Wrap yourself in a vodka blanket at this Polish bar
If you’re a fan of Borsch, Vodka, Tears on Chapel Street – the Polish bar that taught us vodka was more than a flavourless party fuel or disinfectant – chances are you’ll be spending a lot of time perched at Astra’s polished bar. A decade ago, Polish import Wally Grochowski (friends with Borsch founder Andrzej Kaczmarski) came to Falls, impulse bought a lodge, and filled it with vodka. Forget skinny bitches (that’s a vodka, lime and soda and a crime against flavour). Here it’s all about working your way through tiny hand-carved crystal thimbles of Curacao-like grapefruit Belvedere, grassy Zubrowka, and golden sweet Medos honey vodka. Astra stocks over 100 types of Poland’s staple beverage, but if you can’t be converted, hit them up for a G and T made with saffron-infused gin and finished with an orange twist. Or how about a dry-as-a-bone cider from the team at Bress? The beer list is crafty, the jazz and lights are low and the bartenders are some of the best in town. Get fireside with some pickled mushrooms and tackle winter Eastern Bloc-styles.