Bars steeped in history – Boadas

Bars steeped in history – Boadas

Boadas, the oldest cocktail bar in Barcelona, is keeping alive the unique tradition of the Cuban throwing technique. The bar is full of history and a must visit. The very long standing bartenders are elegantly dressed in Tuxedo jackets. 

Down the street from Caribbean Club, situated on a side road of Las Ramblas, you will find a bar that has been open for over seventy years. This art deco cocktail bar is a tiny room with an enormous collection of art and photographs on the walls that tells the history of the bar and its bartenders. The owner, Miquel Boadas, who worked in La Floridita, one of the famous cocktail bars in Havana, returned to his parents’ land in 1933 and opened his bar in Barcelona.

What he brought from Cuba was the unique throwing or rolling technique. For years, the art of throwing has been exclusively used in this bar, and maybe would have died out without this bar.

The drinks really benefit from the method which involves throwing them in long arcs from one shaker to the other. You will find your Martini here has quite a different texture because oxygen molecules are homogenised with the drink. I liked the fact that the drinks were poured directly in front of the guest and filled up to the rim.

The atmosphere is classy and very authentic. The interior is reminiscent of an American bar with elements of the Art Deco style. The guests are a mix of locals and tourists. It is a historical place. It could have been a bit more cosy for my taste. The drinks are, of course, very classy too. You can opt for the cocktail of the day or trust the bartender’s recommendation. Be prepared, it will be something serious and elegant.

When Miquel Boadas died in 1967 his daughter María Dolores Boadas took over the bar. Three weeks after my visit Maria Dolores Boadas passed away on the 10th of February. She was and will be forever “La Gran Dama” of the European Cocktail. She was 81 years old.