Homemade distilled spirits are all the rage in Brooklyn, but in Barcelona, where Brooklyn is a synonym for “cool”, the American trends have not always made their way across the Atlantic.
While a bottle of Greenhook Ginsmiths is nowhere to be found in chic bars between Sagrada Familia or La Rambla, Barcelona bars have their own way of establishing themselves with those searching for New York trends.
Rubi Bar, located on a narrow and ancient street in El Born, a hip, Brooklyn-like district, specializes in gin. With over twenty five selections of international gins, the bar doesn’t stop at the pre-bottled liquors.
The American and British owners of Rubi create their own gin infusions, using grain alcohol and fresh ingredients like juniper berries, strawberries, herbs, and spices to enhance their homemade gin. A bartender showed me the various ingredients used (pictured below).
The gin is best enjoyed straight up, on the rocks, or mixed with tonic water – my personal favorite.
In Barcelona, gin and tonic is a popular drink, and is served in a large wine glass with ice and fresh herbs like mint or basil. The variety of flavors of Rubi’s gin truly stand out amongst the bubbling tonic water. The strawberry gin tastes like a sip of fruit and has a much more delicate flavor than your traditional Tanqueray and tonic. At 7 euros, the cocktail is affordable and easily enjoyed for a second or third round.
To supplement your liquid diet, order a small plate of cheese and charcuterie adorned with Spanish meats like fuet (a dry salt-cured sausage), and green olives that add a martini-esque vibe to your gin and tonic. Relax in the dimly lit bar decorated with rustic, yet chic, rock walls and velvet red stools, which are low to the ground and close to the bar.
Open from 8pm until 2am, which is as late as any Barcelona bar is permitted to stay open, Rubi Bar is a great place for a quick drink or a whole night out with friends. Gin enthusiast or gin newbie, when in Barcelona you should definitely go for the housemade gins at Rubi Bar.
What’s your favorite gin?
Featured photo credit: TripAdvisor