First evening in Athens first cocktail bar! I joined my sister and her boyfriend yesterday in Athens for a few days of holidays. After a nice Greek coffee down the street in the late afternoon it was nearly time to go for dinner. As none of us felt like doing late we decided on enjoying a pre-dinner drink before going to the restaurant. I came prepared with a list of cocktail bars I had researched beforehand. As I’m the only cocktail aficionado I got to choose which bar to try. After having endured Geneva’s hot and cold weather for the last few weeks I was thoroughly enjoying the sunny warm Greek weather, so I settled on a promising bar with a terrace: Six d.o.g.s. When we asked the barista to book us a taxi to go there, she said the bar was a great choice!
After some misunderstanding with the taxi driver who dropped us a bit too far, we walked back to the bar which is located in a small path off Athinas road close to Monastiraki square. Upon seeing the bar front and its terrace, I was disappointed to say the least. I expected a nice sunny terrace and here it was just a regular terrace with a few tables completely shadowed by the buildings around. It was disconcerting as it didn’t match what I’d read about the bar online: no patio, no art exhibits… Also the bar was closed! (If I had read the descriptions more attentively, I’d have understood that Six d.o.g.s is more than just the one bar. It’s actually a cultural center with different spaces: a cafe, a bar, and a gallery hosting art exhibitions, club nights, live music, DJs, etc.)
Although the bar was closed, we could hear the buzz of people chatting not far away. That’s when we noticed a staircase leading to an archway beneath the building and people coming up. I decided to have a look and, at the bottom of the stairs, my eyes literally popped out my head. There was one of the wickedest outdoor bars I’d ever seen!
The Garden, as it’s called, is an outdoor cafe/bar, part of Six d.o.g.s, open from 10 am, where people can enjoy light meals, such as soups, bagels and hot dogs, and drinks. With its wooden tables and stools, it’s perfectly integrated in and respectful of its natural surroundings: trees all around, from which lanterns hang, and ground made of river sand in perfect harmony with the old stone walls of the enclosing buildings. There was music but what you could mostly hear was the friendly chatter of the customers, giving The Garden a relaxed atmosphere.
On to the cocktails now!
The bar has two cocktails menu: a regular one with signature cocktails and classics and a Tiki menu. I barely spared a glance at the classics. I was more interested in discovering new flavours as always. The house cocktails list offers interesting choices, mostly because of the use of house infused vodkas or mastiha, a liquor of mastic typical from the island of Chios. What we really got my attention though was the Tiki menu.
I’m usually not much of a Tiki cocktail fan. Too sweet, too heavy in spirits… However, upon reading the ingredients of The Garden’s Tiki cocktail menu, I could not not have one. As I was a bit dizzy from lack of sleep and an empty stomach, I wanted to try a cocktail with not too many spirits inside. After hesitating with the Waikiki (Beefeater London Dry Gin infused with jasmine, lemon juice, homemade honey syrup infused with ginger, Marie Brizard jasmine liqueur, Scappy’s Orleans bitters, green apple, mint and wasabi), I finally ordered a Molokai. Let me tell you: the combination of Beefeater London Dry Gin, lemon sage cordial, lemon juice, Marie Brizard elderflower liqueur, fresh ginger juice, red tea syrup, celery bitters, cucumber, kiwifruit, topped with smoked salt was absolutely stunning and delicious! It was fresh and very surprising. It reminded me of a freshly pressed apple juice!
Today, after nearly six hours of constant walking and sightseeing throughout the city I ended up back at The Garden for a coffee. It was just a busy, yet, enjoyable as yesterday.
Nice setting, delicious drinks, convivial atmosphere, The Garden has it all!