I am from New Orleans where it’s believed that the cocktail was invented out of the pharmacies. My husband and I have traveled to some amazing cocktail establishments throughout the world to the point that we’ve built our own home bar in our basement this past year. My husband is a very meticulous home bartender, crafting perfectly well balanced cocktails from the Jerry Thomas books, the Dead Rabbit punches, New Orleans classics, Death & Co. daiquiris and so on. It’s to the point that we’ve been ruined a bit and our cocktail adventures are spent in our basement trying out recipes, modifying them and widening our knowledge of what makes the perfect cocktail.
However, it’s always exciting when we find a new place that surprises us, which is what happened recently during our stay in Barcelona. At the suggestion of my sister-in-law, who happens to be joining us with her husband, and together they are the most well researched travelers, we visited a small cocktail bar in the Gracia neighborhood called Old-Fashioined. The four of us arrived and seated ourselves at the tiny bar. There are tons of recipes to choose from and the bartenders mentioned that they could make just about anything. Anything??? I think they may have just posed a challenge. There are also a bunch of glass cases throughout the bar where approximately 6 bottles of the now defunct Pappy Van Winkle sits locked away for special occasions.
After spending some time with the menu we decided upon a daiquiri, a Japanese whiskey at the suggestion of the bartender, an Old-Fashioned, made with a Blanton’s Gold label that out of Kentucky, is not available in the US and a Last Word. They were perfecto! The four of us should have a YouTube channel where we post reactions sipping amazing cocktails.
The night was supposed to be a bit of a crawl through Gracia, a one and done sort of evening, but we decided we couldn’t leave just yet. Back to that challenge from earlier. The cocktail menu book has a fun bucket list for cocktail fans and one of the items on the list is that everyone in their lifetime should try Monkey 45. While using data roaming on this trip is left for emergencies only, this was an emergency that needed to be investigated. Turns out that Monkey 45 was Huey P. Long’s gin of preference for the classic New Orleans Ramos Gin Fizz. We LOVE the Ramos Gin Fizz and we had to have one, or four, and the catch is this is one of those cocktails that I’ve seen bartenders do not love to make due to the 10+ minutes of shaking time it takes to get it right. So we asked them to make it and when we said “four”, the two bartenders’ eyes popped out of their heads and they rolled up their sleeves. We graciously thanked them for their efforts and the drinks were amazing!!!!! There were even some silver beads added to the top for decoration. So pretty!!
There are plenty of other cocktail establishments in Barcelona to check out and I’ll be sure to write about a few others as we make our way through them. Cheers!!