Fancy a cocktail?
Now is the time to put an umbrella in your drink, as cocktail season begins. If you're all dressed up with nowhere to go, here are a few suggestions for places in the city to sip Luxembourg’s finest concoctions, and a few places outside the city with a reputation for top-notch mixology.
Located in the heart of the city and winner of the Luxembourg Nightlife Awards 2022 for best cocktail bar, this new and small place is big on ambience. Postcards hanging from the ceiling, hats from the chandeliers and a cosy, intimate collection of indoor tables, or a beach vibe tiny terrace in summer. Staff are endlessly praised for their attentiveness, and there's a good choice of cocktails, but also spirits, wines and beers.
Favourites like Mint Julep, or the Mangga Colada (a twist on the pineapple flavour with added mango puree), jostle with newcomers like the Basil Smash - vodka, fresh lemon juice, homemade vanilla syrup and basil leaves. Open Tuesday to Thursday 16.00 to midnight and Friday and Saturday 17.00 to 01.00.
Piano Bar (Le Royal Hotel)
The renovated Piano Bar has a fantastic terrace and a new cocktail menu. You can enjoy one of their signature cocktails including Last Word which has Bombay gin, Luxardo Maraschino, green Chartreuse and lemon juice. Alternatively sip on a Peruvian Mule, containing Pisco infused with mango and citronella, lime, mango and yuzu juices, and ginger beer. They also have 112 varieties of whiskey.
Open Monday to Sunday 10.30 until 01.00 with live music on Friday and Saturday and a DJ on Thursday.
head to former pharmacy now cocktail bar Shinzo (meaning heart in Japanese) on Grand Rue for wooden floors and a square bar as the focal point, surrounded by blue velvet bar stools. Open Monday to Thursday from noon to 1.00 and on Friday and Saturday until 3.00, expect to pay in excess of €20 for your cocktail. The adventurous can try the three stage cocktail - Root, Branch, Fruit. The root part consists of Japanese sake vermouth, Kikuna leaf infusion, and bitter Shiitake mushrooms. The branch of sloe sherry, lupin leaves and cranberry and balsamic, whilst the fruit mixes pinot gris with sidrolat, prickly pear and poppy seeds.
Relatively new, Gare-located cocktail bar that also serves up tapas, has simple decor and some great mixes from James. Sip a Mezcal Sour, a Mojito or even a Moscow Mule, and try some ceviche or tacos and enchiladas. Open Tuesday to Saturday 12.00 to 01.00.
Octans – a spirited bar
The Octans crew want to share their exotic spirits and long forgotten cocktail recipes with you. Try the gin-based fruity Clover Club, a Mai Tai, or a Tiramisu martini.
Expect some good live music too, and this city bar gets a big thumbs up for customer service from reviewers. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 17:00 to 01:00, Friday and Saturday 17.00 to 03.00.
Gault&Millau bar of the year 2020, Lady Jane is not for anyone and everyone as it's a private members' club, so you will need to join their private group (via Facebook) to receive the weekly password to gain access to this uniquely designed speakeasy.
Reviewers sing its praise for the cocktails, the service, the cosy atmosphere and the simple menu. You can try a Pisco Sour with a Greek Skinos Mastiha, or a Bloody Mary with Mezcal, and there are plenty of gin and bourbon-based cocktails too. Open Tuesday to Saturday 17.00 to 01.00.
Open from 10:0 to 01:00 every day (except Sunday when it closes at midnight), the Sofitel le Grand Ducal's L'Observatoire Bar has a unique view of the city night lights and it's own resident DJ to provide tunes.
Cocktail concoctions include a special creation for national day entitled Freedefeier, made from Eminente rum, strawberry vanilla compote from Madagascar, and a touch of lime. The K-Way martini, with vodka, chocolate milky way, kahlua, Aztec chocolate bitters, coffee and cane sugar syrup, or a Vintage Negroni with gin, red vermouth and campari.
Cheeky drinks with no drama is the motto of Llama concept bar in the historic old town, as they invite you for a Pisco Sour and Ceviche combo. Nominated as the best bar in town in the Luxembourg Nightlife Awards 2019, reviewers rave about the DJs as much as the cocktails.
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 16.00 to 01.00, with a late closing on Friday and Saturday at 03.00. They also do a Sunday brunch with sweet, salty or vegan options, and blind cocktail tasting events if you want to test your taste skills.
This cosy bar with individual seating booths, primarily serves food but does a mean cocktail too. In fact resident mixologist Rapha just became the very first global finalist representing Luxembourg in the a world cocktail competition in Sydney this year.
The Bloody Panamary combines Vodka 42 Below with celery bitters, tomato juice and pepper. The Sherry Cherie has Martini Ambrato vermouth, Tio Pepe sherry, Ramborn apple cider and prosecco. Open Monday to Thurday 8.00 til 1.00, Friday and Saturday until 3.00 and Sunday 9.00 til 1.00.
Relative newcomer and fusion restaurant, this place on rue Notre Dame has mojitos, cuba libre, moscow mules, and a couple of their own concoctions, plus virgin cocktails and a fairly comprehensive gin selection. It's open 12.00 to 01.00 Monday to Friday and from 16.00 to 01.00 on Saturdays. DJs transform it into a club vibe at night, the decor is dark plush velvet and leopard print, tropical plants and a nice little terrace.
One of the largest selections of gins and tonics in town, Go Ten now serve up an eclectic list of Japanese and Pervian cocktails and food, in addition to organic infusions and gin-based drinks. Try the Peruvian Japanese consisting of Umeshu Sake, Pisco, Luxardo Maraschino, rhubarb and lychee and lime, or the Japanese Highball with whisky, Cointreau, rhubarb and ginger beer. You can sample a bit of Nikkei Ceviche with it - made from raw salmon prepared Peruvian style with smoked pineapple and yellow pepper.
Other cocktail emporiums in the city
Whilst we've said goodbye to a few cocktail bars during the pandemic, there are still plenty of places to try one from Mama Shelter, Gotham, Um Plateau, Bellamy, Pablito and Tender.
New to Clausen, B51 has a snug 18-seat terrace and some classy decor inside, and offers a small selection of cocktails including a Moscow Mule, Long Island Ice Tea and a Mojito. They also serve long drinks with various versions of gin and tonic.
Not really cockails but new and offering a choice of 25 Luxembourgish champagnes and some 200 more from bespoke names such as Coessens or Dehours et Fils, Flûte Alors! opened its doors at 2 Grand Rue. Light coral and pastel decor and a chapel alcove make it a nice place to sup the good stuff.
Out of town
Airfield – Findel
Airfield's home-made cocktails include classics like the Negroni and Cosmopolitan, and some unusual recipes such as Airfield punch with gin, strawberries and lemon. If you have one cocktail too many you can book a double room on the premises.
Nasty Bar – Dudelange
Voted by the public as one of the top five bars in Luxembourg, Nasty Bar is the home of all things rum. Try the Elegance mix which contains white Bacardi, St Germain Liqueur, hibiscus syrup, lime juice, egg whites and is topped with champagne. It also stocks plantation rum from Guatemala expertly mixed into something tasty by cocktail aficionado Pierre. Watch out for the Caribbean and Voodoo nights.
Naga in Mondercange (and Octavian the mixologist), and Fabrik in Mersch, also get a thumbs up for their cocktails.
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