Literary about bars and cocktails

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Vermuteria Matalaranya, Barcelona

This was the case when we went to a bar that I found in the local English-language booklet, and went straight to the house with thorns atop it – a famous Barcelona attraction – because the bar location is exactly in this house. So to say, vermouth brought us to art. Up until then we’ve never visited local vermuterias, and the title, which I could hardly read in syllables, – Matalaranya – somehow I immediately liked the way this word sounds.


Dry Martini Bar, Barcelona

Despite all of its popularity and Europeanness, Barcelona failed to pan out as a bar city. But it’s far from harming this city at all, especially in the case when you’ve been walking across the city for many hours, one hardly wants anything other than cava, beer or sangria, and these are poured as if from waterfalls at every corner. Actually, I’m not talking about tapas bars, snack bars, as we know them, which in themselves are the whole attraction of the Spanish drinking culture. But to find a cocktail bar is not so easy. However, this year as many as two bars broke into the list of the best cocktail bars in the world according to the recognized critics. One of these bars – Dry Martini – will be discussed next.


33 I 45 Bar, Barcelona

Joaquin Costa Street, twilight, the dim light of lanterns falls on the dirty century old stones with which the road is paved on. Teens or first year students with ear tunnels were dashing back and forth with life-worn skateboards in their hands. There’s trash piling at the street corners, all roll-up doors and windows are painted with wretched self-proficient graffiti. Joaquim Costa Street is one of the most crowded streets of the city, while bypassing a couple of hot spots that are packed during the weekend, I stop by wide open windows with windowsills, where you can sit with the one foot inside and the other on the street. Through the windows you can see some paintings with a hint of Joan Miró, wrinkled sunken sofas and an older crowd. This bar is 33 | 45.


TOTO Restaurant, Barcelona

Although I am an experienced barfly, it is not always easy to find a good place right away. For instance, yesterday we couldn’t find our destination bar, so we were roaming Barcelona a good couple of kilometers until I gave up and we didn’t get to TOTO. Not that I doubted that it would be good there, I probably knew it from the beginning, but, honestly, after La Xampanyeria the soul demanded simple happiness of having snacks rather than gastronomic delights. Besides, what did I say? The bar is off the charts.


La Xampanyeria Can Paixano, Barcelona

Every guidebook covering Barcelona mentions champagneries with the emphasis that it is simply unthinkable not to visit to at least one of them. If you haven’t been to a champagnery, you haven’t been to Barcelona. It turned out that everything wasn’t so transparent as it seemed, but rather dramatic. I could locate only two champagneries: the very El Xampanyeria in the Old Town and Can Paixano closer to La Barceloneta. The first one left me completely indifferent at the sight of the tourist crowd loaded with magnets, while the second one caught me by the buzz of locals; so twice we attempted to get in.


The ‘1067’ pub, Minsk

It’s unimaginable that a bar with a name of ‘1067’ would not instinctively appeal to me. I attempted to get there a couple of times, but was stopped by someone’s reasoning: Do you really need to go to this boozer? – And so, I kept walking by. Yet the instinct told me that this pub was what I really needed. Nonetheless, one day, after watching a tough western in the ‘Belarus’ movie theater, we went there to take a beer or two.


Kurilka Bar, Minsk

Kurilka Bar is a reincarnation of the scandalous Smoke & Mirrors Bar, adjacent to the most expensive barbershop in the city. Minsk has a long way to grow and develop, we should keep in mind, our bar industry still blossoms with puberty pomp. And after the bar stood unclaimed for almost a whole summer, a decision was made to re-arrange it, and so Kurilka appeared.


Coffeehouse 26, Minsk

On Sverdlova 26 in Minsk there is an absolutely wonderful coffeehouse with a simple name ’26’. From the pictures I saw on Instagram, I guessed that it was hid somewhere in the courtyard of Sverdlova Street, but no, I was wrong – it was just my favorite game of space. Brickwork, garden benches, garlands of light bulbs and flags – like a playful patio of some Italian town


DEPO on Zybitskaya Street, Minsk

Finally! Now I do not need to go for my favorite “Blini #6” to Oktyabrskaya street, now I can get it between the “Cherdak” and “DIY”, right on Zybitskaya Street 6, where the second spot of DEPO has finally opened. Opening was long-awaited and not only because these blini almost became a symbol of new Minsk, but also because there was obviously not enough food in the area.


Restaubar ‘Tishe Myshi’, Minsk

Oh, exploring and discovering new bars – all the glitz and glamor of Minsk with a sarcastic “Financial crisis? What crisis?”. Last time at opening of the democratic restaubar Banki-Butylki I screwed up and appeared in my kicks, while the others showed off their best outfits and complained about the absence of a red carpet, this time I have decided to put on a dress for opening of Tishe Myshi (the name means “quiet as a church mouse” in Russian). Fortunately, my instinct and some vague hints from Instagram didn’t mislead me – both the dress and the shoes were timely, and hopes for a beautiful, refined, stylish bar were fullfilled.


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