The Best of Beirut
on May 21, 2014 By Danielle Issa
It’s almost summertime, and we know what’s on your mind: beach season, washboard abs and a perfectly-chiseled physique. Time for dieting and detoxing, right? Thanks to the power of fresh, natural and tasty fruit, you can stop cringing at the word “diet” and actually look forward to your next mealtime.
A mountain of elegantly carved exotic fruit resting on a bed of fruit puree, splashed with fresh fruit coulis, and topped with a few spoons of clotted cream, a drizzle of honey and slivered almonds. Tempted? You should be.
We’ve found you five fruitastic cocktail bars in Beirut dishing up these wholesome cups of fresh fruity flair. Dieting never sounded so divine.
Tutti Frutti is your fruit warehouse for cocktails, smoothies, and achta mixes galore. Did you know that fruit are natural drugs promoting hydration, digestion, and invigoration? Try Tutti Frutti’s second-to-none exotic platter (12,000 LL), a rainbow bouquet of mango, pineapple, melon, kiwi, bananas, and strawberries alongside a heaping spoonful of the Lebanese clotted cheese achta decked in thick, viscous sugar-cane molasses. For a more portable meal, order the mixed fruit cocktail she2af (6,000 LL for a small cup).
Main Road Facing Zaatar w Zeit
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From the outside, Beit Moussallem in Achrafieh might look like a glass-paneled greenhouse sheltering a colorful array of fruit imported from the world over. And it is. But did you know this shop doubles as a cocktail bar, blending juices and tossing together fruit salads customized to your palate? Opt for simplicity and order the Bermuda (6,000 LL for a medium glass), a thick oasis of creamy, nutrient-rich avocado topped with crushed tangy strawberries. Who knew this concoction could delight so much?
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If you’re a fan of Hamra’s Barbar on Spears, you’ve no doubt noticed the narrow fruit shack just a few meters down the street. 3assir Ramadan (or Ramadan Juice) has become a veritable legend in doling out flavorful, nutritious, fruit-packed cocktail juices to revelers heading home after some nighttime debauchery in the area. The shop proudly displays its selection of fruit for customers to behold the variety and freshness of its produce. Don’t miss the cocktail she2af, a floral-like arrangement of sliced kiwi, pineapple wedges, halved strawberries, globe grapes, and whatever else is in season. Remember: this cocktail is incomplete without a crown of chunky cream and honey.
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Long before Bliss House became famous for its garlicky chicken subs and fiery Mexican fajita sandwiches, it was a modest outlet on Bliss Street serving homemade soft-serve ice cream and fresh fruit cocktails to AUB students and staff alike. In fact, to this day, Bliss House is credited with pioneering unique fruit blends that pack taste, style and nutrition all in one signature plastic, transparent cup. Take a sip out of history and try their Tahiti cocktail (4,500 LL), a cluster of banana coins swimming in fresh strawberry puree topped with whipped cream and jazzed up with sweet strawberry sauce.
Image via Foodspotting
Never mind that they spell Johny’s with one “n” rather than the traditional two, you’ll happily let this cocktail bar in Jdeideh reinvent your alphabet and your taste buds, too. With hoards of fruit like Egyptian mango and Brazilian pineapple fashioned into unwieldy towers atop the glass display case, you’ll hardly be able to see your cocktail being prepared. But fret not, for certain magic is in the making. Simply utter “cocktail she2af,” specify a size, and let the fruit connoisseur work his magic. The result is a beer mug overflowing with silky avocado, strawberry coulis, a bunch of fresh fruit pieces, and the achta-honey-nut trio you absolutely cannot resist.
Image via Foursquare
Danielle Issa is a food blogger in Lebanon. You can find her on Twitter, and be sure to check out her blog, Beirutista.
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