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Bar review: Mouson Bistro and Bar, Nicosia.

Out of obvious sight on a back alley connecting Phaneromi Church with Onasagorou street, Mouson Bistro and Bar is a refreshing little hub of cocktail heaven sandwiched between a string of shops and other drinkeries. On such a busy little thoroughfare, it would be easy to walk past this deceivingly larger than initial impressions suggest venue.

Mouson is modern, funky and surprisingly warm. The decor evokes sentiments of Madrid, Barcelona or Greece, encapsulating style with approachability and cocktails that are divine. The marriage of the cocktail names with their respective tastes are spot on.

The venue seats 80-100 people and is open seven days a week. The inside is a large-ish nicely air-conditioned rectangular space with a streamline blue under lit bar running across it. The rest of the room offers spaciously arranged tables and chairs, with an interesting Picasso inspired 3D wall art opposite the bar. Outdoors, the bar extends with a long array of high and low black tables comfortably allowing substantial outdoor seating on the narrow pedestrian street.

Climbing plants stretch across the entrance and a theatrical canopy with tassels shades drinkers from the scorching sun; it's an easy place to stop and watch the 'hustle and bustle' of the world go by while sipping on faithfully designed drinks.

So what makes these cocktails so luscious? Well, the freshly squeezed, blended and blitzed seasonal fruits used, is a good advantage; their cocktail menu is redesigned four times yearly to produce drinks catering to the four seasons. The summer menu is a wash with refreshing watermelon, passion fruit, strawberries and aromatic elderflower and the bar staff are happy to guide your palate through the cocktail map on the menu. One can start by either choosing a base: vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, mastiha, aperol or vermouth. Then determine the taste: sweet, sweet and sour to sweet, sweet and sour and sour and finally, the strength of the drink.

Making choices like this may initially seem a little challenging but when one stops and actually considers, especially with a little help from friendly knowledgeable staff, the final result can be very rewarding; an enjoyable drink that is exactly what you fancied. Intoxicating hints of fresh coriander, peppers, mint, fruit and other aromas can also be included.

Amuse Me was the drink that with a little direction from the menu and mixologist, was my first and it did not disappoint; with cocchi Americano bianco vermouth, fresh melon juice, coriander syrup, fresh lime and black pepper, it smelt like an Italian summer. The tastes and smells of these concoctions are created to trigger off memories and they certainly succeed. The bitter sweetness of summer passions is perfectly captured in the aptly named Summer Love (Aperol, fresh strawberries, prosecco and fresh lime.) Then there's Thalia's Nectar served in an old milk bottle style jar with a very long straw; aesthetics are as important as taste and scent. It is as a sweet as, well, literally nectar; brimming with crushed watermelon and strawberries and elderflower liqueur. The pricing for such treats are very fair, ranging from e1/45 to e1/414, with most at around e1/48.

Fear not if cocktails are not for you, Mouson offers a selection of prominent names in wines, champagnes and spirits.

The venue is open throughout summer but reservations are recommended for busy weekend evenings. The music is a nice chill out, sometimes jazzy and special Friday DJ nights are scheduled to start again with the beginning of the new season in September.

Mouson Bistro and Bar

Where: Mouson St, Phaneromeni, Nicosia

When: 9.30am-2am except for Saturdays and Sundays in August, when the bar opens 6pm

How much: cocktails from e1/45 to e1/414

Contact: 22 664444,

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Aug 1, 2016
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