Se­crets And Cock­tails

Rachel Stern dis­cov­ers the vin­tage mood of Berlin's best speakeasies.

Where Berlin - - NIGHTLIFE -

Walk through any of Berlin's trendy neigh­bor­hoods and you will come across dozens of bars that beckon you to step in­side their cozy in­te­ri­ors dur­ing these win­try months. Some of the city's best finds, how­ever, in­volve a bit more of a search, re­call­ing the il­licit es­tab­lish­ments that sold al­co­holic bev­er­ages dur­ing the Pro­hi­bi­tion era in the American 1920s. Of­ten lo­cated down wind­ing stair­cases, long hall­ways, or min­i­mal­ist en­trances, Berlin's speakeasies carry the elegance of an­other age, an exclusive se­crecy, and many of Berlin's most cap­ti­vat­ing cock­tails.

Liv­ing up to its name, Green Door (p. 53) in Schöneberg is barely vis­i­ble be­hind a dis­creet green sign and cur­tains. Once you en­ter – only af­ter ring­ing its door­bell – it will feel like step­ping back in time to the '70s, with check­ered wall­pa­per, pin-cush­ioned couches and kitschy framed pho­tos on the walls. The mod­ern drinks, how­ever, are a se­ries of sleek con­coc­tions, such as their cham­pagne with lemon, mint, and sugar.

For a more se­cre­tive yet stel­lar at­mos­phere, head down the spi­ral­ing stairs at The

Bar Mar­ques (Grae­festr. 92) in Kreuzberg, sit­u­ated un­der a restau­rant by the same name. Lounge in old arm­chairs or on the long com­mu­nal ta­ble in what feels more like an an­ti­quated liv­ing room. Known for its cre­ative cock­tails, the bar fre­quently hosts guest bar­tenders, a renowned lineup span­ning the globe.

Dimly il­lu­mi­nated with red lights and a glow­ing im­age of its name­sake Samuel Beck­ett,

Beck­etts Kopf (Pap­pelallee 64, beck­etts-kopf.de) is one of Pren­zlauer Berg's most unique spots. Their drink menu in­cludes ev­ery­thing from Ir­ish “Writer's Tears” whiskey to Span­ish sherry, as well as a se­lec­tion of Cuban cigars. Those still crav­ing a bite to eat will also be im­pressed with the fin­ger food menu. Hid­den away from the bustling Friedrich­straße, Dray­ton Bar (Behren­str. 55, www. dray­ton­ber­lin.com) shares a se­cluded space with an­other hard-to-find fa­vorite, the gourmet veg­e­tar­ian restau­rant Cook­ies Cream. To get there, you will need to wind past the Westin Ho­tel by the Komis­che Oper, then head be­hind the trash­cans, look­ing for the door with a small faint sign. Re­ward your­self once you make it with one of their their cus­tom-made cock­tails.

Green Door. In­set, below: Beck­etts Kopf.

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