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
wine bar provence travel tapas vilanculos small plates franschhoek restaurants cocktails winelands mozambique france coffee LES lisbon worlds coolest bars portugal bars restaurant safari gin kloof street Tanzania paris new york bree street franschhoek worlds best bars secret bars cape town coolest bars