Nicosia, Cyprus

Photo: Lost + Found Drinkery
Photo: Lost + Found Drinkery

The recent list of the world’s 50 best bars included many of the usual suspects. Drinking spots in London and New York, Sydney and Singapore topped the expansive lineup. It wasn’t until almost the end of the list—number 48, to be exact—that we found a surprise. A very pleasant surprise. A bar on Cyprus made the cut.

The divided island—half Greek, half Turkish—of Cyprus is famous for its windswept beaches, ancient ruins, and picturesque villages. But since Nicosia is known more for its shopping than its historic sites, few visitors head inland to its capital and largest city. You might want to rethink that decision to check out Lost + Found Drinkery.

Lost + Found is a small, make that tiny, bar on a quiet section of Lord Byron Street. The space was a bar school until a few years ago, when the owner decided to serve his own cocktails instead of teaching others how to do so. From the outside, the bar isn’t very impressive. A few stools and a couple of old oil barrels sit under heat lamps, and wooden windows open as if takeout is being served. There’s a black-and-white tile floor inside. Mismatched furniture, including leather chairs, give the room a 1970s vibe. While antique tools, which almost look surgical, hang on the walls.

You’re handed a menu, its white pages held together with twine, after you grab a stool at the bar. It’s divided by flavor profiles: sour/sweet, light/strong, etc. Your eyes linger over the Hot Lucy and the Zombie, but the friendly bartender, who seems more than happy to help with suggestions, directs you toward the Passion Velvet when you mention your love of spice. You watch intently as he slowly crafts your cocktail. He then pauses for your reaction as you take your first sip. The drink turns out to be the perfect combination of sourness and fruitiness with a spicy kick. Cheers to Nicosia.

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