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The 5 Best Cocktail Bars in Rotterdam

Welcome to our blog! We will be posting updates regularly on the culinary state of affairs in the city, starting with a list of the best cocktail bars that Paul made recently. Enjoy!

1. Dr.

Like America’s Prohibition-era speakeasies, this clandestine bar is only open to those in the know. Dripping in crystal glass decadence and with a luxurious rosewood bar, bartenders in white apothecary attire create medicinal concoctions to ease ailments of all kinds, including melancholy, heartbreak or simply thirst. The Dr.’s (drrotterdam.com) menu switches regularly, but get past the introductory punch and you’ll be prescribed a maximum of three great cocktails.

2. NY Basement

Step back in time to the Roaring Twenties when men were gentlemen, women were ladies and highballs were really, really strong. Every detail of this cocktail bar-cum-restaurant is authentic, right down to the bartenders’ black tie outfits and the swing era jazz. Mainly serving drinks that were in vogue a century ago, if the old-fashioned brews start getting the better of you, NY Basement (nybasement.nl) also has a first-class food menu too.

3. Ballroom

Not officially a cocktail bar, but with over 100 different types of gin and tonic, the knowledgeable staff at candle-lit Ballroom (ballroomrotterdam.nl) certainly know how to mix a mean drink or two. If you’re having a hard time choosing, bartenders can advise and surprise, but do your best to get a seat in the charming garden where walls of creeping greenery and low-hanging lightbulbs dangle above the shiny checkerboard floor. The food is remarkably sophisticated too and features the best meatballs in town.

4. Noah

Situated at the base of the Witte Huis, the oldest skyscraper in Europe, Noah (noahrotterdam.nl) acknowledges its historic location by thinking up respectful twists on stonewall classics like their fiery barrel-aged Mai Tai, which mixes Clement Terre Caraïbe and Appleton VX rums with Orgeat syrup, lime juice and dry orange. The more adventurous should try The Pig, a bourbon brew with Maple syrup and a bacon aroma. DJs liven up weekend proceedings, spinning funk, R&B and disco from a small enclave in the exposed brick wall.

5. LaBru

With scuffed tables, creaking leather sofas, slowly flickering candles and a mismatched collection of upside down photography, this cosy bar invites drinkers to do some serious chilling. But cosiness hasn’t led to complacency and LaBru’s (facebook.com/CafeLaBru) mixologists offer an array of classic cocktails. Try the dry martini special, mixed 007-style. Live jazz acts play each Wednesday.

5. Tante Nel

Tante Nel is officially a frites stand, but when the owners discovered that the building still had an alcohol licence, they decided to build a proper bar beside their state-of-the-art stall. The owners here could talk about their collection of gin for hours, and as long as you take the occasional truffle croquette, you can stay trying them all too.

More of a beer person? Try our Boat & Beer tour and discover the authentic breweries of Rotterdam.

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