Cocktail bars sometimes come as a surprise to many. You could go to the most fancy or expensive bar and still come out disappointed (and poorer), or you could go somewhere that looks shady and run down, but end up leaving at 3am when they kick you out. The first lesson I have learnt when judging a bar by its cover is: don't judge.
For me, it's as simple as good atmosphere + mixologists = good cocktail bar.
Living in London means that many of my favourite bars are in the city, but I have found some hidden gems abroad and have made sure that I remember to write a review on tripadvisor or add them to my instagram, just so I can relive the memory, possibly go back and recommend it to other cocktail-thirsty travellers.
Sometimes I do get distracted by beer, which may explain why I haven't found amazing cocktails in some of the cities I have been to, but what's the rush? Here are my five personal favourites, but when I struggle, I do look up some options on TimeOut to be safe.
There are some other interesting places that are worth a mention, such as Absintherie in Prague, the home of Absinthe with a pianist playing the latest songs from Top of the pops, right under the staircase; as well as Coq d'argent, in the City of London, well-known for a notable number of people trying to jump off the top (for personal reasons, nothing to do with the drinks at the bar), as well as well made classics. Can't go wrong with a pornstar martini here. Finally, I have to mention Be at One and their Blueberry Muffin cocktails as well as their hyper and borderline crazy bar staff... plus they have happy hours, so it's a guaranteed fun, tasty night out.
1. Ayahuasca, lima
I love this place. Each room has a different vibe, one with Peruvian rugs rolled into glass jars, another secret room with a few rocking chairs and couches, another with a modern bar, and then an outside area. The Pisco Sours had a number of variations and the bar staff were very welcoming, which makes this the one bar you shouldn't miss if you're going to Peru.