Antwerp Cocktail Creations – Dogma Cocktails
Why Antwerp? I have never been to Belgium before and the city is just a four-hour train ride from my home. They say Antwerp is laid-back, charming and unassuming. The perfect city for connoisseurs I would say. The ancient guild houses with their picturesque façades alternate with modern architecture. While the seductive smell of freshly baked waffles wafts through the cobbled streets of the old town, Antwerp is a wonderful place to explore on foot. Flower shops, creative concept stores, chocolate manufacturers, fries shops and second-hand boutiques line the squares, while street musicians provide the right background music. Between all the sights, cafés and bars invite you to linger. Join me on a sip to my recommended bar stools in Antwerp.
First stop on my bar-itinerary was Dogma Cocktails, a speakeasy style cocktail bar in the historic heart of the city. It is housed in a more than 200-year-old building and pairs industrial style with lots of raw reclaimed wood and exposed bricks. The spirits selection is massive and your ears are treated well by music which matches the vibe.
The cocktail menu lists signature drinks, spirit forward classics and, of course, beer. When I was standing in front of the door and taking some pictures, a lady told me that I should definitely try the Japanese Blossom, it is so delicious. I found out later that, as an enthusiastic regular, she drinks it every time. Happy guests are the best indicator for a great bar, right?
What awaits you inside Dogma are attentive nicely-dressed bartenders in leather aprons and white shirts, a cosy atmosphere, a huge spirit collection on the wall perfectly set in scene and good music. Eyes, ears and taste buds are treated very well indeed.
As these were my first steps in the Antwerp cocktail scene I was excited and full of expectations. What I didn’t expect was to meet a familiar face. As soon as I entered Dogma I was greeted by Sam. Formerly, he worked with Swift Bar and we have met several times around the globe. What a big surprise and also a reliable sign of being in a great bar.
I realised, as I sat on the unusual bar stools, the shape of which put me off at first but actually turned out to be extremely comfortable, that I hadn’t been in a bar for a very long time. This called for some sparkling wine, so I kicked off the night with a Sbagliato. Sbagliato means “mistaken” in Italian because a busy bartender at Bar Basso in Milan mistakenly used sparkling wine instead of Gin for the Negroni. A legendary accident with a happy ending.
Dogma convinced and enchanted me with its great hospitality and welcoming spirit. A bar I re-visited the next day because I liked it so much.
The lovely bar team offered me some samples of their signature drinks that are creative concoctions with a kitchen twist. I enjoyed my Raspberry Tarragon with an aged cheese platter. By the way, the drink comes out of the tap.
35 ml No.3 Gin
20 ml raspberry syrup
15 ml lemon
45 ml Tarragon infused Riesling
If you are looking for something classic you are in good hands too. Trust me and enjoy a wonderful night at Dogma with the caring bar team. Welcoming, easy going with an eye for the essentials of the bar scene. Nothing tastes better than a drink and a smile. Cheers!