21 May, 2019
A pastrami bar is the unassuming frontage for Paradiso, my newest discovery in the very discovered hubbub of Barcelona. The walk-in ham fridge complete with troubling open-from-the-outside-only door handles is your conduit to a very secret and surprising cocktail experience. It took a certain bravery for a claustrophobic vegetarian to step into a meat fridge. Yet this counter-intuitive move was to be richly rewarded. As the door snapped firmly shut behind us, we were transported into a warm-hued space with a friendly almost amused ambiance. You can’t help smiling when a ham fridge leads to such clandestine pleasure.
Dominated by a centre-stage bar that immediately suggested the chemical theatrics that were to come. The preparatory glassware of flasks, beakers and cylinders conjured mad lab antics while the waiting receptacles divulged a playful sense of humour. Puffs of smoke, twirling vapour, bright embers, hissing gas and flaming blasts from the mini blowtorch crafted an array of cocktails that celebrated classics with a twist while taking modern mixology to new heights. Our bartenders whirred and poured and smiled through crazy antics like chemists living an apothecarian’s dream. A flourishing finale would see each creation cascaded into an ever-more quirky vessel.
Imagine this equestrian’s delight when a Troy horse trotted into the picture. His tail and butt could be lifted to reveal a hidden chamber very much in the spirit of the shock tactic of this tale. Out slid a tubular vessel containing an amber fluid blended to celestial perfection. Macallan Whisky mingled into baklava, calvados, fig liqueur, Jerez Oloroso and amaro. It kicked in a good way.
While the pony may be a hit, it is the the modern take on the The Great Gatsby that is the true crowd-pleaser. Macallan’s amber whisky is partied up with amaro ramazzotti, a trickle of truffle honey, a few dots of lavender bitter all smoked with vanilla, chocolate and tobacco just before serving.
There lies a secret within this secret, go sleuth it out. & I’ll see you there this summer!
Carrer Rera Palau, 4 (El Born)
+34 933 60 72 22
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