Where to go on a Friday night to have a decent drink with your friends when a beer at your local pub won’t cut it?
You could try the bar of your favorite restaurant with the plenty options of drinks that are on display: perhaps the classic mojito, a piña colada, what about a cosmo?
But my friends and I wanted to try something that would take it up a notch. A friend of mine recommended me a recently-opened cocktail bar in Bogotá, Colombia, that started as a sort of speak-easy style place, but its word of mouth has made the place popular. It’s called Huerta Bar.
The joyful atmosphere welcomed us with pumping beats of Huerta’s live DJ mixing amidst the crowd. Listening to him I noticed that the regular playlists on shuffle are a quite common — and boring — trend among bars!
But, with a DJ, he can feel the energy of the room and play the appropriate tunes. He can feel the open space the nights offer so can head somewhere unexplored. Besides, it’s a bar, not a nightclub.
The modulation of the volume allows people to talk comfortably and listen to their partners laughter while they enjoy their drinks. Awesome!
A MIXOLOGIST IS A BARTENDER THAT PUTS ON A SHOW WHILE HE’S MIXING AND TASTING ALL THE INGREDIENTS THAT WILL BE IN YOUR CHOSEN DRINK SO EVERY COCKTAIL TASTES AS IT SHOULD
The menu and the waitresses both have everything you need to know to wet your whistle. An array of tastes lays on those menu pages: sweet, citrus, floral, soft, and strong.
One of the trends that’s gaining more and momentum, and which I personally love, is the popularization of the mixologists.
Forget about the old bartender that serves you your beer or mechanically prepares whatever drink you want and finishes it by adding soda from a hose. No.
A mixologist is a bartender that puts on a show while he’s mixing and tasting all the ingredients that will be in your chosen drink. It would be unlikely, therefore, that your drink will not be up-to-par with your expectations.
I started, for example, with a “Happy Kombucha”. This mojito-based cocktail comes with ginger, a watermelon rose taste and the Central American favorite horchata.
Each cocktail at Huerta Bar comes in an appropriate glass. A tall, totem-faced vessel holds this fantastic Kombucha topped with ice.
The Cocktails You Should Try
- The Happy Kombucha
- Huerta Mule
- Chocorramo Oldfashioned
- Mystery Cocktail
One of my friends went the first round with a local adaptation of the Moscow Mule aptly called “Huerta Mule”.
The cocktail’s served on its classic frozen mug and it’s prepared with Skyy Vodka, ginger, honey, lemon, and top soda.
If you’re a fan of this drink, my friend said it’s the best one she’s tasted in Bogotá. Not bad!
But there are two drinks that I would like to mention as well. The first one is inspired on one of Colombia’s most popular chocolate.
The other one is a mystery. If you are a fan of AMC’s hit show, Mad Men, like I am, then you’ll be familiar with Donald Draper’s favorite “Old Fashioned.”
The twist of this drink comes from a very popular Colombian chocolate cake that every kid at school had in their lunch box. It’s called “Chocorramo.” Hence, the “Chocorramo Oldfashioned.”
It’s mixed with Wild Turkey Bourbon, cocoa, orange, and lemon. Personally, I found a great balance between the chocolate taste and citrus. It’s the most popular cocktail in the house.
The second drink is called “Mystery Cocktail” in the sense of “Hey, Mr. Mixologist, let’s see what you got!” You tell the waitress what kind of alcohol you would like to have in your drink and whether you would like it with a sweet, citrus, floral, soft, or strong taste.
Not every cocktail is alike. All of us at our table gave different instructions and we were surprised by how different and tasty they all were.
You can side your drinks with tapas and other dishes. I ordered the “Patatas Bravas” covered in sriracha and cream cheese. Scrumptious!
My friends wanted mini burgers, so they ordered a dish called “Los Sliders” which comes with three mini burgers w/ bacon, Colombian cheese, homemade BBQ sauce, and sided w/ chips.
YOU CAN SIDE YOUR DRINKS W/ TAPAS AND OTHER DISHES
My friends and I welcome this trend of bars that fix you a great drink by the hands of mixologists who do things with care.
You’ll be more likely to have a great time with your entourage. So come on over, enjoy the music, and the decoration. This is no tourist trap or money grubber, this is the real deal!
Instagram @Laura Kobels
Huerta Bar: www.huertabar.com; @huertabar
Photos by: Laura Delgado & Huerta Bar