Hotsy Totsy Bar

Hotsy Totsy is a dim, below-ground cocktail bar within Budapest's party district. Instead of a fixed menu, bartenders prepare bespoke drinks based on customers' taste preferences. For example, if you tell them you like Fernet-Branca, the Italian amaro, they’ll offer a Hanky Panky (gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet) without a moment’s hesitation, perhaps along with a complimentary shot of Fernet’s Menta line.

The bartenders are similarly well-versed in contemporary cocktails — my Penicillin was as good as those in New York City, the drink’s birthplace. At €8-10, the cocktails are slightly cheaper here than in the other specialized cocktail bars of Budapest. The swanky leather banquettes and playful paintings on the walls add an air of irreverence to the speakeasy vibes.

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