Kester Thomas - wine and champagne bar in Copenhagen. Photos by Rebecca Kjaergaard Leon.

Kester Thomas

It’s all grape!

Some bars strive to embrace a bit of everything while others specialize in a certain niche. As more and more cocktail bars pop up, and Copenhagen slowly attains a “little London” vibe, we’ll most likely see more niche bars appearing as the many venues brawl to position themselves in the growing field. Kester Thomas is one of those specialized bars pivoting around a clear identifying core. On the façade in Studiestræde it claims to be a “wine and champagne bar” but Kesper Thomas is much more than that – it is about everything related to grapes. This, of course, encompasses a well-curated selection of wines and champagnes, but also sherries, vermouths, cognacs, ports, wine reductions, champagne syrups and much more.

Erwan Le Bonniec from Kester Thomas in Copenhagen. Photo by Alexander Banck-Petersen.

It takes a certain profile to set and straddle such a creative obstruction. It takes a Frenchman. Erwan Le Bonniec (who first tasted champagne when he was three years old) has had extensive service experience from all around Europe and has made a name for himself in Copenhagen slinging cocktails in Bar 7, being a bar manager at Bar 25 and raising the bar in multiple international cocktail competitions. With his vast experience and a taste for innovation Erwan has turned the grape into the inspirational backbone of an exceptional cocktail menu.

Kester Thomas the bar. Photo by Rebecca Kjaergaard Leon. Kester Thomas wine and champagne bar in Copenhagen. Photo by Rebecca Kjaergaard Leon. Kester Thomas wine and champagne bar in Copenhagen. Photo by Rebecca Kjaergaard Leon.

Kester Thomas offers a comfortable setting to enjoy quality drinks and good company, and caters to a mature audience who appreciates a well thought out concept. You might mistake the 1st floor for your own living room with its many books, a fireplace and the slightly cheesy but mandatory globe bar. Sipping a drink in the comfy Danish Modern furniture you’ll feel right at home. This feeling even extends to the restroom which is equipped with an old school bath tub (occasionally used as a giant ice bucket for champagne).

The selection of cocktails is diverse and of exceptional quality: Try for instance Erwan’s vigilante cocktail “Dark Knight“. It’s extremely interesting and educational to experience how grapes are put to use in a wide variety of ways with Monsieur Erwan as the cocktail architect.

The owner of Bar7 and Bar25 Shane Kernan used to work together with his good friend Kester Thomas at the Rockwell Bar on Trafalgar Square in London. Sadly Kester Thomas died in 2013 in a tragic traffic accident. In 2015 Shane opened a new bar in Studiestræde and named it Kester Thomas as a tribute to his deceased friend.

“Always a new creation to try, a new experiment to intrigue, Kester Thomas was a mad scientist, the Willy Wonka og Mixology, an irreplaceable part of us, respected and loved by us all. A perfectionist, when it came to his passion.” – From the menu at Kester Thomas

All photos in this article are kindly provided by Rebecca Kjaergaard Leon. For bookings go to the website of Kester Thomas.

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Alexander Banck-Petersen
CoC's photographer and occasional writer. I enjoy cocktail photography almost as much as cocktail imbibery. I try to do the drinks justice by making them appear as appealing to the eye as they are to the mouth and nose. I have a weakness for gins and I'm fond of bitter stuff as well, but I'll enjoy a good rum, bourbon or whisky if I'm forced. :)