Tel Aviv is filled with bars. However, Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar is the premier place to get hand-crafted cocktails in Tel Aviv.
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar is inside the Imperial Hotel. It’s a block away from the beach and it’s one of the only bars in Tel Aviv to go beyond the usual mix drinks. The Mixologists go full nerd on their drinks with creative spins on liquor and names like Puff Puff Pass and Ol Dirty Bastard. I find it surprising they could muster up the creativity while being intoxicated cause I could barely order a drink after a few rounds. I guess it’s one of the main reasons why they were #17 on the 2015 World’s Best Bar. It’s definitely impressive like Tel Aviv’s night life.
Imperial is far from the upscale bars of New York. It’s a bit divey yet hip with its fluorescent lighting and bartenders with mustaches. Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar area is filled with patrons and the rest of the bar is filled with booths. The booths were full and there was only a few seats at the bar when I arrived from late night dinner at Cerveceria.
As I entered thee bar’s door, a hostess greeted me and seated me at the only open bar seat. She handed me a menu and went back to stand by the door. The menu had a number of items that looked appealing but like all alcohol drinkers I tend to stick to what I know and what doesn’t give me a hangover the next day. With those two criteria, it’s always cognac or some dark alcohol like rum or whiskey. Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar drinks reminded me of the Aviary and Tokyo’s Gen Yamamoto.
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar bartender came over to greet me with a shot. It’s apparently one of Imperial’s tradition to welcome new guests with it a shot. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to a hipster with a mustache and suspenders offering me free drinks. The night began with a shot then progress to a few drinks. I requested a few drinks with cognac and not too sweet. I like to taste my alcohol like how I like the bitter taste of coffee.
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar bartender came back with two drinks. Both drinks contained cognac; however, one was too sweet for my palate and the other happened to be slightly sweet. Fortunately, the two drinks were both tasty and quickly gave me a buzz, which I didn’t mind after a long day at Petra. It was something I needed to relax me after a long day in Petra and being integrated by the Israeli TSA. I felt after the two drinks and the bartender was kind enough to only charge me for one.
Imperial Craft Cocktail Bar was definitely a great bar. It wasn’t too stuffy and the divey atmosphere was welcoming vibe. The attentive bartenders who paid attention to whether I was enjoying my drinks or not was a nice touch. It shows they take their craft very seriously. I would highly recommend Imperial.
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- Service - 8.5/108.5/10
- Presentation - 7.5/107.5/10
- Flavors - 8/108/10
- Decor - 8/108/10
- Ambiance - 8/108/10
The Mixologists go full nerd on their drinks with creative spins on liquor and names like Puff Puff Pass and Ol Dirty Bastard. I guess it’s one of the main reasons why they were #17 on the 2015 World’s Best Bar. It’s definitely worth stepping through the doors as you are welcome with a shot.