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Budapest’s Best Cocktail Inspired by the Iconic Lions of the Chain Bridge

Hungary Today 2023.10.15.

The competitors of Budapest Cocktail Week 2023 had to create their drinks around the inauguration of the Chain Bridge and the 150th anniversary of the unification of Budapest. The best cocktail was Flava Kitchen & More’s The Lion’s Tongue, inspired by the lions of the Chain Bridge, reports Turizmus.com.

The week-long event was attended by 30 bars and restaurants and a panel of judges. The winner of the 2023 Budapest Cocktail Week competition was Flava Kitchen & More, with a cocktail named The Lion’s Tongue, created by Orsolya Nagy, bar manager.

The drink is a three-ingredient cocktail, based on Eminente Reserva 7 Years Rum, with carrot and jasmine to complete the magic, and a cat’s tongue chocolate garnish.

The idea is linked to the Lions of the Chain Bridge, and more specifically to the sculptor who created them, János Sámuel Marschalkó. It is believed that he did not design a tongue for the lions, and was mocked for it to the extent that he threw himself into the Danube. However, the legend is not true, the lions do have tongues, you just have to look at them from a different angle to see them.

One of the lions of the bridge. Photo via Facebook/BKK – Budapesti Közlekedési Központ

Bar manager Orsolya Nagy also talked about the genesis of the idea for the cocktail: “When we received the competition brief and concept, I immediately thought of the lion and the story of the missing tongues of the sculptures. I knew immediately that I wanted to include something special and unusual. The vanilla and smoky – coffee – dried fruit flavors of Eminente rum are in perfect harmony with the natural sweetness of the carrot. (…) This is complemented by the perfumed lightness of jasmine. The bright orange color is due to the carrot. As with the other flavors in the Flava cocktails, I wanted to show internationality and unique ingredients. This is how Cuban rum met European carrots and Caucasian jasmine. The crowning glory was the Hungarian cat’s tongue chocolate, because we are talking about a big cat,” she noted.


A cat’s tongue is an elongated chocolate bar, 5-8 cm long, with two ends protruding, shaped like a cat’s tongue. It can be made from white, milk, or dark chocolate. It was created by Emil Gerbeaud (1854-1919), a Swiss confectioner, who moved to Hungary in 1884.

The winning cocktail, The Lion’s Tongue, will be available for tasting at Flava’s permanent selection from October 13.

The majority of the scoring was done by the professional judges and the public, with the Budapest Cocktail Week team, sponsors, and bars also voting for the cocktail specialties. The Flava drink was the clear winner of both the international jury and the public vote.

Photo via Facebook/Flava Kitchen&More

As the winners, Nagy and the Flava team also received the opportunity to travel to London Cocktail Week to gather new experiences and inspiration at the world’s biggest cocktail event.

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Via turizmus.com, Featured image via Facebook/Flava Kitchen&More

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