With all the chic, moody atmosphere of a speakeasy (thanks to decor from interior designer Dims Interieur), Koks & Tales is bathed in the golden light of the backlit bottles, as inquisitive drinkers seated at the counter gaze intently at Rob Biesmans, ex-assistant sommelier at Gordon Ramsey’s Pétrus in London. The bartender knocks out a slightly peaty Vieux Carré (rye whiskey, Cognac, vermouth, Bénédictine D.O.M., Peychaud’s bitters, €14), and a tropical Pearl Diver’s punch (aged and amber Jamaican rums, Gardenia mix, orange cordial, absinthe and bitters, €15 €), served with smoking cinnamon bark and fresh pineapple. Add to that some intriguing mocktails (€10) and a top-notch jazz playlist, give it a shake, and you have one of the “150 bars to try before you die! » There’s a fine take-away selection of Jamaican rums and the famous mystery ingredient added to their long drinks, aka, Big Daddy’s Falernum. // Cleo Popina
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