Forget wine, beer or whiskey tastings. Gin and tonic craft cocktails are feverishly taking over Barcelona. Gin-filled display cabinets and shelves have been gathering little dust over the past five years. There are plenty of bars where groups can get in on the action, including the Milano Cocktail Bar and restaurant, located in the heart of the city with daily live jazz and a smooth, 1940s speakeasy-like vibe. Another modern, cutting-edge bar founded at the height of Barcelona’s “gin and tonic” fever is Bobby Gin, serving locally produced gin and tonic and gourmet bites like cocoa foie and apple with fine slices of micuit and compote, or Vietnamese shrimp with crispy puffed green rice—almost too pretty to eat. Combine small plates with a crafted cocktail like “Hendrick’s Ginfonk,” blended with rose tea infusion, strawberries, lime and vegetal elixir.
2015 marked the year of boutiques throughout the city. Of particular note is the 5-star Cotton House Hotel of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, 4-star Gallery Hotel, near the new shopping boulevard, Passeig de Gracia, and 5-star The Serras hotel, in the Gothic Quarter near Barcelona Port Vell marina and marina port. Housed in the building where artist Pablo Picasso had his first studio in 1897, The Serras marks the place where the “Science and Charity” oil painting was created. Numerous meeting spaces are available for groups, of particular note is the mezzanine bar and rooftop terrace, overlooking new luxury Port Vell along the Mediterranean Sea. The Picasso walking tour will also allow groups to follow in the artist’s footsteps during a stroll around the landmarks that shaped his youth, while food, architectural and art tours offer glimpse into the city’s vibrant heritage.