The Grand Bar – Cocktails, Long drinks, and Cigars
As befits the barkeep of any smoker's bar, head bartender Sascha Klinke casually leans against the bar with a cigar in hand as we enter The Grand's bar at a rather early hour. The skilled chef is in the middle of his preparations; ginger syrup cooks in the background.
It will later be used in his own twist-drink creation, the Grand Mule, along with grapefruit bitters, fresh cucumber and lime juice, and some ginger beer. Together they'll be added to an absinthe-drizzled glass and served with the choice of vodka, gin, white tequila, or Jaegermeister.
"It works like mad," Klinke describes this interpretation of the classic Moscow Mule. It's especially good with Jaegermeister, though hardly anyone believes it until their first taste. He smirks, taking another drag from his Cuban cigar, a large selection of which The Grand keeps ready in a humidor.
Klinke learned his trade in the Amano Bar under renowned bartender Philip Bischoff, and only a few months ago took on previous bar manager Andreas Künster's legacy. He wants the bar to stay true to its roots in the future.
The focus is clearly on classic cocktails such as the whiskey sour, known by many as the best in town. But individual interpretations, the so-called twist-drinks, are also regularly being developed here with fresh herbs and self-made infusions. "That's where the cook in me comes through," the Berlin citizen grins.
"Freshly prepared ingredients are also tastier and more intense in cocktails," he emphasises. The guest is always at the core of all experimental fun. True to the motto, "You name it, we serve it," everyone gets what they want here – and the bar staff love to improvise.
Live bands play here regularly on Fridays, sharing the evening with a rotation of DJs whose focus lies primarily on current hits and dance classics. But we also had fun without music, amongst Chesterfield sofas, raw plastered walls, and sober lighting. The perfect location for long nights!