Whether it’s classic or with a contemporary twist, the G&T is king of the cocktail list in Barcelona. Here are our favorite spots to unwind with a gin and tonic in the Catalan capital.
Cocktail Bar, Mediterranean, $$$
Dry Martini, Barcelona
If you’re the kind of person who likes your cocktail bars to be classic – we’re talking white tuxedos and silver platters – then search out Dry Martini on Carrer d’Aribau. This stylish cocktail bar oozes old-fashioned charm, and while – as its name may indicate – it is most famous for serving dry martinis, the bar staff know how to mix an excellent G&T. Don’t come here looking for the latest trendy gins and quirky combinations, though: this is gin and tonic served the traditional way.
This quirky bar was once a sweet shop, hence its name, which means ‘The Confectionary’. The outside still looks like a 1920s sweet shop, and when you step inside you will feel transported back to a time when sweets were sold by weight in little paper bags. The only treat you’ll find at the Confiteria these days is a very good cocktail.
A restaurant may not seem as an obvious choice for a drink, but the wide choice of gins on offer at Sésamo – including some niche ones you’ll struggle to find elsewhere – means it’s worth putting up with a stool at the bar. Each gin is served with its own blend of herbs, spices and fruits, including ingredients such as saffron, hibiscus and juniper berries. While you’re there you might as well grab some tapas to accompany your drink, as Sésamo is also one of the best vegetarian restaurants in town.
Perched on the edge of Montjuïc hill, overlooking Barcelona’s cruise port area and the Mediterranean sea, Martinez offers one of the most unique views of the city. A popular restaurant, it’s famous for its paella and seafood dishes, which attract the crowds at weekends. Come the afternoon from 5pm, you can grab a table overlooking the sea and enjoy a drink to the sound of a live DJ mixing chilled house and lounge music.
Another classic cocktail bar, the Caribbean Club is tucked away on a backstreet just behind the famous La Rambla in the Raval neighbourhood. The atmosphere is reminiscent of 1950s Havana and is inspired by the interior of a ship cabin, with wooden walls and low ceilings. This is the kind of place where a G&T is served the good old-fashioned way, so don’t expect too much frivolity, just an excellent pour.
Something of a badly kept secret, Bar Mutis is an exclusive club located in a stylishly transformed apartment in the Eixample neighbourhood. Rumoured to have been a favourite of Robert De Niro when he visited the Catalan capital, it’s easy to see why people fall in love with the place: halfway between a glitzy Manhattan jazz lounge and a celebrity mansion, the atmosphere at Mutis is unique in the city. Have a word with the staff at the adjoining Bar Mut and they’ll usually let you in if you’re on your best behaviour.
This laid-back cocktail bar is in Barcelona’s edgy Gràcia neighbourhood. Once a separate town located on the outskirts of the city, today it retains much of its independent spirit. The bar stocks over 40 different gins from across the world, each paired with a different premium tonic water. They even offer ‘gin experiences’, which include tasting a selection of different G&Ts according to a particular theme. This is the perfect place for anyone who considers themselves something of a gin buff.
The clue is in the name with Bobby Gin. There’s no holding back when it comes to serving new gins and unusual flavour combinations likely to raise an eyebrow or two. The décor is modern but welcoming, with cozy wooden tables laid side by side in what looks like someone’s lounge. If you get peckish, be sure to check out the menu as they serve an ample selection of contemporary tapas and snacks.