Paris has always prided itself on its sophisticated taste, from fashion and cinema to its cuisine. And in a city where culinary artists have slaved away sautéing and drizzling and caramelizing every detail on the plate to perfection, it was just a matter of time before they moved on to drinks.
Cocktail bars in Paris are like fine-dining restaurants for drinkers, where expert mixologists prepare orders while making sure every ingredient counts. Patrons who scoff at the thought of another bottom-shelf shot or a bottled beer flock to these cool havens to savor each sip of their carefully crafted drink and to socialize with the trendy crowd.
Below are three incredible cocktail lounges where the vibes are warm and friendly, and the drinks are better made than a 3-series Beamer - they also happen to all be owned by the same guys, who we've officially dubbed the kings of cool in Paris.
Experimental Cocktail Club
With enough swagger to have locations in New York, London, and Paris, the original Experimental Cocktail Club location in Montorgueil was what opened the doors to the Parisian cocktail scene. It's an ornate one-room bar with stone walls, black wood floors, and glowing gold chandeliers, but the atmosphere inside is laidback and easygoing. The 50-person capacity gives the Experimental Cocktail Club a speakeasy feel, and locals aren't shy to help you pick out your next custom cocktail.
Behind an unmarked door in the Latin District is Curio Parlor, a hip mixology joint with an exaggeratedly chic décor. You may notice the taxidermy samples behind the glossy bar, but don't worry, the little creature specimens aren't being crushed into your drinks. Curio Parlor might like their ingredients obscure, but not that obscure. The young, in-the-know crowds congregate here for drinks not found anywhere else in Paris as well as for the music downstairs that livens up the atmosphere - and thankfully it also has its own second bar. If you're in the mood for something curious, order up a few rounds of Japanese Nikka whiskey for a dose of east meets west.
Prescription Cocktail Club
If Nucky Thompson built a time machine with all his booze-racketeering money and zapped to modern day Paris, he would be found at the Prescription Cocktail Club. Opened after the success of the Experimental Cocktail Club, the spacious two-story venue is the ultimate prohibition-era cocktail bar and lounge. The vogue denizens order drinks from the vest-wearing barkeeps and socialize amidst the elegant and modish décor of antique table lamps, dim lighting, Japanese crane wallpaper, and a long marble bar. Adding to the speakeasy vibe is an upstairs bookshelf that slides open like in a Sherlock Holmes novel to expose a second bar ¬- so grab your bowling hat and start investigating what's being prescribed to cure your sobriety.
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