In my life, good cocktails are everything. And I do an awful lot of research trying to find the best bars in the city. I’m incredibly dedicated to my drinking problem and only the finest libations will do. While so many bars have the finest ingredients they don’t always know how to prepare them, making a spectacular cocktail is a truly skilled art, and when I sipped my first drink at 12 stairs I knew I had found somewhere very special indeed.
As soon as you walk into the bar you will be caressed by it’s charm. The decor is a mix of light and dark, the light showing glimpses of all the ornate features like the guided mirrors. With it’s exquisite chandelier on the main ceiling, it invokes a full on 1920’s speak easy feel.
While the menu is just a single page owner KyungSeob will make anything you request, my first visit I had an off menu drink, a Hemmingway Daquiri (13,000). I was first introduced to this magnificent cocktail about a year ago and it has remained one of my favourites ever since, though the balance of rum and maraschino liqueur needs a skilled hand to get it just right and this one was perfection itself.
I also tried my friends Caiprinha (13,000), one of my all time favourite drinks if well made, and let’s face it they rarely are. While I thought the Caiprinha at XII was good, it couldn’t compete with the perfect levels of lime, sugar and rum that this one had. If this is your drink you must come by and try it. I just wish I had a picture to show it’s flawless beauty.
For my last drink of the night I decided to try something new, so I ordered the Spring Blossom (14,000). A refreshing mix of St Germain, gin, and lime. This drink was a glass of of heavenly goodness, it was the perfect martini cocktail for those who want to want a strong drink without your head being blown off.
TFB was happy too as they have a rather nice collection of Whisky. During our visit, he slowly made his way through the list. Below is a Laphroaig Quarter Cask (13,000) or you can buy the whole bottle for a cool 250,000.
As her last drink of the evening my friend ordered herself a South Side (13,000). A heady mix of gin and lime which was just a bit too punchy for my palette but she enjoyed immensely. We also ordered a side plate of chorizo (9,000) to take the edge off of all that drinking, quite a wise idea when you factor in all those stairs.
12 Stairs is located at 3F 64-56 Itaewon dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station and come out of exit 4. Walk straight until you reach Dillingers, then walk down the set of stairs to the left. When you reach the bottom of the stairs turn right and walk straight. After you pass the CU you will see an alley on your right, 12 Stairs is the building next to Guilty Pleasures. For more information you can call them on 010-4067-5828. They are open from 8pm – god knows when (we were still drinking there at 4am and there were no signs of it closing any time soon!).