Sunday, October 31, 2010

Cocktails in Marrakech

Drinking cocktails is not the first thing that springs to mind in a predominantly Muslim country, such as Morroco, but opportunities do exist. The bar at the hotel we were recently staying at used either cocktail pre-mixes or little judgement in their mixing. On requesting an off menu choice of a Mojito, we received all the right ingredients (and fresh ingredients at that) but not necessarily in all the right quantities. The result tasted of mint and little else. Venturing out into the bustling streets of Marrakech proved more fruitful, but not without some searching. The rabbit warren mazes of winding streets are not captured well on a map and the street names (only occasionally marked on signs) that have evolved over time often leave a mismatch between your directions, map, and where you actually are. Perseverance is definitely required. Eventually we located a couple of gems. First up was the sumptuously decorated Kosybar (47, Place des Ferblantiers, just around the corner from the Palais Badi). This city's drinking dens are all about the roof terraces and the Kosybar has one of the best. Just one small problem: no cocktails. Saviour can be found further north in the old town at Cafe Arabe (Rue de Mouassine). The elegant roof top terrace is the perfect place to watch the sunset and sample the menu of classic cocktails. Nothing fancy, just well made drinks with fresh ingredients. As we finally got up to leave, the call to prayer echoed across the rooftops. A reminder, if one were really needed, that most inhabitants of this incredible country certainly don't have cocktails on their mind.

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