Red7 , August 1, 2013
Barcelona is a stylish city with a vibrant culture, and its sophisticated atmosphere is reflected in the city’s many watering holes. As one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan capitals, it seems fitting that it is also home to some of the best places to find Cosmopolitans. We’ve picked our five favourite cocktail bars – from the biggest and most popular, to the tiniest and most exclusive, to ensure you experience nothing but the best quality cocktails on your sophisticated hen party in Barcelona.
I’m sure you’ve heard that good things come in small packages, but when it comes to Boadas, it’s not just an excuse. First opening in 1933, this is a cocktail bar with a breadth of experience and a depth of boozy knowledge. The classy cocktail bar is revered amongst tourists and locals alike, and together this makes for an animated atmosphere where everyone is united by their appreciation of fine cocktails. As a family-business, the expertise has been handed down through the generations. You can expect a different experience every visit, as the professional mixologists work from your tastes and preferences, rather than a traditional menu. Situated off La Rambla, it’s worth searching out for the daiquiris alone. But be careful, the beautifully mixed drinks taste so good you may not realise how generous the Spanish are with spirits until you’re well and truly bungalowed!
As one of the Javier de las Muelas bars scattered across the globe, you can be sure to expect a distinctive drinking experience. Voted one of the world’s best bars time and time again, you’d be missing a trick visiting Barcelona for your hen do and not dropping in. Concocted as a “brainstorming warehouse” utilising many local ingredients, Dry Martini is the alcoholic equivalent of Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck (but with fewer snails!). As you may have guessed, the bar prides itself on its Martinis, of which they’ve sold over a million. They count every one they sell, so make sure to find out where you rank! The Martinis, coupled with the suave staff dressed as if they were 007, make a night here feel like a scene straight from a Bond film. Forget YOLO, make your weekend’s motto “You Only Live Twice!”
If you know your Beefeater from your Bombay Sapphire, you’ll want to visit Rubi Bar. Whether you like it dry or prefer it sloe, with over 20 brands of gin and another 20 home made flavours, there’s something for every taste. Whether you fancy a strawberry gin and tonic, or the more daring black pepper flavour, this is a great bar to start off the night. Their half price happy hour runs from 7 until 9, which makes the meandering mission to find the well-hidden bar truly worthwhile. Chat to English-speaking owners Matt and Con to get the best local advice on where your night should end, if you can tear your party away from the relaxing red room! This atmospheric bar plays a chilled out selection of funk, soul and jazz, and as a serious contender for Barcelona’s best Mojito, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular cocktail hot spots for tourists.
The never-ending competition over which is the coolest venue in Barcelona has started a trend of secret bars. As any hipster worth his pepper (salt is too mainstream) knows, the more popular something becomes, the less likely it is you’ll want to be seen there. And thus comes the Pipa Club. Find the tiny sign on the busy street and ring the doorbell, where without a word you will be buzzed into the building. After climbing two flights of stairs, you’ll come to a speakeasy style door. This bar channels 1920s prohibition America with its clientèle of pipe-smoking gentlemen and elegant ladies washing down the live jazz with a cocktail. If the secret club-style exclusivity isn’t enough to pique your interest, the Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, Salvador Dali pieces, or pipe museum surely will.
But of course, a bar doesn’t have to be subtle and exclusive to provide great cocktails. Sor Rita is one of the loudest places to drink in Barcelona, both in its patrons and its decoration. If you were to look up “kitsch” in the dictionary, there’d be a photo of Sor Rita splashed across the page. With wild leopard print wallpaper, skyscraper heels stuck fast to the ceiling, and Barbies demonstrating the most challenging and yet inspiring of Kama Sutra positions, there’s always something new to discover. You can even get a tarot reading: helpful for those who may be a little apprehensive about what the future will bring! The retro soundtrack includes Abba and songs from Grease, and so it’s a great location for fun-loving hens to enjoy a good old-fashioned knees up. This is a great bar for hen parties; their cheeky cocktails will encourage even the most terrible singers to join in on the karaoke!