqueur43, vanilla, lime, orange juice and passion fruit. Modern art hangs on bright white walls, the scenery reminiscent of a gallery.

A look at the Jamboree Bar, © 2019, Photo: Fritz Hermann Köser

On the other hand, it is rather exuberant at the Grand Hyatt. Electronic beats thunder in the Jamboree bar, in which a strikingly young crowd romps. At the same time, the guests embark on a journey through time, for here the spirit of the 80s still reigns supreme: bald walls, „Jamboree“ as a glowing neon inscription, vintage design. All this should also be reflected in the cocktails. So also in the welcome drink with the stunning name Fistbump, which also tastes stunningly great.

In the QIU Bar of The Mandala Hotel. © 2019, Photo: Fritz Hermann Köser

In the nearby QIU-Bar of Mandala, however, there’s a tasteful lounge atmosphere. The not too loud vocal house sound invites you to chill out and makes an animated conversation possible. The welcome drink offers a strong contrast to the initially mentioned, slightly modified Singapore Sling – because the Hendrixini is quite spicy. Infused Hendricks Gin with Pepper, Homemade Earl Gray Syrup, Sexy Bitters, and Thomas Henry Tonic Water. And besides the usual nibbles, there are vegetables here for free. A wafer-thin cucumber strip floats in the glass. Let it flow.


Christopher Prescott based on an article by Fritz Hermann Köser.