Go Ahead and Take Your Shoes Off at This Vienna Speakeasy
You walk through the door and kick your shoes off. There’s a pair of slippers waiting for you under a hallway table. This is not your house. This is Tür 7, a Vienna speakeasy hardly making waves, as the place has no sign, a shell of a website and no public relations team. And that’s a good thing, because it may be the Austrian capital’s best-kept secret. More importantly, it’s the first place you should stop for a drink should you find yourself in Vienna.
Bartender Glenn Estrada greets guests at the front door and walks them into the low-lit space. He takes a pan of freshly made popcorn off of a stove in the corner of his back bar. It’s another touch that makes Tür 7 feel like home. “The [Austrian] cocktail scene, like seven years ago, was only American bars—dark furniture, all the leather couches and everything,” Estrada says. “The last four, five years, we got tons of new bars. The good thing in Vienna, every bar is different from another.”
Estrada calls Tür 7 “a living room bar,” and Vienna’s first speakeasy concept. He recommends interested guests make reservations, as the bar sets its capacity to 30 people at a time. “This place fits like 40, 50 people in,” Estrada says. “We just fit 30 people in because we don’t want to make it that full.”
As in someone’s living room, there’s no cocktail menu at Tür 7. Everything served is either a classic drink by request or something the bar team creates on the spot. If a guest really loves what they’ve had, they’re invited to jot down the bespoke recipe in a leather-bound book kept behind the bar. Flipping through the pages, there’s evidence of beloved cocktails from Austrian and international fans alike. A recent popular creation is something Estrada dubbed the Hunterground, a cognac and Jägermeister cocktail spiked with a little fish sauce and smoked with lavender and wood chips. Usually the bartender won’t reveal what’s going into the drink beforehand, particularly if he’s using something with specific cultural connotations like tequila or Jäger. “I don’t tell you what’s inside, because this is how we also work in the bar,” says Estrada. “We let them have a sip first and then we let them know what’s in the drink, because if you know before, you actually taste it differently. You focus on that spirit, especially Jägermeister.”
For reservations, call +43 664 54 63 717 or email [email protected]. If you can’t make it to Vienna, throw on some of your own slippers and make a smoke-free version of the Hunterground at home.
by Glenn Estrada, Tür 7, Vienna, Austria.
• 1 oz. Cognac
• ½ oz. Jägermeister
• ¾ oz. white wine
• ½ oz. fresh lemon juice
• ½ oz. lavender syrup
• 2 dashes fish sauce
Build ingredients into shaker, shake and double strain into frozen cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon zest.