In a year when we said goodbye to Sean Connery (arguably the greatest Bond ever to grace our screens) we thought we’d pay tribute to a Barcelona bar that has been honouring his favourite drink for more than 30 years. Welcome to the legendary Dry Martini bar in Barcelona.
From the outside, you might not notice it but this elegant and sophisticated bar will impress you once you enter the swing doors. Inside is a sophisticated space with high ceilings, impressionist artwork on the walls and banquette sofas to perch on as you order your drink. There’s a long bar to sit at if that’s your preference. Or you could pull up a chair at one of the elegant tables.
Jazzy vibe, elegant decor, classic artwork
Look around you at the walls bedecked in artwork. Survey the shelves of wine bottles protected behind their pristine glass cabinets. Take in the bartenders and wait people, all dressed up in white tunics and black bow ties, scurrying around making sure that everyone’s drinking and everyone’s happy. Soak up the warm colors of the paneled walls and listen to the chilled jazz soundtrack getting you into that mellow mood. Then, when you’re ready, order your drink. And really, there’s only one drink for you to start with in this cocktail palace. It’s the drink that gave the bar its name. Say these words, slowly: un Dry Martini, por favor.
The perfect Dry Martini
Your reward will be a classic Dry Martini, made to their exacting requirements with a strict formula that has stood the test of time. Their special combination: 1/2 London Dry gin (you can choose from their wide selection or let them decide). They then add an equal amount of French vermouth, before adding a dash of orange bitters and stirring it in an ice-filled beaker before decanting it elegantly into your Martini glass. The glass will then be garnished with either a squeezed lemon rind or a ripe, juicy olive, dependent on your taste. Then simply sit back and take a sip. Then another. And when the sipping’s done, order you’re second drink (since one of these is never enough). In fact, one of the distinguishing features of this classic cocktail bar is the incongruous digital counter that sits behind the bar.
Hitting the button, every time…
Every time a Dry Martini is ordered, the Martini button is pushed and the number goes up by one. At the last count, well over one million Dry Martinis had been ordered here since the bar was first opened. And with that sort of endorsement from your customers, it’s not surprising that this is one of only 6 bars in the world to have made it onto the world’s 50 best bar list, 7 times in a row. This is a tribute to the vision of Barcelona’s pioneering cocktail king, Javier de las Muelas who founded this legendary place back all those years ago.
And while this bar is all about the cocktails, they serve some decent tapas as well, served with panache to a well-heeled crowd of upmarket locals, cocktail fanatics and curious tourists.
A hidden speakeasy, a terrace and a cocktail school
Plus, hidden behind the panelled walls at the back of the bar is a secret door, leading to the clandestine Speakeasy restaurant, serving continental and Spanish fare in an atmosphere reminiscent of a gentleman’s club. Dry Martini serves a range of cocktails alongside its classic Dry Martinis and features all the standard classic gins such as Tanqueray 10, Bombay Sapphire’s Star of Bombay, Bloomsbury and Puerto de Indias for a blast of Spanish strawberries. Plus, the icing on the cake – these guys run a pretty decent cocktail school right next door where some of the best mixologists in Spain will share their tricks and tips – at a price.
Written by Steve (with a little help from Ruddles, the gin dog!)
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