Imagine a Berlin bar, and chances are you’re thinking of something fairly low-key; upscale mixology and fancy drinks menus has never been quite the vibe in this city. At Wax On, though, Berlin’s casual drinking culture meets a more curated and innovative approach.
To wander into Wax On on Weserstrasse is to find something special – and we’re not the only ones who think so. The Neukölln bar, run by Sam Orrock, Damien Guichard and Rose-Manon Baux, has been basking in accolades since its opening in 2021.
Relatively low prices don’t come at the expense of creativity
Let’s run down some of the awards: at the 2023 Mixology Bar Awards, hosted by the EU-based Mixology Magazine, Wax On received the title “Best New Bar of the Year”, and Baux was named “Newcomer of the Year”. Now, in the recent 2024 edition of the awards, the bar won the highest accolade of “Bar of the Year – Germany”, and bar manager Guichard was dubbed “Bartender of the Year”.
What are they doing right? The menu at Wax On features eight rotating specials – four highballs and four classic cocktails – all for a very reasonable 11 euros. Though they often use exotic ingredients (think home-picked fig leaves or clarified banana juice) and unusual techniques (centrifuging, cold extraction and evaporation, to name a few), they manage to keep their prices down by focusing on barrel-aged drinks that are easy to prepare.
But their relatively low prices don’t come at the expense of creativity. Take their old fashioned. Instead of the standard bitters and bourbon, at Wax On they also add juicy strawberries and velvety peanut butter. The result tastes like a praline – in a good way!
Another highlight from our visit was the house sour, challenging our taste buds with a tangy punch of fresh yoghurt. In the hands of any other bartender, we may have been more sceptical. But amazingly, Wax On made this feel as natural as garnishing a gin tonic with a twist of lime.
Of course, customers are also welcome to order off-menu, and to complement their cocktails, they also offer a hoppy lager from Motel Beer and a selection of natural wines.
With its expert blend of high-end drinks and casual atmosphere, Wax On has situated itself firmly on our list of favourites. Make your way to Neukölln and order yourself a glass of something spectacular – no reservation needed.
- Wax On, Weserstr. 208, Neukölln, Tue–Sat 7pm–1am, Sun 7pm–midnight, Instagram
This article was adapted from the German by Alexandra Ertman.