When it comes to the ultimate summer drink satiation, there’s nothing quite like a decadent cocktail to treat the senses.
And for a small island, Cyprus is a key player in the international cocktail scene, with a cool squad of hip, quaffed facial hair sporting, apron and bow-tie wearing barmen mixing up drinks that will make your taste buds tingle with delight. Here are some of My Cyprus Insider’s favourite cocktail bars on the island.
1. Lost + Found Drinkery, Nicosia
Having recently earned itself a position amongst the highly acclaimed ‘World’s 50 Best Bars’ by Drinks International, Lost + Found Drinkery leads the pack and raises the benchmark when it comes to mixology in Cyprus. Run by Dinos Constantinides, Lost + Found is also lucky to have not one, not two but three of the best bartenders in Cyprus, whipping up creative and innovative concoctions, always with style and flair in a small space oozing quirky character. From an old pinball machine and cinema chairs to a wall full of Marvel Superheroes, there’s plenty of eye candy at this place.
The best part is that the bar has a useful little cocktail guide which helps you pick a drink according to your taste, but the helpful and friendly bar staff are always on hand to help you choose from the 58 cocktails on the menu! If in doubt, try our very own namesake Cyprus Insider cocktail made from mix of Rum, Commandaria and Cynar – it’s strong but tasty!
Where? 38 Lord Byron, Nicosia.
2. Frankie’s Social, Limassol
With its cool prohibition era Speakeasy vibe, Frankie’s Social would not look out of place on the streets of Manhattan in New York. However, American inspiration aside, the bar embraces its Mediterranean heritage with a food and drink menu infused with some distinctly Mediterranean flavours.
From 6:30 pm every day, the bar serves up a taste bud tantalising aperitivo platter with arancini, croquettes, carne salata, jamon iberico and parmigiano, washed down with crisp bubbly Prosecco or suave sophisticated Lillet blanc. Try the Marquis De Sade – a unique signature cocktail whose combination of Mediterranean influences aromas and flavours find the perfect balance between bitter and sweet.
Where? 226, Arch. Makarios III Avenue, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 25-354101
3. Mukta, Larnaca
With the pre-requisite bearded hipster bartenders and a unique ‘cocktails with tapas’ concept, Mukta in Larnaca rocks a cool, yet somewhat different and eclectic vibe. Once located in the house of the first ever Muktar of Ayia Napa, the bar has a seductively exotic flavour with an Asian or Middle Eastern influence in the décor and tapas selection.
Head mixologist, Paris Christofides, and his crew of hunky cocktail creators have based the drinks menu on a passion for malts and bourbons, rums and gins. But we’re not talking run of the mill Jack and Coke or Gordon’s and Tonic. With the all new ITS GIN O CLOCK section of the menu, cocktail lovers can choose from a wide range of top gins infused with herbs and essences for the ultimate flavour adventure. Try the signature Moroccon Mohito or the Pasha’s Ritual, and for those unafraid of a little heat try the delicious Passion Chilly Margarita.
Where? Kleanthi Kalogera 24, Larnaca. Tel: (+357) 99-712117
4. Notes and Spirits, Nicosia
Much more than just a simple run of the mill cocktail bar, Notes And Spirits in Nicosia is also an independent music label with a double sided focus on creating both high quality cocktails and excellent sounds. But whether the cool kids over at this funky little space are mixing beats or mixing drinks, everything is done in keeping with the bar’s philosophy of ‘craftsmanship’.
Carefully curated by the bar’s manager and head bartender Christos Georgiou and bartender George Assiotis, the cocktail menu is impressive, at times complex and elaborate and always infused with a generous helping of passion. Try the popular Salvador 33 – a gin based cocktail with homemade pineapple marmalade, agave, citrus and Chartreuse or for a more exotic taste, try Oaxaca Old Fashioned – a cocktail taken from the famous American bar, Death & Co, with Reposado Tequila and Mescal as a base, agave syrup and bitters.
Where? 33, Odos Evagorou I Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 99-585993
5. Library Bar, Limassol
Conveniently located in the heart of Limassol’s old town, Library Bar is a popular option for the cities hippest crowd. The simple pared back industrial stone interior is complemented by a colourful seasonal cocktail menu (along with a My Cyprus Insider special!) and music by some of the best DJ’s and live musicians across the island.
Library gets busy on the weekends, with drinkers spilling out onto the street outside the bar but table reservations can be made. And if you feel like something to nibble with your cocktail, the bar also has a kitchen with some tasty treats for dinner.
Where? 1 Themidos Street, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 25-361362 / (+357) 99-41 22 44
6. Old Market St, Larnaca
Located in a stylishly revamped traditional old yellow stone house in central Larnaca just behind Finikoudes, Old Market St is one of those places that serve drinks out of mason jars, while the tapas come in mini ice-cream cones.
Amassing quite a reputation for itself on the music scene for its live gigs and DJ sets, the cocktails are the real stars of the show, known by people from near and far as serving the best cocktails in Larnaca (and beyond!). With tables spilling out onto the street under the leafy trees and candles that twinkle on the tables come night time, it makes for the perfect setting to enjoy their dreamy signature cocktails.
Where? 51 Kleanthi Kalogera, Larnaca. Tel: (+357) 94-011011
7. The Gym, Nicosia
A favourite amongst Nicosia’s most glamorous movers and shakers, The Gym is one of those places which have managed to get everything right. Expect uber cool interior design; a raved about food menu; great music and last but not least, an amazing cocktail menu with cameo roles from some of the most premium liquors and spirits in the world.
Named The Gym so that people could feel less guilty about saying they were going there, (try saying “I’m going to the gym” to your friends and see what they think) The Gym also has a cute and quirky little store selling one-of a-kind interior decoration items, art, exclusive fashion pieces and special cosmetics. Try the delectable herbal Mastiha cocktail or the Golden Tequila Collins.
Where? Onasagorou 85-89, Nicosia. Tel: (+357) 22-002001
8. Μαντάμ Bar, Limassol
Open for just over a year now, Μαντάμ is rocking Limassol’s bar scene with its cool casual cocktail concept. Right in the middle of the bright open space is a huge wooden table that customers can sit around in a Wagamama-style, ‘sit next to a stranger’ idea.
The big windows let the sun stream in during the day making Μαντάμ a great spot for a Sunday brunch with cheeky cocktails, while at night, the bar brings a stellar line up of top-class DJ’s to entertain the crowds with funky beats.
Where? 24 Andrea Drousioti Street, Limassol.
9. (in)theory, Limassol
Saripolou square can seem like a daunting prospect for a night out, with its crowds of fancy drinkers, its blaring music and its line of cookie cutter bar after cookie cutter bar. However there is one little spot tucked in amongst the rest that stands out from the crowd for its impressive and award-winning cocktail menu. That bar is (in)theory.
Mixing drinks behind the bar is one of the island’s best barmen, Sotiris Savvides, who also just happens to be the creator of the famous award winning Valeria cocktail. Made from Grey Goose vodka, jasmine syrup, lime, orange bitters, sparkling water and dragon fruit puree, this refreshingly crisp creation earned itself a spot in the top three at the World Cocktail Championship, and is reason enough to visit (in)theory to see if it deserves its prize!
Where? 53 Saripolou, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 95-100250
10. Blok, Larnaca
A relatively new kid on the cocktail scene, Blok has quickly become one of the go to hot spots for an after work cocktail or cool night out since opening in 2015. Aptly named Blok, after the up-and-coming Larnaca neighbourhood around the block from where the bar is located, this funky space with its traditional stone vaulted interior and hip black board wall of chalk art is worth a visit for the cool ambience as much as the delicious drinks.
Behind the bar, you will find head mixologist Vakis Stavri flamboyantly creating the eclectic menu of cocktails to suit all tastes. Passion Forest, Smoked Spirit and Herbal London are just some of the most popular signature cocktail choices amongst the fashionable regulars who pop in for a refreshment with friends during the weekend or to relax after a hectic day at work.
Where? Kleanthi Kalogera 53, Larnaca. Tel: (+357) 97-645830
11. Palaia Pineza, Nicosia
From the offset you might mistake Palaia Pineza for just another quirky little alternative Old Town bar, but on closer inspection, you will see that this cosy and highly unpretentious little watering hole is actually one of the best cocktail bars in Nicosia. Rather than disguising itself in fancy decoration and hip designs, this humble little space keeps it simple, preferring to focus its attention’s on the quality of its drinks menu.
Home to Constantinos Philippides – one of Cyprus’ leading Bacardi Legacy mixologists – Pineza likes to add a signature twist to its cocktails and ever serves up some of Philippides’ own inventions such as the Beet Kiss with Bacardi, elderflower syrup, fresh beetroot juice, fresh lime juice, green chilli pepper and orange peel.
Where? Manis 14, Old Town, Nicosia. Tel: 70 001991
12. Elixir Cocktail Bar, Limassol
Basing their philosophy around a simple triad of high quality cocktails, excellent service and most importantly a love for what they do, Elixir Cocktail Bar promises not only fabulous cocktails served by international award-winning bartenders, it also promises service with a smile.
Bringing world famous mixologists from abroad, Elixir has hosted the likes of Omer Gazit-Shalev, the bar manager of Israel’s notorious 223, and last year’s Bacardi Legacy Finalist. But celebrity bartenders aside, this minimalist space with its exposed stone floors and blue backlit bar, also takes great pride in its own creations; focusing on attention to detail and little touches of magic to concoct the perfect cocktail.
Where? 41 Kitiou Kyprianou, Limassol. Tel: (+357) 25-345678