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Here are the best bars in Nairobi, according to CNN

A California-based freelance travel, business and entertainment writer has named his choice of some of the best bars in Nairobi.

Here is his list:

1. The Champagne Bar – It’s all about the bubbly at this posh place on the seventh floor of the Sankara Hotel in Westlands. At this swanky bar you can ask the resident mixologists for one of his latest takes on the champagne cocktail. The bar hosts a Champagne Ritual every night at six.

2. Sierra Brewery – East Africa’s first microbrewery takes its name from the fact the founder and owner learned how to make suds in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

While the design vibe might be hipster northern California, the beer itself is utterly German – made with just hops, malt, yeast and water according to the centuries-old Reinheitsgebot tradition of Teutonic brewing.

In addition to seasonal beers, Sierra makes year-round stout, blonde, amber and lager. The Brasserie gastropub on the third floor serves lunch and dinner, the dishes complemented by their own beers as well as a surprisingly good selection of vodka, tequila, rum, whisky and European aperitifs.

3. The Alchemist – This Westlands hotspot blends drinks, music, fashion, food and art in an eclectic outdoor space that feels more like an open-air fair that a traditional nightclub.

Launched in January 2016 by a young expat Californian, the venue shares its large outdoor “yard” with other cutting-edge multicultural entities like a music recording studio, Mama Rocks “African style” food truck, and a double-decker London bus converted into an art space.

Special events run a broad gamut from art shows and farmers’ markets to DJ parties and “Game of Thrones” viewing sessions. Ask the bartender for a Campari Negroni and slide onto one of the blue sofas for the capital’s best people-watching.

4. Hemingways – The elegant lounge bar at Hemingways hotel sports a chummy atmosphere similar to the Muthaiga Country Club and other colonial holdovers. Only here you don’t have to be a member.

One of Nairobi’s best wine cellars boasts a large selection of South African, South American, European and Californian vintages. Cognacs and single malts are other specialties.

And as a tribute to the bar’s namesake, the Mojitos are the best you’re going to sip this side of Havana. Add in black leather armchairs, a marble fireplace and black-and-white photos of the celebrated author. Oenophiles can opt for a multi-course chef’s table dinner in the wine cellar.

5. Champagne & Fishbowls – When you’re looking for something sweet but strong. You can ignore the upscale champagnes and martinis at this circular bar beside the Seven Seafood & Grill restaurant and go straight to the yummy ice-cream cocktails at this sleek little bar out on the west side.

Made with locally made vanilla bean ice-cream, the choices include the amaretto-infused Strawberry Shortcake, Bacardi-based Rum Don Pedro and a Cookies ‘n’ Cream cocktail that features Baileys and mint liqueur.

As the name suggests, the menu is also spangled with unusual marine-themed drinks like the bright red Piranha and a tequila-beer concoction called Seven’s Tsunami.

6. Choices Pub – Cool tunes, pool tables, pub grub and cold beer highlight this Kenyan version of a sports bar near the National Stadium in Nairobi.

Live acts from around Kenya take the stage every Thursday, while Mondays are devoted to relaxation and conversation, Wednesdays to soul music, and the weekends to DJ parties. On the sporting side, the bar shows live broadcasts of English Premier League football games and Formula One motor races.