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Balsam, a herbal liqueur, is allegedly good for you. Riga Black Balsam (Rīgas Melnais balzams) is traditionally Latvian, so it is also a good excuse to sample local culture, and where better to try this particular tipple than at the appropriately named Balsam Bar.
It's an intimate venue, part of the B-Bars family, which also has a restaurant in Riga. Here there are cocktails such as Nevainīgo Balzamu (Virgin balsam) and Vēso Balzamu (Balsam Freshness), served against a backdrop of eclectic furniture which has been impregnated with, you guessed it, balsam oils.
Seek out Balsam Bar for a drink or two off the beaten tourist track, and you may also bump into one of the Latvian politicians or intellectuals among whom the place is also popular.
Editor & Riga Local