Article by Melissa Ladd
In the depths of January, it is hard to find the courage to head out in the evenings, with all that dreary weather, and cold wind. It’s easier to slip on some pajamas and be cozy on the couch. But, I was so enticed by the beckoning words “GIN COCKTAILS” on the invitation. I’m a sucker for a really well made gin drink. So Frank tore himself away from fashion week to join me at this ultra swanky Paris hotel for some major mixology at Hotel Banke’s Lolabar.
Three gins were suggested for our special soirée découverte, but there are dozens of gins on the on the new gin cocktail menu, and they come from all around the world. Herbs and spices are used liberally in the creation of these cocktails, and the result is a really amazing drink. Example one : Gin Mare is served with thyme, basil, rosemary and olive. Sounds mouthwatering right? Hendricks is mixed with Damascus rose, rose berries and cucumber. OMG… it sounds divine! There is also a cocktail with The Botanist gin, served with grapefruit, mint and flowers. Perfection. Gin is so versatile. It can be married with so many interesting flavors to create really unique drinks. Plus that Juniper taste has just the perfect bite to it.
B what struck me most about these cocktails though was the ice. Yes, the ice! A giant block of it sat at the bar and was chipped away at by the barman. It is completely transparent ice, and they way they get it to freeze that way is not easy. It has to freeze for two days in a very cold and open container, and no regular tap water here my dears, this is only Evian ice. Frozen Evian ice that is chiseled into large chunks for some fancy gin drinks, now if that isn’t frivolous, I don’t know what is! And I love it!!!
Artistic and incredibly flavored these carefully concocted drinks come with a price, between 15 and 26 euros, they are made to sip slowly and be enjoyed. And this is no beer swilling bar, this nothing less than a five star hotel, thank you very much. A Spanish owned establishment, it is full of warm reds, gold and intense black décorum. I found it very masculin, yet extremely cozy, especially on a cold January evening.
So, no need to linger on the couch. Grab an Uber and get out during those cold winter months in Paris when it’s dark at 5pm and everyone hurries home after work. The Lolabar is spacious and the cocktails warm you up!
Sunday to Wednesday: 10am to Midnight.
Thursday to Saturday: 10am to 1am.
+33 (0) 155 332 217
20, Rue la Fayette, 75009 Paris, France