The best Cocktail Bar in Warsaw – you’ll wish you discovered it before
It’s hard to say why exactly we fell in love with this place.
Is it the sublime taste of the cocktails? Is it the welcoming interior? Or is it because of its unique details, such as the vintage shakers on the walls, functioning as lamps?
There is no easy way to say why or how you fall in love. Would you ever say that you fell in love with your partner because of his/her hairstyle? Or because of his/her clothes? Obviously not! It’s usually more complex than that.
PS: we organize private cocktail workshops at this cocktail bar. Check out the offer here.
Our visit at Woda Ognista
Before going to Woda Ognista I had great expectations. It had a whopping 5/5 stars average review on Facebook, it boasted fantastic pictures on social profiles and – last but not least – it takes inspiration from the golden age of cocktails and from pre-war Warsaw.
At the same time, however, I was afraid that my expectations would be shattered by reality. As it often happens, the higher the expectations, the worse I will feel if they are not completely met.
As I walked inside Woda Ognista, I didn’t even have the time to ponder or worry about all that.
By the time I removed my hat, we were already engaged in a lively conversation with the bartender, Patryk Kowalski. We talked about all sort of things, from his personal recipe for nalewka (a Polish liquor), which he promised to hand me the next time we visit, to our favorite bars, to some of his secret spots in Warsaw.
After two hours of delicious cocktails and delightful conversation, I was even invited behind the bar to make a drink for Anna, but I had to refuse: I’ve never made anything more than an improvised mojito and, to be completely honest, I didn’t really want Anna to compare the quality of my drinks with the quality of Patryk’s.
Nevertheless, I regret my choice and I will definitely jump behind the bar next time (if I have the occasion).
The drinks at Woda Ognista
The drinks were freaking delicious, but that’s not the first thing I noticed.
Patryk handed me the menu. It was an A5 booklet and the pages were thick and noticeably of high quality. The images of the cocktails were illustrations, rather than photographs, and I thought it made perfect sense. If you really want your customers to feel as in pre-war Warsaw, you shouldn’t show colorful HD images of your cocktails in your menu.
”Anything you like, Freddie?” Patryk asked me, bringing me back to the present moment.
“Yes;” I told him while raising my head. “I really like your menu.”
I then learned that they change the menu every three months because they only use seasonal fruits and vegetables – that explains why every drink we tried had that fantastic fragrance. Moreover, the menus is always themed. The current one is inspired by interwar Polish group of poets called “Skamandryci”. Past editions of the menus were, for example, “pre-war Warsaw districts” and “Warsaw slang from the 20th century”.
One thing never changes in their menu: it’s always carefully crafted to include a mix of copyright cocktails, forgotten classics from the 19th century and signature drinks.
But your choice is of course not limited to what’s on the menu. I, for example, ended up getting a “pączek cocktail” because I told them how fond I am of this particular Polish pastry (it wasn’t actually called “Pączek cocktail”, we named it like this because it was based on wild rose jam. Needless to say, it was awesome).
Why is Woda Ognista the best cocktail bar we have ever been to?
The answer is that we truly fell in love with it. My expectations were “over-met” and that’s something that basically never happens.
Woda Ognista was an amazing experience. It’s a place with conservative values but a progressive view. A “classic” but like no other place we’ve ever visited before.
We can’t wait to go back. They gave us plenty of reason to do so; getting our hands on that nalewka recipe is only one of many.
Practical info about Woda Ognista
The bar can fit 70 people (either at the bar or at the tables). If it’s filled to capacity you won’t be able to enter. They can guarantee their excellent service this way.
You’ll (likely) need a reservation on weekends.
The drinks are on average 27 PLN.
They also offer some Polish dishes on their menu.
They are open every day. Go on Monday or Tuesday if you want to have a more personal experience.