If it’s Belgian chocolate you’re after, head to Bruges – these days, Antwerp is all about the cocktail scene. Today on the Park Inn blog, we’re celebrating the revival of the gin and tonic. 

Fashion-forward Antwerp knows a thing or two about trend-setting. And the latest craze? The once-humble gin and tonic. This classic drink leads a cocktail revolution that’s sweeping the city; every bar seems to have its own variation. Cocktail aficionados have scoured every gin joint in town to find the best expressions of mother’s ruin. Here’s the ultimate itinerary for a good old-fashioned G&T crawl next time you find yourself at our Park Inn by Radisson, Antwerp

Bar Bounce

Open since 2013, Bar Bounce is a still a relative newcomer to Antwerp’s thriving bar scene. What sets this one apart? A cool, dimly-lit speakeasy vibe that’s won a fast reputation as one of the city’s hottest spots for cocktails. Bar Bounce commits to the G&T trend with daily specials and enough unique garnishes to tailor the signature cocktail to your tastes. Want some extra citrus? Just ask your bartender. Generous drink sizes mean value for money, and the bar’s impressive array of gin – including Barcelona-made Only Premium and Edinburgh Gin from Scotland – will have you sampling all night long. 

Bar Zar

Bar Zar may have built its reputation serving Antwerp’s best mojito, but these days, they’re fully embracing the gin craze. (The bar still holds a massive rum collection; it’s well worth peeking at the array of bottles lining the shelves behind the vintage-style bar.) Take advantage of their encyclopaedic cocktail know-how by visiting during the week, when things are a little more relaxed, and let a wise bartender discover your new favourite drink. The gin fizz is a winner – the sweeter, tarter and satisfyingly frothy alternative to the usual G&T is best enjoyed on the tree-lined patio after dark. 

Bar Cesar

Beloved by the foodie set, Bar Cesar is the sort of place you go to feel classy. Put that gin and tonic on hold – checking in on Facebook earns you a free glass of bubbly, so you can gaze out from their rooftop terrace feeling like a true Hollywood starlet. Time your visit carefully. At happy hour, you’re entitled to complimentary tapas, but later on, there’s cool jazz and candlelight. With a flickering fireplace set into the mint green walls, you’ll want to restyle your living room after this modern-meets-vintage space. Our only quibble: service can be seriously slow, so don’t stop by before any pressing dinner reservations or curtain times. 

Gin Tonic Shop

For expert advice on the qualities of gin and how to mix a perfect G&T, stop by Antwerp’s Gin Tonic Shop. Stocked with cult favourites like Gin Mare and lesser-known brands like spicy Death’s Door, it’s hard to leave the shop without a bottle or two (so plan on checking a bag on your way home). Join one of their regular gin tastings for more information about the botanical qualities of your favourite variety and what tonics to pair it with for best results.  You’ll even learn which garnish is most appropriate for your favourite G&T combo!