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Holmens Kanal Cocktailbar
Holmens Kanal Cocktailbar

Food & Drink

Secret watering holes and cocktails with class

London has them, New York has them, and of course Copenhagen has them too. Secret bars that do not look much from the outside, but inside serve innovative cocktails, with an interior to match. The city is home to some of the world’s best cocktail bars, as well as a brand new absinthe lounge. Here is a selection of the best cocktail bars in Copenhagen – both the secret ones and those with a sign outside.

Union Bar

Only the initiated know that behind the black door hides a bar with a genuine speakeasy atmosphere. To get in, you have to ring the little brass doorbell, then go up some steps and down again into a wonderfully dark universe with enticing music that ranges from foxtrots to Depeche Mode. Fantastic dance floor.

Union Bar

Store Strandstræde 19, Copenhagen

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Ruby.

Ruby

Ruby is written understatedly on the door to this place. Once upon a time this cocktail bar was a secret, but those days are long gone. For this charming bar in an old luxury flat, complete with Chesterfield chairs and Oriental carpets, ranks #22 on a list of the world’s top 50 bars, and its cocktails are created using homemade spirits, secret ingredients, and all that’s good from the seasonal larder. The art of cocktail-making is taken pretty seriously, but without pomposity. And they play vintage Eddie Murphy on the speakers in the toilet.

Ruby

Nybrogade 10, Copenhagen

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The whiskey lounge at Lidkoeb

Lidkoeb

Lidkoeb is hidden from the street in a backyard at Vesterbrogade 72b, but is no longer a secret and has been a staunch favorite of Copenhageners since it opened in 2012. The same people who are behind Ruby have converted an old apothecary’s laboratory into this stylish temple of cocktails over 3 floors, with one floor done out like a study and dedicated to whisky. Here you can talk face-to-face in peace and quiet, and there is a ban on phone conversations and taking photos.

Lidkoeb

Vesterbrogade 72b, Copenhagen

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Strøm Bar

Two Swedish brothers and a Dane are behind this well-designed art deco bar. Strøm can be found on a number of lists, including USA Today’s 10 Best, and the guys certainly know their stuff – they have mixed drinks at some of the most exclusive bars in Europe, including Milk & Honey in London. The drinks menu is fresh and seasonal, and is changed every 3 months – and it is the only place in Copenhagen where you can also get cocktails on tap.

Strøm Bar

Niels Hemmingsens Gade 32, Copenhagen

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Holmens Kanal Cocktailbar

The building dates from 1863 and the stylish 1920s furnishings, which are reminiscent of Prohibition-era USA, are worth a visit in themselves. You can sit in screened booths, at high tables, or at the bar – if you go for the last option, you can watch Nordic master cocktail-maker Hardeep Singh Rehal as he works his magic. Hot tip: If you only try one cocktail, it’s got to be the Flamingo Fizz. Wow.

Holmens Kanal Cocktailbar

Holmens Kanal 7, Copenhagen

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Duck and Cover

Nuclear bomb heading your way? Just ‘duck and cover’, then everything will be fine. Duck and Cover was named after one of the most repeated (and most absurd) slogans of the Cold War. The Cold War is over, but the style of the 1950s is alive and well in Dannebrogsgade, where one of the best bartenders in the country, Kasper Reiwe Henriksen, has created an atmospheric haven of Danish 1950s design nostalgia, easy chairs, and fantastic cocktails.

Duck and Cover

Dannebrogsgade 6, Copnehagen

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La Fée Verte absint-lounge

Now your inner Bohemian can slake its thirst for the fabled green drink at La Fée Verte. Whereas absinthe was in the past associated with both mental illness and blindness, nowadays the drink is considered if not exactly harmless then at least not dangerous. The wormwood-based drink is still incredibly strong, though, and there is still a feeling of decadence and forbidden fruit when drinking “Den Grønne Fe”. The bar is decked out in Parisian fin-de siècle style with velour, heavy drapes, and green lighting. Bonne chance!

La Fée Verte absint-lounge

Teglgårsstræde 5, Copenhagen

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