Helsinki’s best cocktail bars

Restaurant & Bar Grotesk
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Over the past decade, young, ambitious and creative bartenders have revolutionized the Helsinki cocktail scene. The city boasts of numerous high-end cocktail bars that are at par with their international equivalents, where you can pop by for a drink or spend the evening sipping quality cocktails.

Imagine a mystery evoking basement bar that is reminiscent of a moody library-themed bar in a luxury hotel. A bar inspired by 19th-century English detective series, reminiscent of a secret meeting place that doubles up as a speakeasy. If these don't tickle your fancy then how about a bright bar in a design hotel with a gorgeous skylight and great artwork, or a vintage cocktail bar named after Javier Bardem. Or a mysterious cocktail room with a selection of agave based mezcal and tequila cocktails where the use of phones is forbidden - Helsinki cocktail bars are not only world-class, but also delightfully varied and different.

In Chihuahua Julep, a Bear Hunter cocktail stands on the corner of a dark wood table underneath a fancy lamp, classic furniture standing in the background against a blue door.
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The lack of prejudice is present not only in concepts and interior design but also in the glasswork, and there is no shortage of creative and inspired cocktails. Often, Helsinkian cocktails are inspired by the northern nature and you can taste the flavours of the forests and of the Nordic berries - thus by default the cocktail lists that many of bars carry consist of flavours and produce corresponding with the seasons.  The holistic use of raw materials and the aim to create minimal waste are also ambitious goals most of the cocktail bars have taken upon themselves, and courtesy of the versatile use of raw materials, the selection of non-alcoholic mocktails or low-alcoholic cocktails is also top-notch. A holistic drinking experience may also be enhanced by a cocktail served in delicate glasses inspired by the shape of a bird or even a pipe-shaped glass.

Even though it is worth trying the unique concoctions and signature cocktails the bartenders have come up with, if you are in the mood for a classic cocktail you won't be disappointed. The cocktail bars in Helsinki not only serve a mean negroni, an old fashioned and gin and tonics, made with classic ingredients, but you also have the option of jazzing them up with Finnish-distilled rye whiskeys and gins.

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Over the past decade, ambitious and creative young bartenders have revitalised the cocktail scene in Helsinki.