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  • Writer's pictureBenny

Honeymoon Bar Hopping in Paris

Ahhh, Paris, the city of love and romance. Well, for many folks it is. Provided the reality of a busy European city doesn’t induce “Paris Syndrome”, then all being well, you should have a fantastic time. The city is famed for its fashion, art, history and fine dining, but you might not be aware of its boozier side.

Drinking is all part of the joie de vivre here, with Parisiennes being experts at heavy drinking without getting smashed. A night on the town is a great opportunity to take in the subcultures, moods and different areas of the city, especially with a great drink in your hand.

Although the French have been distilling liqueurs, brandies and other spirits for centuries, they usually left the mixing to the Brits and the Americans. In 1889 Emile Lefeuvre published the first French cocktail guide that had “American, English and Italian mode”. In the 1920s, American bartenders who found themselves unemployed due to prohibition made their way to the capital and shared their techniques and tastes but in the decades after the Second World War, cocktail culture pretty much all but died. For over half a century, Paris was all about the wine, the bistros, and the cafes but since the early 2000s, the cocktail bar has been making a revival.

Along with these cocktail bars, you’ll find great views, quirky haunts, hot spots, live music and speakeasies, this is a place that has something for everyone. Whether you want to do some people watching on the terraces of the Marais, sip cocktails near the Ritz at Place Vendome, or pair a glass of red wine with a nice warm bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup in the middle of Belleville, there are a wealth of experiences ahead.

So where do you start?

What’s the best place to uncork a bottle of wine, sip some champagne, or sample some mad mixology?

What’s going to bring an extra sprinkle of magic to your honeymoon experience?

1- Kong Bar

Address : 1 rue du Pont neuf, 75001 Tel : +33 1 40 39 09 00

Kong is a bar restaurant almost approaching its twentieth anniversary. Hailing itself as bold, new and spectacular it prides itself on having an alien aesthetic, much like that of a UFO. The atmosphere of the bar entwines both the intimate character of a cocktail bar with the elegance of a high-end cocktail bar. It aims to strike a balance between classiness and liveliness. The cocktails are a real source of delight.

Hana intertwines cachaca, hibiscus, pear, lime and falernum for a zesty floral sweetness, whilst hara-kiri balances chilli, mezcal, cucumber, elderflower and satay salt for a more spicy punch.

2- Experimental Cocktail of Montergueil

Address : 37 Rue Saint-Sauveur, 75002

Set up by the same team who launched Prescription and the Curio Parlor, is an establishment in the purest tradition of high-end cocktail bars. The Experimental Cocktail Club is hidden on a quiet street close to the ultra-trendy Montorgueil district, and has become one of the figureheads of Parisian mixology.

The bar’s staff are focused on creating the perfect cocktail, utilizing rare spirits, juices, spices and other ingredients in an imaginative fashion. The Sunny Old Cuban mixes 3-year-old Havana Club, fresh mint, ginger cordial, sugar syrup, Angostura bitters, squeezed lemon and even champagne!

Alongside the impressive menu, the décor mixes design influences and traditional comfort. During the week, it presents an almost unrivalled cosiness whilst the bar becomes a much more lively place on Fridays and Saturday evenings. This makes it perfect for a date during the week and a great hangout spot at the weekend.

It is perfect after a Friday Night visit to the Louvre as the bar is located at 10 minutes walk from the Louvre Museum.

3- Le Bar Botaniste at Shangri La Hotel

Address : 10, avenue d'Iéna, 75116

The Bar Botaniste is proud of the legacy left by Prince Roland Bonaparte. The bar’s creator, Pierre-Marie Bisson and his team pay tribute to the botanical career of collector and scientist with a unique menu of specialized cocktails and spirits that can be discovered every evening from 6 pm.

If the word Botaniste in the name doesn’t give it away, this bar celebrates botany and has a big garden out back. This might wow you, but perhaps not as much as the drinks which utilize plants, spices and botany, natural hot and cold infusions, small compotes and vacuum cooking.

4- Shery Butt

Address : 20 Rue Beautreillis, 75004

A few blocks from the Bastille, down a narrow, one-way street with assorted restaurants, two used bookstores, an experimental theatre and some apartment buildings, including the one Jim Morrison died in is one of the most innovative cocktail bars in the city.

It’s easy to miss, with only a tiny wooden sign to bring your attention to its glass door, but this speakeasy is celebrated for its ingenious Japanese cocktails, such as the Manhattan-like Ronin. This drink mixes Japanese whisky, dry Madeira infused with pandan leaves, sherry, champagne, black saline solution and a smoked tea syrup.

Shery Butt is a place you can authentic real cocktails and it’s popular for a reason. Much like the Experimental Cocktail Club, this is a place which is quieter during the week then switches gears at the weekend and gets the DJ decks out.

5- Perchoir Le Marais

Address : 33 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004

Access without reservation but go early at : waiting line at reu de la Verrerie then take a lift to the 7th floor at the BHV Paris

Perched on the rooftop of the department store in the most stylistic district, BHV MARAIS is Le Perchoir Marais. It’s a bar which offers a panoramic view of the city’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, along with the Seine and the streets below. It’s trendy, but laid-back and has about 30 different options on the menu, each sitting around €12 a piece.

6- Perchoir de L'est

Address: Place du 11 Novembre 1918, Rue du 8 mai 1945, 75010

Perchoir Le Marais’ sister bar, Perchoir de L’est, started as a pop-up bar over six years ago on the rooftop of the train station, Gare de L’Est.

It’s a lovely terrace bar, hidden behind the sculpture of two frolicking beauties placed above the clock and is typically filled with those from their mid-'20s to late ‘30s. Unless the entrance has a lengthy queue in front of it, it’s not too easy to find, and you’ll have to enter through the doors on the far right side of the building, nearest to the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Martin. Inside, past Sephora, then on the right as the hall opens up, you should see the visitors’ entrance, walk in and climb to the rooftop.

Both venues operate as cocktail bars and limited service restaurants with seasonal or annual menus. 2021’s menu, for instance, had the likes of fried chicken mayo gochujang, beef empanadas, bell pepper, cumin, and aji Amarillo, vegetable options along with grilled vegetable antipasti, Iberian ham, stracciatella and Foccacia.

7- Little Red Door

Address : 60 Rue Charlot, 75003 Paris, France

Paris’ third arrondissement has another cosy, relaxed cocktail bar which has pioneered a farm-go glass model for drinks and menu creation. The bar works directly with producers across the country to produce cocktails with fresh ingredients. It’s a style of drinks creation which has earned the bar a spot on the World’s Best Bar list. Each of the twelve drinks on the menu stand out for being unique and specific. The Con-Tiki, for instance, sees a beautiful blend of El Dorado 8-year-old rum, charred pineapple syrup, verjus absinthe and taras boulba beer.

The venue itself is as arty as the drinks. Exposed, brick walls and gentle low light give a non-pretentious hipster vibe whilst gently glowing candles add a sense of warmth to the friendly atmosphere.

8- Sister Midnight

Address : 4 Rue Viollet-le-Duc, 75009

Tel: +33 06 74 39 32 20

If you’re looking for something completely different to the other bars, you’ll find one which revives Pigalle’s forgotten glam rock roots. Like the song of Iggy Pop and David Bowie’s creation, Sister Midnight mixes American and British artistry. Jen and Joe Riley have succeeded in bringing 70s décor with punky drinks.

Its signature drink, Sister Midnight tops vodka, sirop jasmin, badiane, cardamom, lemon and lime with soda.

9-Baron Rouge

One of Time Out’s 100 best bars in Paris. Le Baron Rogue is a charming old-school wine-focused den which serves entirely un-pretentious snacks, making it perfect for those who arrived a bit too late to Aligre market.

This tiny spot has its guests enjoying vin rogue straight from the barrel, with the locals even bringing their empty bottles to be refilled directly. Le Baron has to be applauded for its great value food – fresh oysters on Sunday, cheese and charcuterie boards, pickles and pate along with its very politely priced wine. If you’re on a budget, definitely give the Baron a spin.

10 - Candelaria

Address : 52 Rue de Saintonge, 75003

When Paris saw its cocktail bar boom kick-off, Candelaria was one of the bars which helped put the city on the mixology map. Sat at the back of a taco shop, this dark haunt serves cocktails that somehow bring the best elements of both French and Mexican spirits and liqueurs out. Oaxacan old-fashioned and spicy margaritas which have a complexity rarely seen in other bars stand out amongst other intricate, chartreuse and gin beauties. Of course, this is a taqueria, so don’t miss your opportunity to gobble up some great Mexican grub.

11 - Le Syndicat

Address : 51 rue Faubourg Saint-Denis, 75010

Tel: +33 06 66 63 57 60

Hip hop and French ingredients - what a combination! If you want a slightly grimier, spot, Le Syndicat is known for its urban, industrial feel, with a papered-over storefront that looks abandoned. Hidden in plain sight, Romain Le Mouëllic and Sullivan Doh’s “Organization in Defense of French Spirits” revitalizes old French spirits in unusual cocktails for trendier, younger customers.

It’s simultaneously gritty and glamorous and has its own Chemin Educatif course which gives you a tour of boozy liqueurs, rebirthed classic cocktails and a more contemporary creation.

12 - Hemingway Bar - Ritz

Address : 15 Pl. Vendôme, 75001

Named after the infamous American literary legend who used to drink there, Hemingway is one of the bars at the Ritz Paris. It’s known for its punchy Grand Marnier cocktails which its most famous patron may have earnestly enjoyed. For many, it's a bucket list experience in the same way many go to Sacre Couer to pay tribute to Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, but it’s a typically boozier and more expensive trip.

Drinks here are typically over €30, but if you have the money to spend, the house cocktails such as “The Serendipity Cocktail” will wow folks with its Norman Calvados, fresh mint, and apple juice.

13 - Harry's New York Bar

Address : 5 Rue Daunou, 75002

Another classic cocktail bar which has been around since the prohibition days, Harry’s New York bar is a legendary Parisienne hangout, now over a hundred years old. It's the birthplace of the Bloody Mary as well as the Sidecar and has over 400 cocktails on the menu, with its bartenders keen to try out new bespoke creations. This is a great place for sitting at the bar and sharing stories with other weary travellers. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde “there are no strangers here, only friends who haven’t yet met”.

14- Le Coq

Address : 2 Rue du Château d'Eau, 75010 12 Rue du Château d'Eau, 75010

Located in the hip Château d'Eau neighbourhood. Tony Conigliaro’s cocktail bar is another spot which focuses on bringing back forgotten French beverages.

Kir royals with liquer d’ambrette, Boston Sours twisted with Merley cognac and rose vodka and raspberry and violet cocktails all make an appearance. With its black walls and comfy sofas, this dimly lit speakeasy hosts temporary exhibitions of 70s-influenced creatives backed up with ambient electro soundtracks.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Magical Lamp cocktail at Paris 5th
Magical Lamp cocktail at Paris 5th

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