Need a good night out to liven up the cold winter evenings? Here is my very personal cocktail tour around the city, to help chase away your January blues.
I visited the bar “L’Observatoire” at the top of the Sofitel Grand Ducal Hotel with a group of close friends. The sun was going down and the view was breathtaking! As the hotel’s web page puts it, theirs is a hotel that “gazes magnificently over the picturesque Alzette and Pétrusse valleys and Luxembourg’s UNESCO Old Town”. The setting is impressive, but the friendly and welcoming staff save it from becoming intimidating.
The cocktail list is divided into different sections, based on the drink’s taste – sweet, sour, non-alcoholic. Although pricey, their ‘designer and interstellar’ drinks are worth every single penny; they come with spectacular decorations and two suffice to keep you busy the whole evening (and indeed, the next day!). As a former-London-cocktail-bar-waitress-friend-of-mine said, really good cocktails are expensive but you can’t drink more than two anyway. It’s a lovely place for a drink with friends or your significant other.
- Good for: A special night out in a spectacular setting.
When: Daily: 10.30am-1am
After a disappointing night out, Octans managed to lift our mood (it is billed as “a spirited bar” after all), when we stopped for one last drink. Even on a Saturday night, we were greeted with a smiling welcome and swift service, and a menu in the form of a world map on which each of their cocktail’s “birthplace” was marked. The claim that their staff will “gladly take you for a journey through high-octane spirits” is amply fulfilled.
- Good for: Great service & entertainingly-presented global cocktails.
When: Monday to Saturday: 5pm-1am, closed on Sundays
ZanZen’s lounge bar is a great place for an after-work drink and a chat. (A tip for later in the year: their garden is also a lovely spot for a relaxed evening drink, just as the sun is setting.) All the great classics are there, and your waiter is also on hand for any off-the-beaten-track requests.
- Good for: A relaxed after-work drink.
When: Mon-Fri 12-1am, Sat 4pm-1am, closed on Sundays
Max and Moritz claims to be where “handmade cuisine and liquid delight” meet, just off the city centre. It is a trendy venue with young and lively staff and modern interior design. The drinks are surprising and customizable (Don’t like beer? Of course we can mix cider into your cocktail instead!) so there are many combinations to choose from. If you want to order snacks, be sure to get your order in before 9.45pm – we weren’t aware of this deadline so were disappointed, but the management have assured us they’ll advertise it more clearly in future.
- Good for: Personalised drinks in a trendy setting.
When: Mon-Fri 5.30pm – Midnight. Saturdays 6 pm – Midnight. Closed on Sundays.
Quick tip, if you ever want to sit down at Hitch, be sure to make a prior reservation! It was full and once the bar transformed into a dancing nightclub, it became hard to move around. I started my evening with a safe Piña Colada, but what really made my night were the mule cocktails. Call me naïve, but till then I had ignored their existence and never tried one: a buck or mule is from “a family of historic mixed drinks that involve ginger ale or ginger beer, citrus juice, and any of a number of base liquors” – and they are delicious!
- Good for: Delicious mules & dancing the night away.