Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar
An eclectic collection of characters man the bar at Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar, including one whose resume includes Israeli Special Forces. And the drinks they make are nothing short of extraordinary. So much so that Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar stormed the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2015, coming in at 17th place, making it the highest new entry in the entire list.
Truly offering one of the best drinking experiences in the city, this dedicated cocktail bar, found within the Imperial Hotel in Tel Aviv, has a dizzying drinks menu. It’s like tumbling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland as you take in the descriptive words like “fruity”, “deep and aged”, and “spiritous” that categorise the cocktails on offer. The menu changes every few months, but the bartenders have an elephant’s memory (they never forget) so, at any one time, any of around 150 cocktails can be ordered. Expect such crafted delights as the “Bulleit to the Head” cocktail made with Bulleit Rye whiskey, St. Germain, lemon, egg white and their own beet-Cajun house syrup. Or the “El Camello… Loco”, a speciality of bartender Bar, which is made with Bacardi Superior rum, Cinzano Rosso, lime and Peroni. And, if you ask nicely, he’ll even give you the recipe to try it at home.
There’s a menu of Asian-inspired food to accompany the delicious drinks, offering everything from fresh oysters and braised Ginza pork belly to a “Bollywood Croissant” (a surprisingly moreish mixture of ham, egg, cheese and curry mayo) and Coconut Brûlée. All, of course, best washed down with another round or two. Especially if you’re at Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar during happy hour (daily, 6-8pm) because why not?