Sundowners and Serves: The best bars in Europe

With sensational sundowners and soothing nightcaps created by Europe’s finest mixologists, Tempus rounds up the best bars to visit on your travels

Amalfi Coast: Bar Caruso, Belmond

Nothing quite beats the allure of Italy’s Amalfi Coast when it comes to breathtaking views, and perched at Bar Caruso, at Belmond’s Caruso hotel in Ravello – which dates back to the 11th century – you may never want to leave. Sat underneath 18th century frescos, floor-to-ceiling open air archways invite guests to enjoy an aperitivo while gazing directly out onto dramatic cliff edges and the expanse of glittering mediterranean sea. Choose from Bar Caruso’s impressive wine list or watch the sunset over the skyline with a refreshing cocktail comprising some of the region’s favourite flavours. Try a Loggiato Spritz, made with Limoncello, elderflower liqueur, bitter Gagliardo, Ravello sparkling wine and grapefruit soda.

Copenhagen: Ruby

Copenhagen is well known for its contemporary food and drink scene but among all the bars there, Ruby is undoubtedly a Tempus favourite. Ruby, situated in an 18th century townhouse, has been a staple in the city since it opened in 2007, with guests often queuing outside its unassuming entrance come opening time. The discreet, canalside bar is a tale of two halves – to the front, the bar and seating is light, airy, and distinctly Scandi in design, while the back lounge and downstairs den – where you can explore a collection of rare vintage spirits – are darker and more intimate. The innovative menu, curated by bar manager Alessandro Rossi, is ever changing in line with seasonality and locality, exploring micro-seasonal ingredients and using them in unconventional ways – for example, its Frozen Sea Buckthorn margarita, which uses this native ingredient as a citrus substitute.

Paris: Bar 228, Le Meurice 

Stepping into Bar 228 at Dorchester Collection’s iconic Le Meurice hotel in Paris is like stepping back in time. Once the haunt of some of the finest minds and artists of the last century, such as Picasso and Dali, Le Meurice embraces its distinguished history, and Bar 228 is no exception to this. Flanked with original dark woods, frescoes, and painted ceiling, as well as a contemporary pink carrara marble bar designed by Philippe Starck, this intimate bar, with its nightly jazz, is the perfect spot for a nightcap in the heart of Paris – with master mixologists on hand, try a classic such as Le Boulevardier, or its own Champagne cocktail, Le 228.

Rome: Paparazzo 

Having opened only this summer, Paparazzo at Il Meridien Visconti already attracts a varied crowd of tourists – both Italian and international – and Romans, the latter no mean feat. Tucked away on a rooftop in Prati, a stylish part of Rome perfect for high-end shopping or a stroll to the nearby Vatican, its 60s-inspired design is a nod to Italy’s “golden age” of celebrity and the paparazzos that once flocked to the city. Colourful and creative decor is reflected in cocktails served with a side of theatre. Topped with a scented smoke bubble, Man on the Moon is fresh and fruity, combining Franciacorta rosé, vodka, lemon, strawberry & rosemary, while Espresso to Rome is an inventive upgrade on the traditional espresso martini.

Athens: The Clumsies

The Clumsies, which currently resides at number 19 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, is a must visit in Athens. Mixing up some of the most interesting (and delicious) serves we’ve ever tasted for just over a decade now, this unpretentious all day bar is as appealing on a midweek afternoon as it is at 10pm on a Friday night. Its distinct townhouse setting invites you to feel at home – featuring a bar at the front, terrace at the back, and a wide central staircase which leads up to a private bar with space for up to 10 people, complete with a fireplace, bookcase, billiard table and vinyl record player. With such incredible mixologists behind the bar, you’d be tempted to ask for a classic serve, but if you want to try something truly unique, just let them work their magic.

Read on for more cocktail and food ideas from Tempus

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