London has the Pimm’s Cup and in Dublin you’ll raise a toast with a Guinness—a city’s signature drink can tell you a lot about the culture. In Barcelona, the cocktail of choice is undeniably the gin and tonic. In this edition of our Toast to travel series, we’re bringing you our five favorite spots to sip a Spanish-style G&T on tour in Barcelona.
First: a primer. You’re probably familiar with the two-ingredient gin and tonic, garnished with a lime wedge. But a Spanish-style gin and tonic is less straightforward. It’s served over ice in an oversized glass or goblet and is dressed up with an array of seasonal fruits and spices. The Spanish also tend to like their cocktails strong, with around a 2:1 ratio of gin to tonic.
Now, the fun part—where you can find one!
Over the bar at Bobby Gin hangs a simple sign emblazoned with the message, El gintonic perfecto no existe—the perfect gin and tonic doesn’t exist. Even so, you’ll get pretty close to a perfect drink here. Their main mixologist, Alberto Pizzaro, is world-renowned for his bartending prowess, and Bobby Gin is practically a temple to the art of the cocktail.
Visit at: Carrer de Francisco Giner, 47, 08012
All right—Dry Martini might be named for a totally different drink, but it’s still one of our must-visits for gin cocktails of all stripes. A staple since 1978, Dry Martini has a classic and inviting vibe, cabinets filled with antique bottles, and bartenders bedecked in crisp white suit jackets. They recently celebrated a major milestone—their millionth martini shaken.
Visit at: Calle Aribau, 162-166, 08036
Located in the bohemian Gràcia neighborhood, Elephanta doubles as a gin bar and tea room. With more than 40 types of gin on offer, they’ve made their name as a hub for some of Barcelona’s most creative mixologists. The space is cozy and unique—you can even grab a chess board for your table to enjoy a side of friendly competition with your cocktail.
Visit at: Torrent d’en Vidalet 37, 08012
The husband-and-wife team who run La Pepita bring plenty of culinary chops (including time spent in Michelin-starred restaurants) to the bar. Go here for delicious gin cocktails and tapas that blend Spanish flavors with global flair. From Catalan classics, like patatas bravas, gazpacho, and calamari, to out-of-the-box dishes like foie gras with coffee and hazelnuts, you’ll have plenty of enticing options to complement your drink.
Visit at: Carrer de Còrsega, 343, 08037
Gourmet Tapas is part of the Sensi group of restaurants, which each offer their own personality and spin on tapas. Here, the small plates take influence from both French and Asian cooking. The staff is incredibly friendly, and sure to offer recommendations (though we can’t say enough good things about their oxtail mini burgers). At the bar, try a gin and tonic garnished with fruit and cloves, or sip another favorite cocktail—a mojito with a splash of Aperol.
Visit at: Carrer de Milans, 4, 08002
Have you traveled to Barcelona on tour? Know a must-visit cocktail bar we didn’t mention here? Tell us about it in the comments!