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Carrer Airbau 162-166, Barcelona, Spain
ANY ESTABLISHMENT WITH THE GOOD SENSE TO DEDICATE A 3M ‘ALTAR’ TO THE FINE ART OF MARTINI making is fine with us. Not only does Javier de las Muelas ensure that these hallowed cocktails are given the respect they deserve by allowing only the most senior staff on duty to make them, there’s also a counter to validate how many are served. On our visit in June, ours came in at 1,048,344 and 1,048,345 respectively and, like all customers who order a Martini here, we have the signed certificates as proof.
It’s a nice touch but the detail goes way beyond the Martinis. Everything in De las Muelas’ world has been carefully considered, from the things you see – such as the slick, white coated team tending bar, the sophisticated furnishings and the carefully curated cocktail art collection – to the way you’re made to feel, courtesy of the well-chosen sound track and exemplary service.
Sit at the bar and admire the collection of vintage paraphernalia, including bottles, glassware and the glass display freezer inspired by Tiffany’s shop windows. It’s a given that you should order a Martini made to the bar’s specifications (1/2 London dry gin, 1/2 French vermouth, 1 dash of orange bitters, squeeze of lemon rind and a green olive, seeing as you’re asking), but there are other fine, contemporary drinks on offer as well.
Shh, don’t tell anyone but there’s also a speakeasy restaurant with a vast wine cellar through the corridor. Add it to your must-do list on your next visit.