As a large part of the world is on lockdown until further notice, we look back on things we took for granted – meeting with friends, shopping, going out to eat... It’s safe to say for a lot of us, a good pass time is to grab a drink at a bar, pub, or restaurant (depending on the mood and budget), but for now, the only thing we can do is reminisce of the good times and make plans for the future.
In the vein of remembering the good times, I decided to scramble up a little piece about some of the bars I visited during my time in Vilnius and share the wisdom for other seekers of fine tastes like me. Without further ado, let’s dive into it!
If you happen to be a gin lover such as myself, you can’t pass through this gem while visiting the capital. The bar is easy to find, located in the midst of the main cluster of bars and restaurants (making it super easy to do a bar crawl, not that I’ve tried or anything...). The atmosphere is enchanting, with a tree in the middle of the room making you feel like you’re in the forest, enjoying the tangy tastes surrounded by nature.
The menu is excessive, offering so many options it’s practically impossible for one person to try out them all, but there surely is something for everyone. From gins and tonics to gin cocktails, Sanatorija offers a palette of flavours, from coffee to fruit to herbs. The ones I had the chance to try out were Champagne G&T (made with Beefeater 24, Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic and champagne syrup, topped with some cute looking flowers) and Kiwi Jacuzzi (Beefeater, kiwi, ginger, lime juice, mint syrup and red bull kiwi-apple). Although the cocktails are on a pricier side of around 9-10 euros each, they’re totally worth it as I can vouch
I haven’t tasted gin cocktails that were so flavourful anywhere else.
Another thing worth mentioning is that this bar does one hell of a job in marketing itself, from funny tips from the world play of the wordsanatorija(which means a retreat SPA centre inEnglish) on its menus, to setting up a whole scene to present each cocktail on its Instagram page, which was what drew me into visiting the bar in the first place. I can safely say this is the one I will definitely make a comeback to.
The first thing I noticed when I walked into this bar was the massive wall of alcohol behind the bar that I immediately put into my mental ‘things to have in future home’ list. One major advantage of the place is that unlike all the others on this list, it opens as early as 11 am, giving people plenty of opportunities to enjoy their early afternoon drinks.
The overall look of the place is quite simplistic, which is not a bad thing by any means. There are two areas, upstairs and downstairs that you can access, so there’s something for all preferences. You also have plenty of alcohol options, from whiskey to vodka to gin to beer and, obviously, cocktails. Since I’m always a sucker for the classics, I couldn’t resist trying out thePornstarMartini, which had an interesting twist of brown sugar put on the passionfruit. Another one that I absolutely loved, but can’t find the name on the menu had the perfect mixture of blackberry liquor and milky foam at the top, balancing out the flavours perfectly.
In case you’d like a snack with your drinks, Distilerija also offers plenty of food choices, which I can’t comment on as I haven’t tried them yet, but there’s always next time!
The Bubbles Champagneria
This place is a little different from the others, as it doesn’t actually have a proper menu. Instead, the day’s offers are on the wall, and, as you can guess from the title, it’s all about champagne, as well as prosecco, wine and premium spirits.
I have only been to the Champegneria once, but it’s definitely a place you want to visit again, with its sophisticated setting that gives off massive French vibes and the limited seating, making the space look cosier and more intimate, which would be the perfect environment for a date night. The champagne I had there was some of the nicest I’ve had the opportunity to taste, as well. All in all, while I don’t have much to say about this one, it will for sure be a place I go back to in the future.
For Coventry University students, DROPS is like a fancier version of Quids. Indie rock music, pool tables, dimmed lighting and edgy drawings on the walls – the bar ticks all the boxes for creating the perfect atmosphere for a fun evening.
DROPS offers a range of beers, wines and spirits, as well as full page of cocktails on the menu. While most of them are the classics you see in every bar, you can never go wrong with a Zombie, Long Island Ice Tea, or even a simple but refreshing Mojito. One amazing factor is that the prices are also significantly cheaper than in the other places on this article, giving your wallet a well-deserved breath of fresh air. Best part is – there's no massive difference between the more expensive alternatives, meaning all the signs go towards giving the place a chance.
Just like Distilerija, DROPS also has a food menu, with all kinds of appetizers depending on the kind of alcohol you’re having, as well as the main dishes, such as burgers, steaks, and even salmon. With such variety, you can either visit this place as a lunch date, a wild night out, or maybe even a birthday party. Either way, I’d definitely suggest giving it a try.
This gem is located slightly further than the other ones on here, but it’s worth the journey. Alchemist isn’t so much of a bar, but rather more of a lounge, only able to hold around 10 people at a time, which can make you feel like you’re a part of an elite club.
Their menu is one of largest one I’ve ever seen, offering a massive range of cocktails, both classics and one I’ve never even heard of. While both times I’ve been there, I settled for a well-known Cosmopolitan (as it’s one of my personal favourites), it was one of the best ones I’ve ever had the pleasure to try.
The presentation itself was also very professional, with the staff even offering glasses of water with the drinks, which can definitely save your dignity from tripping over the winter ice after a couple of drinks (not that I’m speaking from experience or anything). Since I couldn’t find a proper electronic version of the menu anywhere, I can’t dwell on the other options in more depth, which is why I’m making it my mission to visit Alchemist again when I have the chance.
That is all for my alcohol-related adventures in the beautiful city of Vilnius. There are still many places I wish to try and plenty of new things to discover in places I’ve already been at. I hope I could give some useful ideas to anyone reading this, and once the lockdowns are lifted and humans rejoice at the world going back to its usual pace, you will be able to find out about these bars for yourself... Till next time!