Stunning cocktails. Photo: WarmUp Facebook.

A perfect, immaculate shaved chunk of ice floats in my glass.

Let me tell you how we got here. It is a frozen, rainy Saturday night in our fair capital.

I have two pals in town. Mikey is visiting Budapest for the first time. It is Dunnie’s second trip. Viri (my fiance) is as usual on my arm. Or I am on her’s.

The lads & I had spent the last two days in a permanent pub crawl fog. Where to next? I’ve almost exhausted all my options. Almost.

We turn off Wesselényi . A neon sign flickers in the brisk night, flashing the name WARMUP. I’ve never been here but I’ve heard good things.

Do I roll the dice? Well if it was good enough for Luke Rhinehart right? We step inside. The place is compact, tight, cozy. We head through the back – take our seats. There are no menus. What to do? Suddenly – a chirpy mixologist appears. Hair slicked back. Dressed flawlessly. He explains how things go here ’’We don’t do menus.” He asks us what we like. What is our favourite spirit? Do we like them sweet or sour?

Go – he struggles with our three Scottish accents.

I order a whiskey. Sour. At least that’s what I would like.

The barman’s eyes light up. He disappears and twenty minutes later returns with our drinks. At the very least all the drinks are aesthetically pleasing. They look sensational.

Sensational. Photo: Virág Eszter Tóth

I take a sip of mine – I adore it. Immediately.  My whiskey transports me back to Scotland. I imagine drinking it on a Scottish island in an old house, white paint fading on the walls, the mist surrounding us from all sides.

Back in Budapest, we pass our drinks around the table. They are all pretty bloody special.

WARMUP makes a savage cocktail. Each drink costs 3.5k plus a 10% tip. This is all explained to you prior to ordering. Still, you may end up with something you don’t like. You can roll the dice or leave. I am glad I came.

We pay, wave the place goodbye and head back into the Budapest night searching for an experience to match what we enjoyed here. We won’t find it. Not on that Saturday anyway. We should have stayed put.

All the details you need for WarmUp can be found here.

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