52 Upper Belgrave Road,
Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XP
0117 946 6081
In honour of our German Gin of the Month, Windspiel, May's Gin Joint of the Month is a classy German cocktail bar - but one a little closer to home...
The basement of an Indian restaurant in Bristol might not be the first place you would go looking for a German cocktail bar, but if you ring the bell at a mysterious locked door in the Clifton area of the city, you’re in for a treat.
After buzzing for entry, you’ll enter a dimly lit bar, which exudes the spirit of another, simpler, classier age. Filled with intriguing objects and paintings, you’ll already be feeling like you want to linger for a while – and that’s before you’ve even seen the drinks menu.
Hausbar was launched in June 2006 by German-born Aurelius Braunbarth, who grew up in his father's Michelin-starred restaurant and who himself has more than 25 years’ experience working in the industry.
“The vision was to create a relaxed, laid back place where people can enjoy high quality drinks and the best service in town,” Aurelius explains. “Service is very important to us”.
Indeed, the whole place is set up to make guests feel comfortable and properly looked-after, with table service and well-chosen music played just at the right level.
Hausbar’s combination of old-school chic and mixing mastery has earned it a reputation as one of the country’s best bars, with plaudits from the likes of The Times, The Guardian and the Class Bar Awards, where it was second best bar in the UK in 2010.
Despite this the bar retains the feel of being a well-kept secret, something added to by that closed door and the speak easy-style décor. However, Aurelius insists that “Hausbar is not a ‘secret bar’ or a ‘speakeasy’,” claiming “I am just very bad at marketing...”
Bad at marketing perhaps, but certainly not at mixing drinks. Aurelius has worked in some of the best bars in Berlin, Munich and across the world – including the legendary Harry’s New York Bar.
His expertise is evidenced in the extensive cocktail selection on offer at Hausbar – including two whole pages of (fantastic) gin cocktails. They are known for serving a pretty special Martini.
The bar’s gin selection isn’t necessarily the largest you’ll find, but the ten to twelve on offer, which include regularly changing ‘guest gins’, are carefully selected to include only the best.
The team also hosts regular spirits tasting sessions, which prove very popular, and is currently working on putting together its spring cocktail list.
All in all, Hausbar is the perfect old-school bar for grown-ups. It’s certainly right up our street – if only it was on our street!
Signature gin cocktail
First of the Summer Wine
An in-Haus creation, this is bartender Tom's take on a classic summer cup (itself the origin of Pimm's). It combines gin, lemon, tawny port and tonic, and is garnished with mint and orange zest.