This refined Brazilian-inspired cocktail bar stands out on the Boulevard Henri IV, where the bars tend to be shabbier and the drink of choice is usually beer. With lamps shaped like birdcages, wooden panelling and colourful paintings of dogs on the walls, the décor is eclectic and immersive. A self-described cachaceria, Maria Loca uses cachaça (a Brazilian spirit made with sugarcane juice) in many of its special cocktails, a nice touch of authenticity. Tapas is also on offer (€8-€20, depending on size).
The standout concoction here is the ‘Colonial Spice’ (a moreish blend of gin and cumin syrup), but also worth trying is the ‘Pschitte’, which is a special French spin on a Spritz (with vermouth). Prices are high for the area (€11-€14) but reflect the freshness of the ingredients and the overall quality. The waiting staff are friendly, happy to speak at length about the various Portuguese reds on offer.
TRANSLATION: HUW OLIVER