The best cocktail bars in Barcelona

Sup on classic cocktails at one of Barcelona's best cocktail bars

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Sample some of the finest bespoke cocktails in Barcelona, and meet the city's most daring mixologists. Whether your taste is for the red-velvety classic interiors and old-fashioned drinks as your nan likes 'em or if you prefer a more modern ambience with your one-of-a-kind tipple, we've got just the place for you.


Ginger

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Ginger, you’re the Rita Hayworth of bars, with your tousled red hair. You’re there every night at your curved bar selling matches with your mischievous smile and that black dress. You’ve got an old sign with American typography that was probably used for the posters in the Great Gatsby.

  1. 1, Palma de Sant Just, 08002
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Dry Martini

You don't mess with intrepid barman Javier de las Muelas. In fact, you don't mess with anything about this legendary cocktail bar that's internationally recognised as one of the best on the planet. They're very clever behind the bar, where the most complicated choreographies are staged, and all dedicated to the cocktail. Whatever you do, don't leave without trying the house concoction, the Dry Martini, which is unbeatable in Barcelona, and one of the most masterful creations of De las Muelas. Despite crowds and the barman's bark, Dry Martini continues to be a benchmark cocktail bar. And that, good readers, isn't just a cocktail bar. It's a church.

  1. Aribau, 162, Eixample, 08036
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Semon 9 Night

  • Price band: 3/4

At Semon it was not enough for them to have one of the finest gourmet shops in the city, a luxury catering firm, three restaurants (one Japanese) and for them to have established the brand in Madrid. Now, based in premises in the street of Santa Fe de Nou Mèxic, Semon 9 has seized the momentum to continue the celebrations from 11 pm to 2am in a space where you can have a cocktail or a light dinner, either because you just left the office, the cinema or simply because you lead a decidedly dissolute life. A classic uptown venue for a seasoned clientele looking for a rather bohemian environment.

  1. Santa Fe de Nou Mèxic, 15 , Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08017
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Cocteleria Tahití

The cocktail bar owned by Javier Cejas, which is just outside his own unbeatable Negroni, is a tiki bar where waiters with slicked hair and skinny ties serve up refreshments mostly based on traditional recipes from tiki culture. In case you're wondering what that is, it's the aesthetic that was born in the United States after World War II, when returning soldiers found themselves strangely nostalgic for the South Pacific beaches. Cejas' obsession with this period makes the mixologists real experts with rum cocktails. And yes, that includes the revered mojito.

  1. Joaquín Costa, 39, El Raval, 08001
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Aigua del Carmen

  • Rated as: 4/5

Back in their day, today's Catalan elders used 'aigua del Carmen' as a universal remedy for what ailed them. Just a sip of the herbal concoction of lemon, rosemary, mint, clove, and cinnamon was enough to combat boils, migraines or any other common ailment. They wouldn't have believed that, half a century later, this ancient potion would be the name of a premium cocktail bar, or that they would even be able to find traces of the cure-all in the house cocktail made with lemon juice, sugar, apple liqueur, gin and a few drops of blue curacao.

  1. Còrsega, 400, Eixample Dret, 08037
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Twist

  • Critics choice

I feel like going to Twist one night and using the cheesy line 'What is a girl like you doing in a place like this?' on them, because the location of this cocktail bar is a mystery on a par with the Holy Trinity. It really shouldn’t be here, one of the best cocktail bars in Barcelona marooned on this mundane, boring street where it languishes between a school and a car-repair shop. Too many people already know about it, for which I and Time Out Barcelona must take some of the blame, but the gin cocktails they mix here can make you believe in eternal life, or at least the resurrection of the dead.

  1. Rafael Batlle, 11, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08017
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Torre Rosa

  • Critics choice

That sentence written in all the guidebooks about the 'incomparable setting' was likely invented to talk about Torre Rosa. Drinking a cocktail in a house formerly owned by one of the 'indios' or 'Americanos' (Catalans who left and made good on the other side of the pond and then returned to spend their wealth) can have a hand in making your heart skip a beat or two. This is possibly one of the most perfect places in Barcelona. Behind the bar you'll find Jordi Reig, who will tell you everything anyone could ever want to know about the different types of rum and how to mix a good mojito. If you aren't in the mind space for explanations and would rather imagine yourself in Havana, just head out to the terrace and do a bit of moon gazing.

  1. Francesc Tàrrega, 22, Sant Andreu, 08027
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San Trop

  • Rated as: 3/5

If you know the place, you may remember it as a rundown bar where you felt like you were in a brothel waiting room, but now it's safe to go back to San Trop, guilt-free. The décor, though it's been given a good spring cleaning, is virtually the same, something of a cross between a hat shop and the Munsters' living room. Just the spot to knock back a refreshing cocktail or two.

  1. Comte d'Urgell, 90, Eixample Esquerre, 08011
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Tandem Cocktail Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Don't let the austere entrance fool you. You might even waltz right in without noticing the curious drawing of the two men on a tandem bike. Maybe it's the curtains at the entrance that give this cocktail bar an air of intimacy that gourmet drinkers love so much. Tandem is an exceptional cocktail bar. Young bartenders dressed like old-timey drinks mixers grab from an endless selection of boozy treats with magic hands prepared to whip up any recipe with a sniper's marksmanship. Beware of the gin fizz: after the second, you'll even be singing the praises of your long-suffered mother-in-law.

  1. Aribau, 86, Eixample Esquerre, 08036
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Negroni

Negroni is a bar with a classic spirit and a contemporary look. The place is painted in an elegant black, which makes it quite different from the aged wood and pre-transition decor so common in older cocktail bars. Don't look for a printed-up cocktails menu, just talk to one of the skilled mixologists for a minute and you'll be treated to an unforgettable cocktail suited to your taste. In order not to betray their name, you're guaranteed a Negroni cocktail that will curl your toes, and they also serve a delectable Moscow Mule and Whiskey Collins.

  1. Joaquín Costa, 46, El Raval, 08001
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Bar Olimpia

  • Rated as: 3/5

Until recently, this Sant Antoni bar was one of the most attractive in the area for those enjoying life on the margins of society. It's now become one of the venues bringing new life to the neighbourhood, serving up carefully prepared cocktails and sophisticated style. Its claim to local historical fame is that this is where rock bands such as the Rebeledes rehearsed, it's been a wine bar and it's on the spot where the Olimpia circus was once held.

  1. Aldana, 11, Sant Antoni, 08015
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Bar Rosso

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

In this cocktail bar out of the way on a little side street, you'll find a selection of quality and creative cocktails, served by staff who really know how to treat their clientele.

  1. Comte Borrell, 68, Eixample Esquerre, 08015
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Gimlet

On quiet nights, this discreet little wood-panelled cocktail bar, its long mahogany counter burnished by the same well-clad elbows for years, has something of an Edward Hopper feel. Friday and Saturday nights are an altogether different proposition, however, and you'll need to make yourself noticed to get a drink from the unsmiling bar staff.

  1. Santaló, 46, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08021
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El Paraigua

Tucked away in a corner behind Plaça de Sant Jaume you'll find a seemingly everday bar called El Paraigua (The Umbrella). But venture downstairs and you'll see it's anything but everyday, with plus sofas, ample space to stand and have a little dance, and a small stage for live music. Mind your step, though, if you dare to order one of their dangerous cocktails, such as a gimlet with tequila or a whisky sour with absinthe.

  1. Pas de l'Ensenyança, 2, Ciutat Vella, 08002
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Milano Cocktail Bar

This place is reminiscent of a Chicago speakeasy during Prohibition. You might miss the entrance entirely if you don't keep your eyes open, and your wits about you as well, since you have to first go into a sort of basement and then down some stairs in darkness, which all may well help to get your heart pumping and your liver good and ready for your destination. Once inside, you're in a pretty big space, with red booths and dim lighting, giving a delicious aesthetic of the 1940s. The generous cocktail menu is longer than a Stephen King book, and it's dominated by concoctions made with Campari, but they also have a gift for those mixed with whiskey.

  1. Ronda Universitat, 35, Eixample Dret, 08007
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Tirsa

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Veteran cocktail bar Tirsa is the pride of L'Hospitalet's La Torrassa neighbourhood, and it's also the city's most charming locale. Sure, you have to travel out of the Barcelona centre for a change, but you're rewarded with a classic and classy ​​sumptuous bar. Be sure to head up the stairs where they hide some discreet little lounges. Staff are trained to give advice based on the client's tastes, and they'll remember what you had last time you were there. But the best thing about Tirsa is the always-perfect house G&T. Served in a tall glass with just a bit of ice, it's a drink to be knocked back, before the ice melts. The ingredients: Tanqueray 10, fresh with hints of citrus, the old reliable Schweppes tonic, and a twist of lemon. The perfect proportion of gin and tonic makes you drink it down like water. Warning: it's impossible to have just one.

  1. Rafael de Campalans, 174, 08903
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Fizz

This lovely cocktail bar enjoys the benefits of an owner/barman who's a big music lover. That means you benefit too, with their regular programming of live music (jazz, pop and blues). They serve up classic cocktails that are well blended and they know their stuff, so if you need to know how something's made, and it's not already listed on the extensive menu, ask away.

  1. Balmes, 83, Eixample Esquerre, 08008
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Black Caviar Lounge

  • Price band: 3/4

A clandestine spot, in the sense that it is hidden behind La Royale burger bar. But just ask for it, and people will give you directions. They serve different dishes and cold selections made using caviar. And a nitrogen grill for cold cooking! This is not a place for filling your belly, rather for having a snack between meals. Apart from the black gold, they make fantastic ceviche and tiraditos. If you’ve got money to burn, they’ll bring you Beluga caviar. But if you’re just really hungry, then ask for a good hamburger. Their selection of vodka cocktails is amazing.

  1. Pl. del Camp, 5, Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, 08022
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Martina's

  • Price band: 2/4

Restaurant-braseria and cocktail bar. A good place to enjoy charcoal-barbecued specialities from Mediterranean cuisine, as well as dishes influenced more by international cuisine. The kitchen is open noon to midnight, cocktails until 2am, all year round. The restaurant offers you a great snapshot of the port of Barcelona. A wonderful setting from which to enjoy a great view of the sea.

  1. Maremagnum. Moll d'Espanya 5, 2à planta, Ciutat Vella, 08039
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Sor Rita

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

From the classic to the kitsch. Sor Rita seemingly prides itself on a decor of animal print, Barbie dolls in compromising positions, high-heeled shoes on the ceiling, and a photo shrine to sinners. Tarot and karaoke are among the regular events, but the cocktails are serious and affordable, and the bar staff have come up with some delicious homemade concoctions as well.

  1. Mercè, 27, Gòtic, 08002
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