Best & Worst of 2018 – The Booze

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Most any afternoon at five
We’ll be so glad we’re both alive
Then maybe fortune will complete her plan
That all began
With cocktails for two

Duke Ellington

It’s New Years Eve again. Many of my friends have posted words of wisdom on social media saying that it’s a night for reflection and contemplation. True! But it’s also an excuse to party and have a good time together with friends. That is why I have decided that the first (and maybe last) “Best & Worst of 2018” – post will be about…the booze.

Our plans for tonight are to leave the thoughts (or the afterthoughts) until tomorrow and open a bottle of champagne or two together with our closest friends. Hopefully 2019 will bring interesting travels, fun parties, good music, tasty cocktails, exciting experiences and new friendships. With this blogpost, I wish all my friends & readers a great celebration of the New Year! 

2018 was a good year for cocktail lovers like us. It started out with some educational activities, with two different cocktail classes for both our birthdays. The first one took place in January at Bar Bastard (Bølgen & Moi Tjuvholmen). The second class was held at Støtvig Hotel in Larkollen, where we were the only students. Full attention to cocktails!

Best Cocktail course
Extra lessons from the teacher at Bar Bastard

Spring offered travels to Stockholm, New York and Vienna. And with a memorable summer offering long summer days and nights for weeks and weeks, there were plenty of opportunities to explore the city and find out where the tastiest drinks were. And together with Google & TripAdvisor, my internal radar for good places offered some new discoveries as well as nice rendez-vous with earlier discoveries.

Here is the best & the worst of 2018:

Strongest drink
The party was nice, but the welcome drink was perhaps not the biggest success in history. Our New Year’s Welcome drink only qualified as the strongest of the year. Even if it was consumed in 2017, we could still feel the effect some hours into in 2018. I knew I should have left those infused strawberries alone…

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Best beach bar
The drinks are not memorable and are perhaps to be avoided. But Kongens Marina in Oslo offered a nice venue for the first outdoor drink in 2018.

Best view from a bar
It’s very hard to beat the view from The Crown rooftop bar in New York – with its two large terraces with a 360 degrees view of Manhattan. We celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day there with a custom made drink menu, Norwegian students, a brass band and Americans looking for free drinks! Hurra for 17. mai!

Best rooftop bar
It was our second visit to Azotea de Benito rooftop bar in Las Palmas. The first time we visited was December 2016 and I discovered it completely by accident because I had trained my internal radar for rooftop bars during my visit in New York in July. The Azotea bar is situated close to the cathedral in Gran Canaria’s capital and they offer a nice ambience and very tasty cocktails with attention to details. The bar is easily accessible via a lift inside a cinema complex.

Best bar
Himkok is the place to be if you want good cocktails. New York Times agree. You can read more about it in this blogpost.

Best summer cocktails
The outdoor serving at Grådi (situated in Tøyen, Oslo) offers very fresh and tasty cocktails with gin from Himkok and the best hipster tapas in the neighbourhood.

Best beer place
Kulturhuset in Oslo have a bar for beer nerds. Read more about Kulturhuset in this blogpost.

Best value for money
Omnibar at Sørenga in Oslo gives you the leftovers in a shot glass when you order a cosmo and espresso martini. Never throw away alchohol!

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Worst drink
As I said above, Norwegians usually never leave a glass of alchohol. At least not a full one. But the cosmopolitan at K1 food & lounge was not drinkable. Usually in Gran Canaria it’s better to stick to the wine…

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Best accessible rooftop bar Oslo
Neither the drinks or the weather were that memorable at Bar Social Eating’s Rooftop bar, but the view is pretty nice from the huge terrace vis a vis Mathallen.

Best hidden secret
Even with Google & GPS, Bryant & Mack Private Detectives is very hard to find. In a tiny side alley the establishment looks closed and abandoned. But look two times! If there is light in the window, there is hope. One small step to enter, but the staff will help you. As long as you follow the rules of the bar. Which are kind of special…

Best cocktail place for people watching in Oslo
Bettola at Schou’s piazza in Oslo offers the best combination of people watching, tasty cocktails and late afternoon sunshine.

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Best homemade drinks
Our homemade strawberry basil smash & strawberry daquiri were probably among the best drinks we had in 2018.

Best bar encounter that did not happen
When André almost met Metallica at Bern’s in Stockholm. But the cosmo was good…

Best neighbourhood bar
Human Mote is a stayer. At least we hope so…

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Best traditional pub
The Kenilworth in Edinburgh offer a good variety of beer, gins and bar snacks. And a nice atmosphere.

Worst name of a bar
Dirty Dicks had worn out bedpans as decoration. Do we need to say more? But the place was friendly and a nice place to end the holiday in Edinburgh.

Cutest wine label
Petit Ours looks cute and tastes good.

2018-10-20 22.09.12

Coolest hotel bar
The main bar at Baoab Lopesan in Meloneras has very cool decor, tasty drinks (best cosmo in Meloneras by far) and nice live lounge music. Only a pity that they have a long steep hill in front of the hotel entrance.

Best bar we never visited
Bonding with some Danish cocktail lovers at the Bryant Mack Private Detectives in Edinburg, we asked them where to go for cocktails in Copenhagen. And their answer was Balderdash. We have no idea if it’s accessible or not, but the are supposed to have good drinks. Maybe we’ll get to try them in 2019?

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Until then I wish you a Happy New Cocktail Year! But just remember…

2018-07-22 15.58.45

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