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May 6, 2009 11:22 AM

Craft Cocktails in Madrid, Barcelona, San Sebastian?

I live in New York and we have a host of them including but not limited to Flatiron Lounge, Pegu Club, PDT, Death & Co., Milk & Honey, etc. We're headed to Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian for our honeymoon this summer and I was wondering where we could find high quality craft cocktails.

Trademarks include fresh-squeezed juices (lime, lemon, grapefruit), housemade ginger beer, housemade simple syrup, measuring with a jigger, a selection of bitters.

I've been doing some preliminary searching and found these, any comments/yays/nays:

Makita Cafe
Del Diego Cocktail Bar

Dry Martini
Ideal Cocktail Bar

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  1. I'm a frequent visitor to Madrid and have pals who live there. I have never heard of any body talking about, much less doing that circuit. I also live in NY, the places you mentioned are famous for a reason. Why go to Madrid to repeat what you can have here? The wines are great and many, many places have amazing wines by the glass. A lot of them you can't get here. In SS you'll be overloaded w/Tkaxoli and Cidra and if you went to Galicia you could spend 2 weeks bar hopping and NEVER had the same Albarino twice. I know we did this last May. So far, it's still different and NOT homogenized like the states (even my hometown of NYC has become fairly bland) have become.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MOREKASHA

      I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing out on anything. And I'm not a huge wine drinker.

    2. In Madrid, I would suggest hitting Chueca (the neighborhood) before dinner or after midnight. There are many different "bares de copas" that specialize in cocktails. Two classics are Bar Cock and the Museo Chicote (very old school--Don Diego is a spin-off, started by an employee). Fresh squeezed citrus fruit is the rule, rather than the exception here in Madrid--I can't speak to the other criteria.

      Makita... if it's the place on Calle de Don Pedro in Las Vistillas, then that's much more of a tea place than a bar de copas.

      If you read Spanish, you can read about more places here (though keep in mind that this particular genre of nightlife is very ephemeral--with the exceptions above--here today, gone tomorrow):

      3 Replies
      1. re: butterfly

        Thank you! Nice to hear that freshly squeezed juice fruit is the rule rather than the exception!

        1. re: kathryn

          Avoid El Chicote at all cost. They served me a gimlet in a champagne flute with a cherry in the bottom and a wedge of orange in the other day. It tasted as bad as it looked, which as you can see in the picture attached was downright scary.

          For my money, Del Diego prepares the best coctails but lacks atmosphere, so my friends and I tend towards Cock because it's a beautiful place and is just generally lovely to be in.

          As MOREKASHA said though, Madrid's not famed for its coctails - you're way better served in London for that type of thing - and it's still relatively difficult to get anything beyond a mojito or caipirinha in most bars. That said, the best mojitos are to be found in Latina, where you can drink them on a terrace and watch the 'modernos' walk by to your heart's content.

          1. re: cmoniker

            How about fresh, tasty sider/cidra. You also get a free show w/every pour at any decent Asturiano place....