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The Comeback Cocktail: G&T

May 31, 2013

Ideal Cocktail BArMake room, vermouth. The gin and tonic—or rather, gin tonic—has captured the fancy of Barcelona’s mixologists and tipplers alike. The cocktail isn’t new to Barcelona—the city’s old timers have been sipping G&Ts from their well-worn bar stools for decades—but a slew of new gins, including Gin Mare, a Catalan gin made with Arbequina olives, rosemary, and thyme, plus specialty tonic waters like Fever Tree, Fentiman’s, and Q Tonic, are attracting the younger set.

It’s an obsession that has launched a thousand gin joints, including El Raval’s Pesca Salada, a fish store-turned- cocteleria with more than 24 different types of gin. Locals pack into the sardine tin-size spot, which still retains reminders of its past life (fish scale ceilings are just the beginning), for super-strong pours served in balloon glasses. In Eixample, the second-floor Boca Chica has an eclectic décor—think animal busts, wood paneling, and Moroccan poufs—and a Chic & Tonic menu that pairs gins like Bulldog and Brockmans with unique garnishes like licorice, cardamom, and tonka beans. And at Xixbar in Poble Sec, you can take do a gin tonic tasting—and then pick up your favorites at the connecting shop. It’s not just newcomers that have jumped on the trend: Every watering hole in town stocks at least a handful of different gins—including Dry Martini, where barmen in white jackets can make a mean G&T.

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