The Cinco Lounge in Lisbon has a convincing offer or tastefully complex and perfectly balanced cocktails.

Near the Finalmente, Portugal’s most famous gay club, I am sheltered by the thick turquoise curtains of the Cinco Lounge. While the other bars of the Bairro Alto are mostly wild and loud, here “Stairway to Heaven” drifts softly from the loudspeakers. A look at the list of spirits also shows that style is important and drinking is an form of art in this lounge. 25-year-old barkeeper Rui explains the list with a broad beam of pride on his face. I choose the “No. 5” – a Vieux Carré that was mixed and stored in a barrel for six weeks before it was filled into the tiny pharmacist’s bottle that now stands in front of me. My second drink will be the “Shake Your Money Maker” created in this bar. Rui mixes Tequila, Mezcal and a homemade smoky bitter with fresh pineapple juice at a breathtaking speed and with highest precision. The result underlines why the Cinco Lounge is one of the best bars in Europe: The cocktail is complex in taste and yet perfectly balanced.

Recipe for “Shake Your Money Maker”
by Dave Palethorpe, Cinco Lounge

50 ml Reposado Tequila, e.g. Don Julio
10 ml Mezcal
30 ml lemon juice
30 ml pineapple juice
20 ml Lapsang Souchong syrup
5 ml ginger juice
3 drops ginger/Lapsang Souchong bitter
3 capsules of black cardamom
2 pineapple pieces

Put all ingredients plus ice cubes in a shaker and shake well. Strain thoroughly through a sieve into a high glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

Cinco Lounge
Rua Ruben A. Leitão 17A
Lisbon, Portugal

Text: Alexander Mahler

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