Fundamental, indisputable and sacrosanct cocktails. The dogma, announced almost a decade ago by dandy Didier Van den Broeck, continues to be followed religiously by the disciples of this desacralized, wood-clad speakeasy, located between the St. Charles Borromeo church and the Antwerp Cathedral. The liquid liturgy naturally opens with a Bloody Mary (to die for) seasoned with hoisin sauce and chipotle peppers (€15), and continues devilishly with a Japanese Blossom mixing dry martini, gin, fino sherry, grapefruit, lychee and bay leaf (€14). Loyal apostles Niels Eyseman, Lieven Pauwelyn and Marco Min shake in time and slip in some sustenance alongside the glasses: oysters with smokey scotch and ponzu (€4 a piece), cheese from Van Tricht (€10), and charcuterie by From Laet (€12). The house tradition? The owner treats you to a final mystery shot for the road. Ite, missa est. // Sugar Kowalczyk and Peter Vandenberghe
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