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Behold the G&T

The best spots to sip a gin & tonic: not just your granny's drink anymore

Ah, the gin and tonic. You used to think of it as your granny's drink, but since they started mixing top-shelf gins with exotic tonics and floating the likes of licorice and cucumber in, things have changed. Read on for the best bars in Barcelona to try a modernly delicious G&T.

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.

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Eixample

Negroni

Negroni bar has a classical spirit, but a contemporary look. The place is painted in an extremely elegant black,  that make a huge difference with the aged wood post-transition decoration, so common in older cocktail bars. They have no cocktails menu, but you just have to answer a couple of questions in order to have a cocktail you’ll never forget in front of you. They prepare a Negroni cocktail that will make your eyes roll as the girl from 'The Exorcist' movie, and they also served a good Moscow Mule and the Whiskey Collins.

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El Raval

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.

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Sant Andreu

Elephanta

Critics' choice

This tea shop named after an Indian island features carved wood stools and tables decorated with a collage of images from newspapers and magazines. Sit a spell and play chess or other table games while you have a cuppa. After 10pm, enjoy the 'happy hour' menu of gin and tonics and other cocktails. You won't even miss a message on your mobile thanks to their WiFi connection.

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Gràcia

Tandem Cocktail Bar

Critics' choice

Beware of the entrance austerity. Many of you should have walked in front of it and have not noticed, not even in the curious picture of two men mounted on a tandem. I’m guessing that the curtains of the door contribute to give this cocktail bar an air of intimacy that the good cocktails lovers will love. Tandem is an exquisite cocktail bar. Young bartenders dressed in the old fashion way, an endless collection of distilled alcohol, and wrists ready to prepare any recipe with a sniper precision. Be careful of the Gin Fizz: after the second glass, even your mother in law would seems nice to you.

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L'Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample

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.

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Sarrià - Sant Gervasi

Ideal Cocktail Bar

Welcome to this warm little corner of the city, where you'll find yourself surrounded by furniture made from ancient wood, and possibly more than a few clients boasting ties and lush moustaches. The great Josep Maria Gotarda is a real master in art and science of the cocktail. He dismembers the bottles, dissects the shaker, does whatever it takes to create the perfect concoction. Gotarda and his disciples whip up high-flying G&Ts and work miracles with traditional recipes. In fact, his cosmopolitan would make James Bond change religion, leave behind the liturgy of the dry matini and go out on the town with the girls from 'Sex and the City'.

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Eixample

XIX Bar

Critics' choice

Xix (pronounced 'chicks', and a play on the street number, among other things) is a newish, unconventional cocktail bar in the candlelit surroundings of a prettily tiled former granja (milk bar). It's exceedingly cosy and just a little bit scruffy, which makes the list of 20 brands of gin all the more unexpected.

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Sant Antoni

Bar Ultramarinos

Critics' choice

A cosy and functional bar, which prepares some really good Gin Tonics at a very good price, made with a magnificent Gin from Vilanova.

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El Raval

Bobby Gin

Critics' choice

Bobby Gin is a modern, comfortable bar where even the air you breathe is of high quality, as is the décor, with a bar made from old doors, and the loo door from a wardrobe. As you might suspect, they're G&T specialists and so have a great selection of premium brands. If you're a newcomer to this ethylic delight, Francesco Giardino can be your guide. He knows just how to match your taste to just the right combination of G&T. If you're feeling peckish, there's also a deli food section.

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