Proof that mixing a good cocktail is akin to a chemistry experiment: the gin and tonic. Start with a liquor flavored with the nose-wrinkling, pungent berry of a conifer tree. Then mix it with a soft drink so bitter, it’s barely palatable on its own. The result is delicious harmony. Let that harmony be your guide as you explore Berlin's growing mixology scene, and start with these three nightlife destinations for quality cocktails:
Gin is in
Ever since British colonists in India mixed their tonic water—designed to stave off malaria infection—with some gin to help the medicine go down, the gin and tonic has been bewitching drinkers around the world. Since early 2012, Mitte’s G&T Bar (Friedrichstr. 113. T: 0173 5219378. www.amanogroup.de) has been paying homage to this much-loved highball cocktail. There are 90-some excellent gins on the menu, a handful of high-caliber tonic water varieties, and not much else. If you’re not a gin and tonic convert when you arrive, you will be by the time you leave. Try the house special, a gin and tonic infused with tea.
A short walk away is Reingold (Novalisstr. 11. T: 030 28387676. www.reingold.de), a self-described speakeasy that’s famous around town for its meticulous mixology. Accordingly, their repertoire goes far beyond just gin plus tonic. The gleaming gold walls of the classy space evoke the Golden Twenties and the drink menu is accordingly classic, too. The art of the cocktail is so revered here, they offer courses to elevate your home mixing skills to the next level.
Just a few doors down from Reingold is Melody Nelson (Novalisstr. 2. 0177 7446751), squeezed into a snug locale with a long bar history. Most recently a beer pub, it also housed a bar that was reportedly popular amongst Stasi employees during the GDR era. These days, suitably moody lighting, thick carpets, and dark leather couches make this a spot to cozy up. The black mojito, stuffed with blackberries and fresh mint, is a popular cocktail, or try a very classic whiskey cocktail like the Sazerac.