Even among the numerous speakeasy-themed cocktail dens in Budapest, Black Swan tops the list for being the darkest and most exclusive. It’s one of those uppity places where heavy red drapes block the view from outside and whose private room draws the local elite, but if you enjoy a swanky experience it will be right up your alley. Black Swan has some of the broadest drink selections in Budapest—bartenders have to use a sliding ladder to retrieve bottles from the top shelves.
In addition to all signature cocktails, they serve a dozen or so bespoke concoctions that include a truffle Negroni (€11) and a Red Bull-laced “Energie Daiquiri” (€10). There is some inconsistency among the cocktail bartenders—depending on who prepares your drink, you may be in for a perfectly layered Gin-Gin Mule (€11) or an indistinct Penicillin (€8).
The fact that Black Swan decided to locate in the party district, which for long was better known for low-priced ruin bars than upscale craft cocktail joints, further signifies the neighborhood's status as the across-the-spectrum center of Budapest's nighlife.