Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to coctail heaven. A place where Cosmopolitan might be considered a swear word and where jasmine, mustard and bacon make their way into your coctail with your full consent and blessing. I do love everything about this place: its understated charm, its award-winning geeky mixology as well as the almost childish excitement that comes with every new drink. Impressive selection of (Hemingway’s favourite) rums, absinthe and champagne, extremely cosy atmosphere and a completely non-smoking second floor as a bonus.
I took the gorgeous P. to Hemingway’s after he’d made it more than clear that he was not really into me, a thing that made me drink too much wine, play Depeche Mode’s Heaven a thousand times on repeat, force all my friends to ensure me he most certainly was making quite the biggest mistake of his life and that the whole thing frankly is inexplicable; and finally go for an extra long run – all that within 3 hours after his text. Later that day, I showed up to meet him awfully late, completely starving but also oddly at peace: the game might have been over but there still was a beautiful summer night to be enjoyed.
A charitable girl and a knowledgeable blogger as I am, I chose to show P. my very favourite coctail spot – just because there simply is no other place. It always somewhat feels like winning the national lottery when after having made a call upstairs, the waiter produces a smile and almost congratulates you to getting a table. To be fair though, the capacity of the bar is rather limited (with the second floor often completely closed) and their reputation sound, so unless you book in advance, the chances for a table actually are pretty lottery-like.
I ordered their blissfully foamy Lavender Martini and watched P. getting proper excited about his Nick Adams Penicilin, served with a huge ice chunk, a pyrex lab beaker, an authentic retro pharmacy bottle and even a tiny pill to complement the amazing little composition. You kind of sense you’ve made
a very bad an excellent venue choice when your date seems to get more excited about the sophisticated coctail alchemy than your cleavage, an observation that only worried me until I learned that even though my all-time darling ‘jasmine tea’ drink is no longer on the menu, they would be happy to make it for me; and that the bar has a set of dos and don’ts that caught P.’s attention in between taking picture of his fab drink creation and writing down its ingredients so he can re-create it back home.
The rules turned out to be extremely fun to break, P. drunk enough to think we are in Naples and the six guys at the neighbouring table – we befriended them while breaking rules 3 and 5, that is no loud talking and no interacting with strangers – way too sweet about our cunning ways to find out if they’re Italian/ or at least have been to Italy at some point in their lives.
“Why don’t you and your boyfriend join us for a drink?”
“Oh, ain’t my boy. He’s not into me, at all.”
And so, with P. contently sitting in his corner and probably also failing to understand a single word and me laughing too hard to be bothered to translate, I learned that it definitely is him, not me, that they understand that he is superhandsome and oh-so-elegant but also seems a bit of a killjoy; and that they would gladly take my number if I cared to dump him. Bless, I will forever treasure the memory of their unisono nodding when they were persuading me they all really, really liked me…
I so have to come more often.
Hemingway Bar, Karolíny Světlé 26 (tram: Národní divadlo)