Hudson Bar Budapest – Hotsy Totsy’s unequal Twin
Budapest is often described as “the Paris of the East”. Rich history, stunning architecture, and a unique cultural vibe have captured the hearts and imaginations of people from around the world. Budapest is home to some of the most beautiful architecture in Europe. From the Gothic spires of the Matthias Church to the Art Nouveau splendour of the Gellért Baths, Budapest is a city of stunning buildings that are sure to take your breath away. The Danube River runs right through the heart of Budapest, dividing the city into two halves: Buda and Pest. The views from the banks of the river are spectacular, especially at night when the city is lit up.
No surprise that I promptly fell in love and have returned to explore the city. Budapest it is for now. The city offers a lot of things that make my life more enjoyable from specialty coffee places to Neapolitan pizza to relaxing baths in its world-famous thermal baths which are heated by natural hot springs. The city has a long history of spa culture, and the thermal baths are a perfect way to relax and unwind after a long day of exploring.
Besides, the local bar scene is thriving and is, of course, one of my main attractions. Best way to get to know a city? Spend a night in its bars. There is always a special relationship between the city and its bars. Here I agree entirely with Ernest Hemingway, “Don’t bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars”. Time to continue with my little love stories about bars. About this time of the day when it gets dark, the senses are heightened and I blend in with people. Join me on a sip to the newly opened Hudson Bar.
First of all, you have to know about its whereabouts. Hudson Bar is a modern speakeasy-style lounge – the type of establishment that is designed to evoke the atmosphere of the secret bars that emerged during the Prohibition era in the United States (1920-1933), when the sale and consumption of alcohol were illegal. It has a discreet entrance inside Hotsy Totsy Bar and is accessible to selected guests.
What awaits you behind the heavy curtains is a secret room hidden within Hotsy Totsy that, with its dim lighting and reduced interior, replicates the intimate and cosy feel of a secret club.
I would describe Hudson as Hotsy Totsy’s unequal twin. One is colourful and lively, the other more quiet and reserved. The music at Hudson is more subtle, the room much smaller, the scent different, the glassware simpler. Private, only a couple of seats so the bartender’s full attention is focused on your needs. The elegant powder pink of the furnishings creates a stylish intimacy paired with a relaxing feeling of calm. Its delicate appearance quietly conquers its surroundings and leaves room for playfulness and cosiness. Nice contemporary details are the wall sockets which let you charge and relax your busy phones and devices.
I love bars with a magical atmosphere. Especially those that carry me away and treat my palate nicely. If, at the end of the evening, time has slipped away quietly and you find yourself not wanting to leave, that’s probably the best compliment a bar could have. Dear reader, you already know that visits to a bar are like little love stories to me. Some remain a one-night stand, while others never let you go. Hudson is certainly much more than a one-night stand and my first visit could not have been better. Intimate atmosphere, an attentive host, comfortable seating, a small selection of delicious drinks, an elegant scent in the room, the noise of clinking ice, jazzy tunes in the background. It’s not just about the place, it’s about what happens there.
The drinks surprise the taste buds – tasty and creative. The bartender is committed to hospitality and the music treats your ears well.
Behind the bar and the concept, you will find Máté Szabó, talented bartender, host and brand ambassador of Edrington Group for Hungary. He is highly professional, attentive and creative. The perfect mix of bartender and host. Pleasantly reserved but always present. You guessed it, I’m already a big fan. Szabó has created a straightforward menu of seven drinks in the form of a flavour map inspired by the flavours sweet, sour, dry and bitter. The names of the drinks reflect the speakeasy concept and the corresponding description of what to expect from the drink itself. The list of ingredients is intentionally not given so as not to distract you from the taste experience. Drinks undergo modern cocktail techniques like the Oyster Alley, meaning freezing a ready-mixed cocktail and blending it before serving, no dilution and perfect texture, to produce unique signatures.
Sustainability has long been standard practice in many bars and so it is a priority at the Hudson bar, by creatively recycling leftovers of the cocktail production process into edible garnish and a reduction in the use of ice. Ice is a resource-intensive product to produce and transport, so for the drink Shultz Brothers, for example, the whole bottle goes into the freezer and no extra ice is needed for the drink. Small details make an impact that matters. It goes without saying that I like small menus a lot because that allows me to taste them all 😉
At Hudson you will find a safe space for adult and elegant drinking.
Thank you Máté Szabó for providing the pictures. Looking forward to my next visit.