Bar Pharma

Budapest: Bar Pharma

An exercise in precision on an operating table

For many, cocktails are an exercise in precision work on an operating table. The mix of ingredients is pure chemistry, the quantities are carefully measured, and witnessing the field method is an exclusive act in itself. If this is music to your ears, then a night at Bar Pharma is a synesthetic adventure worth taking.

Located on Kazinczy street in the hip 7th district, Bar Pharma is probably the most daring cocktail bar in Budapest. Sure, this Eastern European capital does not lack cocktail venues, Blue Fox and Warm Up are just two other highlights worth mentioning. However, few drinking dens dare to kick it a up a notch both ingredient and setup-wise just as much as Bar Pharma does.

With its vintage pharmacy jars and dim lights, this newcomer to the Budapest bar scene is an intimate location. The moment you walk in, you find yourself in the company of eight other cocktail aficionados at most. The entrance is cramped, the seats are reserved for the connoisseurs. The proximity may seem a bit challenging or even vexatious for some, but precisely this level of intimacy intrigued us. It’s not often that a drink is given so much attention, and even less often that the act of enjoyment seems so exclusive.

At Bar Pharma, the set-up is not the only thing that’s radical. These modern apothecaries have really taken it to the next level placing ingredients in full focus. On the matte grey walls, you’ll find cards with exotic botanical varieties, as well as a cocktail list shaped as a delusory chemistry table. And most of these ingredients are carefully mixed in their signature cocktails. Their precise concoctions are playful, ranging from the use of Hungarian classic like the Unicum herbal liqueur and pálinka to more state-of-the-art alcoholic beverages like mezcal, pisco and white whiskey varieties.

Stirred, shaken or double strained for full texture, the Bar Pharma cocktail is bold and distinctly audacious. Stray from tradition and savor it during your future stay in Budapest.

What you're drinking:
Their signature Millionaire cocktail — a take on the Prohibition Era classic with cola reduction, vanilla, egg yolk and a top of shaken egg whites.
The extra mile for:
The exclusive intimacy of a cocktail done with a pharmacist’s precision.
“..and I'm standing on the corner of Fifth and Vermouth. ”
- Tom Waits -