Mention a cocktail evening to your friends and they will expect one of two things.
It could either be an attempt at a sophisticated dinner party. One where the host (dressed in a dinner jacket of course) mixes a refreshing beverage between courses while offering witty repartee and sparkling conversation.
The alternative is a night out in Dubai hitting some of the most entertaining bars and clubs in Dubai. Not that there is anything wrong with a home-based cocktail soiree – but if you can’t mix and are not able to guarantee sparkle you should play it safe and follow Time Out’s cocktail party route.
Ginseng: The perfect place to start any cocktail-based evening and to fill up on tasty Asian-inspired bar snacks. Try the Kiwitini or the Espresso Martini to kick-off your cocktail cruise in style.
Après: Cocktails should be about fun and few venues in Dubai exemplify that characteristic as well as the ski-themed Après. It is also a good transition from the city bars to the beachside venues that round off the route. The barman’s creations are almost good enough to take your eyes off the slope. Almost.
Koubba: Take the short trip over Sheikh Zayed Road to the Al Qasr hotel and you will be rewarded with one of the best views in Dubai. From a relaxed perch in the Koubba bar you can sip on your cocktail at sunset and gaze across at the Burj Al Arab. Make sure you get a seat on the outside terrace as sitting inside just can’t compare. If you arrive after sunset you shouldn’t worry as the Burj Al Arab’s kaleidoscopic light show is sure to be as colourful as any of the cocktails you could care to sample.
Buddha Bar: Now that you are beachside the cocktails to venue ratio will increase. The variety is much greater than in central locations such as Deira or Bur Dubai and you should make the trip to Dubai Marina to sample the cocktails on offer at Buddha Bar. The berry-infused creations are the best by far but they don’t come cheap so savour your purchase and enjoy the scenery.
Trader Vic’s Mai Tai Lounge: Thankfully, once you’re up at the Marina the Mai Tai lounge is just a stone’s throw away. Trader Vic’s newest offering occupies a large portion of Polynesian-themed space in Al Fattan tower and serves up some of the best, and boldest, cocktails in town. Definitely the place in which to finish your night.