In the back of a cheese toastie store you usually expect to find a store room with cheese and bread in it, not a bar, and not one that’s self described as a ‘Cocktail Den and Rum Empire’ – but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Mabel in Paris.
Mabel, is a cocktail bar twice the size of the toastie shop, with low seating and lighting – all very French boho in style. It wouldn’t have been out of place in a student union, even though most of the customers were in their 20s and 30s.
The menu is a collection of classic cocktails and the bar’s own creations. Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of rum but, fear not, the menu is so diverse that a non rum lover will find plenty to choose from. Time and care is taken by the barman to ensure each drink is crafted without fault, and the slightly hipster (though up market hipster) style of serving makes it an a relaxing but fun place.
I found on the menu what turned out to be one of the best aged negroni I’ve had. It was served up in a little bottle alongside a tumbler filled almost completely with a large ice ball. The Negroni Del Tigre was a delicate balance of tequila, mezcal, campari, banal, white vermouth, bitters and manzanilla, so not really anything like a true negroni. But it has the base notes of a negroni with added complexity making a far more interesting drink.
If you’re peckish, you’ll be pleased to know you can order cheese toasties from the shop out front. The toasties on offer all have amusing names and are as creative as the cocktails, including the signature pulled pork toastie, a turkey dinner toastie, a Rubens toastie and a tuna melt toastie.
Make sure you visit (and try not to fill up on the cheese).
58 rue D’Aboukir
75002 Paris, France
Tél: 01 42 33 24 33