When the first spinach leaf was dropped into a gin and tonic, Elephanta had already been dominating the art of this particular cocktail. The Gràcia bar started giving dignity to the humble G&T well before it was fashionable, and they do their job so well that now that the G&T hysteria is coming back to earth a bit, Elephanta is still held in high regard as a place where you're guaranteed a gin and tonic that the Queen of England would approve of.
Since the last time I visited Elephanta for a G&T tasting, the place has changed a bit. The decor is cleaner, more elegant and more modern. The space needed a makeover like this. The best thing about it though is that it hasn't lost its essence or its cosy feel. You even appreciate the little tables, closeness to other patrons and the heat it all creates. On the walls you'll find the menu with drinks offers written in coloured chalk. Add to the more than 40 varieties of gin their new selection of signature cocktails, spritz, and mulled wine – plus a few small dishes of snacks to accompany.
Just bear in mind that the real grub is found in the Olympian G&Ts they prepare. I order the gin of the week and let them mix something up for me, which turns out to be an amber-coloured jewel with a bit of lemon and ginger infused with herbs called St. Engelbert. It's one of the best G&Ts I've tasted in a very long time. The cold round glass, the ice cubes, the ratio of ingredients to each other – it's all perfectly done. Helped along by the euphoria of the drink, I get up, I stand before a screen showing a Bette Davis film, and as God is my witness I swear that when it comes to cocktails, experiements are best done at home, and real gin and tonics are best drunk at Elephanta.
Torrent d'en Vidalet, 37
|Opening hours:||Mon-Sat 6pm-2.30am; Sun 7pm-2.30am.|
|Transport:||Joanic (M: L4), Fontana (M: L3)|