Hamburg is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Germany. The home of the largest seaport in the country is famous for its nightlife and also is home to some truly fantastic cocktail bars.
In living quality rankings, Hamburg is always among the top five. -Not only, but also because of its nightlife. The bustling Reeperbahn strip is the most famous area for diving into Hamburg's party scene. It is crammed with pubs and bars that offer cheap drinks. But there is more to Hamburg's nightlife - if you know where to look.
Hamburg has a fine selection of high-quality cocktail bars. From classy hotel bars to fancy speakeasy places, Hamburg has them all.
Each has the distinct Hamburgean vibe you can feel all over the city. A bit edgy, a bit different, and yet surprisingly welcoming. So join me for my ultimate list of the best cocktail bars in Hamburg.
Jump to Clockers | Le Lion | Drip Bar | DaCaio | Botanic District | Bohemian | Atlantic Lobby Bar | Boilerman | Drilling
Hidden behind an ordinary doorway in Paul-Roosen-Straße is the home of Clockers. You won't find a sign or hint that there's a bar inside, so check the address first and then confidently enter that door.
Once you get inside, it feels like being transported into another world. You don't know where to look first. There is a beautiful antique bar, grass and moss on the wall, wooden decorations, and lights all over the place.
When it comes to their drinks, I advise trying the Clockers Gin & Tonic first. It's not a fancy take on the highball, but Clockers produces fantastic Gin in their distillery (read about Drilling below). If you're indecisive, chat with the bartender and get a recommendation.
The jungle-like basement is only one part of the place. When climbing the stairs to the first floor, there's a small room with inviting leather chesterfield sofas, a bookshelf, and a small bar counter.
That usually is reserved for private events, but if you are lucky, you might be able to have a look at it and even enjoy a drink up there.
Le Lion - Bar de Paris
Le Lion might well be the most famous cocktail bar in Hamburg. It also is one of Germany's early birds in the speakeasy and craft cocktail scene and home to a modern classic cocktail - the Gin Basil Smash.
Getting a seat at this place can be difficult, so call beforehand and make a reservation. Once there, you have to ring the bell at the large black door to get inside.
The interior of Le Lion is a glamorous mix of textured wallpaper and dark wooden furniture. The elegant setting is made complete by chillout background music. It is loud enough to support the atmosphere but does not distract from your conversation or the bartender's work.
If you're unsure what to order, I recommend trying their Basil Smash (easy recommendation) or a Martini. Le Lion serves some exquisite Martinis. They also come with a side dish-like serving of olives.
Location of Le Lion - Bar de Paris
Drip is a small and hidden gem recommended by one of our readers. Well, thanks for that because this place is amazing.
Drip Bar is a small, cozy place with a dim ambiance, well-trained staff, and fancy drinks. If you love fancy cocktails with a twist, this is your place.
To get inside, you need to ring the doorbell. The service staff will check if there's enough space and let you in if that is the case. Have a Plan B ready, as this place is popular and often packed.
DaCaio is a hotel bar. To be precise, it's the bar of The George Hotel right at the Alster river. It's a fancy, British-themed establishment that starts service at Afternoon Teatime.
Don't get deterred by the fact that it is inside a hotel. Their menu is pretty amazing. Besides some classic cocktails and a special section for Campari cocktails and Spritzes, they offer some truly exciting drinks.
Their cocktails are a bit pricey, though. Yet, if you're looking for outstanding cocktails with the highest-quality ingredients, that place is worth the money.
Next on the list of places for a fancy drink is Botanic District. I especially like the many plants and dark interior design. It brings a bit of boudoir charm to this place, making it stand out.
Besides offering outstanding cocktails, they also have some delightful food options on their menu. So if you're looking for a great cocktail and something to eat, Botanic District is one of the best options in the city.
It's pretty rare to get excellent food and sensational cocktails at the same place. More often than not, one of them is somewhat disappointing. But Botanic District is different.
If you're looking for a drink recommendation, try the Violet Fizz.
When in Hamburg and looking to get some drinks at a place with fancy interior design, Bohemian is a fantastic choice. This place is not as popular as it should be, but that only improves your chances of securing a table.
The Bohemian is truly a unique bar with a passion for mixed drinks serving some of the best cocktails in Hamburg. The menu features a series of signature drinks illustrated next to a list of ingredients.
When ordering the "Michelangelo" you'll get a drink made of Gin, white port, Cointreau, and Verjuis. In addition, you get a paint palette with three different flavoring options. You can add them yourself with the help of a brush and thus vary the flavor of the drink.
Atlantic Lobby Bar
Another hotel bar on this list is the Atlantic Lobby Bar. Hotel Atlantic welcomes its guests for over a century already. And just by looking at the gorgeous lobby, you can feel a vibe of class and elegance dominating this place.
It is not a venue to party and boisterously celebrate but rather one for indulging in well-crafted cocktails. The seating options are mostly old leather chairs. They have chandeliers hanging from the extra-high ceiling and white wooden decor on the walls.
To further elevate the drinking experience, a pianist plays live while you enjoy your drink. And speaking about drinks, try the Admiral Schley when you're there. It's their own creation based on a mix of Bourbon and Cachaça.
Location of the Hotel Atlantic Lobby Bar
The Boilerman Bar Hafenamt
The Boilerman Bar at Hafenamt has a unique approach to its drinks menu. While many other bars try to find the fanciest ways to present cocktails, Boilerman does the opposite and opts for elegant understatement.
The drinks you get there are fantastic and of the finest quality. But the stars on the menu of Boilerman are Highballs.
A Highball consists of only a spirit and filler. With this limited list of ingredients, you have to be extra careful to balance the flavors. And Boilerman is one of the best places for that.
Most Highballs are based on Rum, but you can also get some based on Gin, Tequila, or Whiskey. If you want to read more about Highballs, check out this article about Highballs vs. Cocktails.
When you look up the place on online maps, you find more than one location. They are all good, but I highly recommend visiting the one at Hafenamt.
Location of Boilerman Bar Hafenamt
That is an exciting one for me: It's owned by the guys from Clockers, and it is much more than just a bar. The Drilling opened in 2018 and is worth a visit for multiple reasons.
"Drilling" is the German word for "three-pronged fishhook", that's also shown in their logo. And as the name suggests, the place consists of three different parts.
The first part of Drilling is a cafe that offers high-quality coffee made of seasonal coffee beans and serves a small selection of delicious pastries, cakes, and sandwiches.
The second part is the distillery that also produces Clockers Gin. It's the first distillery in the city of Hamburg since 1980.
And the last part is obviously the bar. The interior design is clean and industrial, yet cozy still. Knowledge and experience of the Clockers have been brought into this little gem, making it a very thought-out location.
Hamburg is an excellent city for having fancy drinks or cocktails. With our guide to craft cocktail places in Hamburg, you'll never feel lost when searching for your next drink. And there are even more great places like the chug club, Boothaus, numerous sky bars, and a beach bar.
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