Bars & Restos / Geneva

A World of Whiskys at Bar du Nord

A few weeks ago we went for a whisky at the acclaimed Bar du Nord with F’s cousin and wife. F had already been there once with a friend but I still hadn’t and kept hearing about how I absolutely must. I’m not an expert by any means but I can enjoy a good glass on the rocks from time to time.

Bar du Nord is probably one of the first bars in Geneva (well, Carouge actually) that I’ve been to where there wasn’t a TV set playing some sports game in sight – big plus!

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The decor is characterized by a mixture of 1950’s furniture with simple coffee tables and comfy couches, plus a wallpaper of stencil drawings of tree branches and framed photos of forest fauna.

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For the life of me, I can’t remember what I ordered (F’s cousin helped me pick it) but it was great and it was served with a curved receptacle of water  in case you preferred to add a drop or a splash of water. This was the first time I had ever been served water with my whisky. As one might imagine, adding water dilutes the alcohol content but it can also allegedly “open up” the whisky “by breaking the surface tension that holds the molecules together. The resulting chemical reaction creates just enough heat that results in more aromas being released.” However, adding to much water can have the opposite effect and, apparently, so can adding ice. You can read more on why adding water can actually enhance your whisky’s tasting experience here.

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One thing that F aptly noticed is that although they had different varieties of Scottish and even Japanese whisky, they had little to no American whiskeys (yes there’s whisky with no ‘e’ and whiskey with an ‘e’). Nonetheless they have a wide selection; the menu looks more like a book.

Check out Bar du Nord and have some water with your whisky or maybe some whisky with your water, à la Churchill – whatever you prefer:

“The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learned to like it.”

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