Geneva Cocktail Week
Words by Geneva bars and Difford's Guide
Photography by Geneva bars
Geneva Cocktail Week is a celebration of Geneva's growing cocktail culture, and aims to help consumers go on a voyage of cocktail discovery around the city.
It's taking place from 25 September to 1 October 2017.
Register here for your free festival pass.
Back for a second year, Geneva Cocktail Week is expanding, with 34 bars participating as well as special events and masterclasses for those curious to learn more about the wonderful world of cocktails.
Geneva is a hugely diverse city with French, Italian and German all officially recognised languages. English is also widely spoken, perhaps due to the large number of international organisations which have chosen the city as their home, including the United Nations and the Red Cross.
This diversity of people and culture leads to many global influences visible within the creative industries, bartending included. So, we went to check out some of the best bars in the city for ourselves and came back with this film which showcases some of this creativity in action.
The cocktails you see being made are fantastic examples of what to expect from Geneva Cocktail Week, when they will be available at the special festival price of CHF 10, or CHF 8 for a non-alcoholic alternative.
The bars we visited
We asked the bartenders to tell us about their bars. Here's what they said...
Le Verre à Monique
"This is a little gem of a bar, tucked down a side street in Geneva's art district. The bar was created by Helen Calle-Lin, co-owner and designer of the award winning The Gibson bar in London.
Inspired by the dreamy hey days of the 1920s, the copper bar and art deco furniture are given a futuristic twist with glittering powder blue walls.
The extensive drinks menu is organised into flavour profiles: Salt & Brine, Citrus, Floral, Fresh Green, Woodland & Bramble, Rich Fruit and Butter & Spice. Cocktails include the Smoky Bear, black truffle infused cognac with Swiss absinthe, strawberry, orange and a flamed oak moss top that releases a haze of perfumed smoke. The Karma Sumatra blends dark rum and arrack with pearl jasmine infusion, vermouth and cherry bark bitters for an asian twist on a Negroni while the Large Hadron Colada makes a tiki-styled nod to the particle smashing neighbours.
The music is eclectic and after drinking several of the tasty but strong cocktails some clients have been known to notice they are sharing the bar with miniature train-set figures recreating scenes from 1950s Sci-fi B-movies."
Rue des Savoises 19, 1205 Genève
L'Apothicaire Cocktail Club
"'Quintessence' would be the best word to describe the soul of the Apothicaire Cocktail Club. This is a place where craftsmanship in bartending meets passion and curiosity. Renowned as a pioneer in the art of cocktail-making on the Geneva bar scene, the Apothicaire Cocktail Club's vibe is that of an island where laughter and chill-out vibes welcome you every time.
Be ready for an adventurous trip that starts with the warm smile and profound knowledge of our personnel, accommodating you with homemade infused spirits, syrups and creative cocktails. It's a trip to that sweet place full of absolute satisfaction!
Situated in the heart of the Geneva's financial district, we welcome everyone with a curious and friendly mindset! Close-minded and unenthusiastic individuals, please stay away.
Apothicaire Cocktail Club - the place where magic happens."
Boulevard Georges-Favon 16, 1204 Genève
"Located on the river, two minutes from Geneva centre, Bistrot 23 and its three different atmospheres will surprise you.
Côté Bistrot, our cocktail bar, with dishes to share, a selection of local wines, beers and an original cocktail list created by Gregory, one of the founders of Bistrot 23.
Côté Restaurant, where the contemporary and the old styles marry perfectly. A la carte, fresh and local products highlighted by our young chef Tom with passion. In the summer, you can enjoy your cocktail, tapas and food in one of our terraces along the river.
The Bistrot 23 also opened its first Pop-Up Bar this summer: Les Bulles du 23. Focused on bubbles, you can find there a bathtub filled with ice and Taittinger champagne as well as a Botanist Gin trolley where you can gather your herbs or spices to aromatize your G&T as you like it and a "Spritzeria" with many different recipes. This pop-up Bar will change concept every year to continue to surprise and offer the Bistrot 23's guests a unique and original experience."
Rue de la Coulouvrenière 23, 1204 Genève
On Monday 25 September the Banks Rum Experience is coming to Bistro 23 with a Caribbean Night. 6pm to 10pm
"Bodega 21, a bar reminiscent of Spain, with mesmerizing music and a festive atmosphere. From Monday to Sunday our team is waiting for you to discover a classic cocktail menu and creations .. accompanied by tapas and the best Spanish wines, the Bodega 21 offers a trip to Spain."
Rue des Eaux-Vives 21, 1207 Genève
"Inda-Bar is a cocktail bar with modern and new Indian cuisine, sized to be shared, and to be enjoyed with a good cocktail or glass of wine.
Embark on a new journey and discover the rich flavours of modern Indian flavor, through fresh and simple products that are balanced with just the right touch of spices. The vision of our founder Morad El Hajjaji, combined with the mastery of our chef Kuldeep Rawat give our dishes and cocktails a real identity, and a resolutely modern and tasty twist."
Rue Henri-Blanvalet 23, 1207 Genève,
"Sheera is a new cocktail bar in Geneva located in les Paquis district. The bar takes its name from an indian dessert, and is intended to be a multi-cultural place with Anglo-Saxon accents and oriental consonances. With its cozy decoration, Chesterfield brown benches and neo industrial lights, everything is designed to make you feel comfortably at ease, as you taste a classic cocktail prepared by the expert hands of the bar team. While the gin trend booming, the bar also offers a nice selection of whiskeys, single malt, bourbon and Japanese whiskeys, which you can enjoy with a cigar. You can also dine; the bar offers a choice of dishes, salads, tapas, as well as homemade desserts. And for cocktail novices, we offer more fruity cocktails, and chichas with unexpected and sweet perfumes."
Rue Philippe-Plantamour 19, 1201 Genève
On Tuesday 26 September, Sheera is hosting a Bombay Sapphire Masterclass with Ivano Tonutti (Master Herbalist) and Sean Ware (Northern European Brand Ambassador). 12.30pm to 4pm