Worth the detour and then some
The size of the city taken into account the number of high end cocktail bars in Copenhagen is astonishing. With a broad selection already available opening a new bar is a tough game. The positive flip side of this is that new bars opening have to prove a high level of quality right from the get go to attract guests who expect an extraordinary cocktail experience.
You will experience this at Helium. Located in the outskirts of the city center on the periphery of the Eastern bridge quarters bar manager Nicklas Jørgensen and the founding team has set the bar high to prove to people that it’s worth the detour. Passing through the glass door you feel like entering a stylish French hotel with cozy dimmed lighting and a Boheme butique ambience. Attention has been put to the detail to show people they care and will do their outmost to provide the optimal conditions for a special night out. Velvet drapes make the bar appear exclusive yet cozy and enticing. The glass ware has been edged with custom patterns that you can admire as you sip your drink while having your ears massaged by the funky grooves of the soul music filling the room. Even the toilets have been given special attention – here you are offered individual small fresh towels and accompanied by the soothing sound of classical violins.
Most importantly the cocktail menu is diverse and interesting. Much experimentation goes on in the provisional cocktail lab in the back. Left overs like egg yokes and macerated cherries are given to the nieghboring restaurant Sommelier to reduce waste. In exchange the bar gains access to advanced kitchen gear like the restaurants centrifuge and sous-vide machinery that can be used to process cocktail ingredients. The craft geeks behind the bar Nicklas and Jeppe Nothlev love playing with the elements. For instance preparing cocktails through the means of barrel aging or sous-vide techniques which help spirit mature and flavors marry.
As you might have guessed they don’t serve cheap cocktails at Helium. And they don’t have to – according to Nicklas price is not as important as it used to be.
“People are more educated on what real craft requires and they are more conscious about what they put in their body. In general people have gained more respect for bars and bartenders.”
– Nicklas Jørgensen who will be the Danish representative at the global finals in the Diplomatico world Tournament 2017
If you prefer to put a little distance between yourself and the busyness of the city center Helium is a nice alternative for the more mature audience. Within 5 minutes walking distance you have a long range of acclaimed restaurants available like Mash, Umami and Le Sommelier (16 to be exact). Helium is ideal for setting the mood with a pre-dinner drink or continuing the good conversation in a new setting with an after dinner cocktail.
The sense for detail and quality at tangible at Helium but what it all boils down to is the experience of the guests. For this reason the team focus on bar efficiency and good service. Everything is organized in a way that no one should wait more than 10 minutes to have their drink. As Nicklas puts it: We are ambitious but we try to be humble about what we do – in the end we just want to make good drinks and have people leave a little bit happier than they were when they walked into our humble establishment!
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Helium is open Wednesday and Sunday 18-02, Thursday Friday and Saturday 16-02. For reservations visit Helium’s website.
Read about Nicklas’ shot at the global rum finals in the Diplomatico World Tournament 2017 in Venezuela: