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Soma’s a new indie rock bar just off Simon Dach Strasse. Don’t tell the tourists.

Rock bars in Britain are very different to those in Berlin. There, they’re stylish-looking people listening (and dancing) to indie rock classics, getting drunk and singing Oasis. Here, they’re fierce-looking people in black band t-shirts listening to thrash metal or obscure punk, getting drunk and singing Oasis.

Soma on Krossener Strasse has bucked the trend of its ‘rock bar’ neighbours, bringing some northern indie charm along with it (plus some excellent drinks to boot).

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

Photo: Sandra Juto

As ‘Processed Beats’ by Kasabian stomps around the brickwork arches of the bar, and neon light illuminates original artwork by The Underground Youth’s Olya Dyer through a haze of smoke, you realise that indie rock is something that Berlin’s been missing.

I was at the launch party of their new cocktail menu. I came, I saw, I heard indie music, I got smashed. All for you. Here are the highlights:

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

The U Wot M8! Margarita

First up was The U Wot M8! Margarita. Owner Ben Mason’s previous experience running Santa Maria Eastside means he can make a mean margarita, and Soma’s version is a strong, sour, swaggering drunk of a drink.

Playlist: Ian Brown, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines.

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

Bojack’s Neck

Bourbon/Fresh Lime/Bitters/Fevertree Smoked Ginger Beer. Served in a copper pot, this initially refreshing drink is tainted by the corrosive burn of a full-bodied bourbon and becomes something else. It features one of the best and spiciest ginger beers I’ve ever tried.

Playlist: Interpol, Wolf Alice, Babyshambles, Jet.

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

Old Fashioned

“The grandfather of all cocktails.” Soma’s Old Fashioned is the least sweet of the drinks I tried, definitely the choice for those who enjoy the taste of unfettered straight alcohol. It’s classic, balanced and burly, and there’s a high risk you’ll drink it far too quickly.

Playlist: Richard Ashcroft, The Zutons, James, Pete Doherty.

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

Negroni

Gin/One Part Vermouth Rosso/One Part Campari. The Negroni is a rebel on Soma’s cocktail menu, supplanting sweet and smokiness with pure bitterness. It’s a zesty civilised drink at first, that glows red in the candle light and imparts a lasting bitterness on your lips.

Playlist: Pulp, Supergrass, Stone Roses, Doves.

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

Photo: Sandra Juto

Berlin Loves You Soma Bar Friedrichshain

Yep. Walkers crisps. Photo: Sandra Juto

If you’re missing tapping your Beatle-boots along to something other than techno, get down to Soma Bar for a Guinness or two.

Soma Bar
Krossener Str. 18,
10245 Berlin

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About Author

Writes about food, drink, life, bullshit, and anything else he wants to get off his mind. For Andy, Berlin is like a huge playground for adults – somewhere you can do what you want without having to turn into a real grown-up. His first Berlin Loves You experience was over a $1 kebab and a 50¢ Sterni. [email protected]

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