Picture the scene: It’s the end of a long week, and you and your friends are dying for a laid-back drink. Preferably somewhere not too many tourists know about, but with enough of a buzz to make for an interesting night. Bonus points if there’s an eye-catching drinks menu. Where on Earth to go? Erica Smith knows just the place.
Berlin, August 12th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) – The problem with Berlin – or perhaps the best thing, depending how you see it – is that there are simply too many bars to choose from on a whim. Therefore, some of the most fulfilling evenings out are the result of checking out spots recommended by a friend. Here, we act as that friend to you, and endorse Neukölln’s Herr Lindemann bar as one of Berlin’s finest drinking establishments, after having spent numerous enjoyable nights there over the course of the past year.
Neukölln’s Most ‘Alternative Apothecary’
Opened in 2017 by Peter Edinger, a familiar face on the Neukölln cocktail scene, Herr Lindemann prides itself in its unique herbal approach to mixology. This leafy paradise provides the perfect haven to enjoy “palatable tinctures and tangy herb drinks” as well as stimulating conversation and just a plain old good time. This bar still offers an air of sophisticated cosmopolitanism with its neo-industrial interiors and low lighting, but there’s a distinct uniqueness about it that sets it apart from other bars in Berlin.
The bar’s fundamental selling point is without a doubt the quality and variety of drinks offered on its menu. However, its easily-reachable location in the heart of hipster Neukölln and its chatty, personable bar staff don’t hurt its reputation one bit. In short, good drinks, good people, and good times – all of which Herr Lindemann can ensure. What more could you want from a bar?
What’s on Offer?
As mentioned, Herr Lindemann’s impressively designed cocktail menu is its main attraction – and it is virtually impossible to be disappointed by it, simply due to its unique and incredibly varied selection. The drinks are designed to fit in with the bar’s whole herbal-remedy based aesthetic, and are categorised according to how the ingredients and flavours might make you feel. The most notable and amusing of these categories have to be ‘aphrodisierend’ (‘aphrodisiac’) and ‘antiseptisch’ (‘antiseptic’). Turning the spotlight to the drinks themselves, our favourites are:
Nachtigall (Nightingale): Vibrant blue in colour and served with a slice of sharp lemon, this drink is certainly one of the best looking drinks on the menu (although they’re all very pretty, so it’s rather stiff competition). Concocted from juniper-based jenever (Dutch gin), crème de violette, apple quince shrub, lime juice, and rosewater, this drink makes for an incredibly well-balanced and sophisticated nightcap.
Pandora’s Box: The Pandora’s Box scores highly in every category. It’s visually appealing in its deep-berry colour and white floral decoration, and an absolute treat for the senses. If you’re not sure where to start, you can’t go wrong here. Even though its ingredient list comprising of hibiscus infused bourbon, dry vermouth, lavender, amaro, lemon, and apple quince shrub may seem rather intimidating at first, the blissful reality of this drink is a refreshing mixture of tart and floral flavour profiles.
Nacer de Nuevo (Born Again): This rich (and very strong!) cocktail is made with espresso-infused rum, maple syrup, Galliano vanilla liqueur, chocolate bitters, and hazelnut milk. The hazelnut milk is very sweet and served separately in a shot glass to be added to taste. The drink is velvety smooth and a perfect winter warmer.
Of course, if cocktails aren’t your gig – or more likely, if you’ve enjoyed their menu far too much and can’t quite justify spending another (relatively reasonable) €10-13 on a drink – they do have a well-selected offering of wines, spirits, virgin cocktails, soft drinks, and beers on draught.
Why We Love Herr Lindemann
Herr Lindemann is, of course, excellent all year round. But there are certainly different advantages to visiting in each season. The longer hours of daylight that summer brings means there is more time to enjoy a refreshing herbal drink in the charming leafy terrace situated in front of the building, overlooking Richardplatz, one of Neukölln’s hidden gems. However, sometimes the buzzing atmosphere (and occasionally, the slower service) of the summer season does leave you longing for the cosier wintry evenings best enjoyed huddled at one of the candlelit tables inside the bar, making meaningful conversation with some of the attentive bar staff as they use their expertise to recommend bespoke shots and cocktails that might suit your palate best.
Herr Lindemann is tastefully decorated with an eye for detail. Flowers are placed in vases on each table, and the bar is lit up from below with an amber glow, highlighting a root-based design that draws attention to the bar’s apothecary-inspired premise. Unlike in some cocktail bars that take themselves too seriously, the playlist is never pretentious or too loud, you can often expect recognisable tunes lightly played in the background, mostly drowned out by chatter and the sounds of people enjoying themselves. Glass carafes of tap water are constantly refilled (a nice touch in a city that loves its expensive bottled mineral water so much), and smokers are well catered for with a spacious room located towards the back of the venue. And all this is without paying due attention to the aforementioned leafy terrace, adorned with fairy lights and almost giving the place the feel of a secret garden.
It is therefore understandable that Herr Lindemann has recently become more popular – and this is reflected by their new extended opening hours. It’s certainly no bad thing, though! Make sure to get there early enough to secure a spot and you’ll be in time for their aperitivo menu that includes freshly baked bread, olives, cheese, home-made pesto and the like – all, according to them, best enjoyed with an Espresso Martini.