I’m not normally one for cocktails, but a fortnight of daily daiquiris in Cuba on holiday last year changed that. So when a pal suggested my other half and I check out one of Vienna’s classic cocktail bars on a recent trip back to Austria, I was all for it.
The Loos American Bar is tucked in a side street just off Stephansplatz, and is named after its designer Adolf Loos. Loos (1870-1933) was a controversial pioneer of modern architecture, whose minimalist Goldman and Salatsch Building was described by locals as a building ‘without eyebrows’ because of its lack of decorative detail on the windows.
He designed the then-called Kaernter Bar in 1908, inspired by his travels around the United States, and its opening prompted a string of American Bars to pop up around the city. Cocktails weren’t ‘a thing’ then, you see.
It’s still just as popular today, with its mirrored and dark wood-panelled interior creating a surprising sense of space for a relatively small bar, at just 4.45m by 6.16m. There are only a handful of tables inside and out, and it feels like it should smell of Cuban cigars – regardless of whether there’s anyone smoking one or not.
Ever the bourbon fan, Ian had an Old Fashioned made with Knob Creek, while I settled for a Floridita – a daiquiri named after Ernest Hemingway’s favourite Havana bar. It seemed appropriate…
Copyright Natalie Marchant/Tales From Taliena