After a few years on the Paris drinks scene, Lipstick bar has fallen into a nice rhythm and really differentiates itself as the city’s best option for happy hour cocktails.
Like so many SoPi hotspots, Lipstick is located in a former hostess bar and pays homage to the area combining “eroticism and mixology to leave the clientele fantasizing over the historic days of Pigalle.” The decor definitely makes a nod in this direction with leopard print banquets and saucy wallpaper. The dance pole from its previous incarnation remains as does a cheeky (but not sleazy!) laissez-faire attitude. Lipstick attracts a sassy youthful crowd looking for fun – especially later on weekends when DJ’s are in house.
Under the direction of Arnaud Scotty the drinks side has also shaped up nicely. This shouldn’t be surprising given that this barman was the 2016 winner of the “Jeune Talent” competition of the French final of the 2016 Havana Club Grand Prix – it’s worth keeping an eye on this guy! His seasonal menu offers a dozen cocktails at 9 and 10 Euros with a variety of the usual spirits suspects (vodka, tequila, gin, rum, etc.) that will suit a range of tastes. The Queen P with its gin base, aperol, peach syrup, pink citric and ginger ale delivers something refreshing for those not ready for their spin on the Negroni (nicely done with hibiscus and grapefruit infused gin, Suze and Lillet Blanc.)
On a visit in January, I was impressed by their Clear Milk Punch (which you can try in the Dairy Delivery on their winter menu.) More recently, they easily passed my standard test, serving up a clean, cold martini with a twist. But where they stand out is with their most excellent happy hour.
From 6pm to 10pm nightly, they offer four cocktails at a very budget-friendly price of 6 Euros. 6 Euros! Right!? The four choices cover a range of flavors and are nicely presented. You will be hard pressed to find a better price/quality ratio than the Lipstick happy hour.
Even outside of happy hour, the prices are very nice. They seem to be using affordably good spirits (e.g. Beefeater) and adding value in a cost-effective way through touches like charred garnishes or well thought out house made syrups. They’re a small, neighborhood bar that can please the pass-through crowd with something like rum based Rose Hall and its cranberry and roasted pineapple juice; but they are also not shying away from something more challenging like the smoky flavors of Laphroaig or mezcal.
They offer basic bar snacks mozza sticks or a mixed charcuterie and cheese platter – the kind of standard food that fills your belly while you lap up the happy hour goodies.
They are holding their own in a laid back way against formidable cocktails neighbors (Dirty Dick, Glass, Les Justes, Lulu White, etc) and worth an early evening stop for those seeking something a little more quiet, or a late night visit for those wanting to let loose and maybe even take a spin around the pole.
5 Rue Frochot