Now that temperatures are starting to drop, what better way to warm up than with a stiff drink? Our favorite cocktail bars around the world don’t just offer truly inventive drinks, but also cozy atmospheres that you can revel in. Each of the establishments on our list combine the two, making each a perfect spot for a pre-dinner tipple or a romantic nightcap.
La Factoria, Puerto Rico
Most Caribbean bars tend to rely on fruity, sweet drinks to match their bright, tropical locale. But in Old San Juan, the two-year-old, hipster-approved La Factoria takes its beverage program seriously and offers a curated menu of craft cocktails designed to impress the keenest of connoisseurs. The Iggy Popsicle, for example, with it slice of dehydrated lime is the perfect antidote to Puerto Rico’s heat: Don Q Cristal rum, Cocchi Americano, Cointreau, absinthe, and a splash of citrus come together for a refreshingly boozy treat. Or go for the Moscow Mule, which has been cleverly transformed here with fragrant lavender.
Where to stay in Puerto Rico
Hemingway Bar, Paris
There might not be a more iconic destination for a mixed drink than this legendary drinking den at the Ritz Hotel on Place Vendome. With Colin Field at the helm the bar, which recently reopened as part of the Ritz hotel’s massive upgrade, remains as atmospheric and as essential to the late-night scene as ever. A popular order here is the Serendipiti, a drink Field created over two decades ago. It features Champagne, calvados, and apple juice with some sugar and mint.
Where to stay in Paris
Dead Rabbit, New York
This Financial District hotspot has been a stalwart fixture on the annual World’s 50 Best Bars list for several years, but Dead Rabbit snagged the top spot for the first time this year – and deservedly so. (It has of course been acknowledged as the world’s best by various other agencies including the coveted Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award last year.) The multi-floor nightlife venue has long been a favorite among serious cocktail enthusiasts thanks to its massive menu of drinks using just about every available spirit and alcohol out there. There are shareable punches served in beautiful porcelain along with craft brews, but the stars of the show are the individual cocktails that require great care and usually feature a lot of booze, like the Snake Charmer, which packs in mezcal, two types of gins, vermouth, yellow chartreuse, and gentian.
Where to stay in New York
Dry Martini, Barcelona
Over 1 million Dry Martinis have been served at mixologist Javier de las Muelas’ cocktail mecca in Barcelona’s Eixample neighborhood. (Don’t believe us? There’s a counter in the bar that records every order of the drink.) The interior at Dry Martini has just as much Old World charm as its namesake tipple: There’s a lot of dark wood and low lighting, the staff is dressed in white lab coats, and old bottles of classic spirits line the wall.
Where to stay in Barcelona
Cinco Lounge, Lisbon
While the Portuguese capital remains largely a wine-and-beer kind of town, a new cocktail scene is beginning to blossom. For a while now, Cinco Lounge in the trendy neighborhood of Principe Real has been leading the mixed-drink charge. In this moody, stylish space, bartenders prepare libations from a big menu, ensuring that there will be something for every taste. The drinks menu covers everything from classic martinis to mocktails to a selection dedicated to foamy sips like the Alfie, a combination of floral-infused Tanqueray, cardamom and black tea, Dubonnet, Campari, and citrus juice.
Where to stay in Lisbon
Pint + Jigger, Oahu
This gastropub is as renowned for its comforting burgers and draught beer selection as it is for tasty craft cocktails. Drink recipes are developed by David Newman, who also happens to be the president of United States Bartenders Guild, Hawaii Chapter. The menu at Pint + Jigger includes classics like Pisco Sour and Moscow Mules along with more avant garde options like the Sous-Vide Old Fashioned. The even have a rotating cocktail on tap; right now it’s the Talventi, Dave’s signature brunch cocktail combining rye, campari, cold-brew coffee and vanilla whip. After hours? Try the Threesome, a potent bottled concoction that includes bourbon, scotch, and mezcal.
Where to stay in Oahu
Justice Snow’s, Aspen
A ski trip isn’t complete unless you know exactly where you’re drinking once you’ve finished shredding the mountain. In Aspen, the top choice is Justice Snow’s — inside the historic Wheeler Opera House in the city’s downtown. The talented staff manning the bar can make you whatever you want, but they do have a seductive menu of cocktails, where each drink includes the name of the maestro who developed the recipe. The gin and tonic here has a lively botanical finish; while the Vermont Whistle’s aged rye whiskey, maple syrup, muddled lemon peels, and mint offers great structure — a wonderful winter libation.
Where to stay in Aspen