A Liquid City Guide To Madrid’s Drinking Dens – Home away from Home
Classic drinks, great atmosphere, a welcoming staff. A bar home away from home because we’re always looking for a familiar feeling, aren’t we? Step into 1862 Dry Bar and you know exactly what I mean.
What awaits you is a small place with an early-twentieth-century decor, a huge wooden bar counter over the cross side of the venue, large chandeliers and a giant mirror behind the bar topped with an intimate downstairs area. What does the year in the name mean? Not the opening, no that was 2012. It refers to the year of publication of the first cocktail book, written by the famous Jerry Thomas that marks the start of an incredible periode in great cocktail-making. This immediately suggests the classic approach to the drinks list at 1862 Dry Bar. Furthermore, the building that houses the bar, a small palace, was also built in 1862.
There’s always a relationship between cocktails and writers. The drink of choice of Raymond Chandler’s fictional character Philip Marlowe was a Gimlet. When you enter the bar you’ll find a quote written in classic typewriter font about the creation of the Gimlet along the front of the bar counter. “What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose’s Lime Juice and nothing else.” It’s noticeable that some letters are missing – some fallen, others taken.
1862 Dry Bar is like a second home for lovers of perfectly mixed drinks. A place for cocktail connoisseurs.
The atmosphere is calm and relaxed with jazzy tunes and the noise of clinking ice in the background. A great place to drink and talk about one’s passion with other guests. A bar with excellent cocktails and amazingly friendly service. Behind the bar you’ll find passionate professionals and a huge selection of different spirits like rum, whisky, bourbon, rye, cognac, and mezcal. The perfect ingredients for making classic drinks. In contrast to the current “technology-focused” approach to cocktail-making, the approach at 1862 Dry is more “analogue”.
The owner, Alberto Martínez, was one of the pioneers of high-quality craft cocktail bars in the city even though he was originally an engineer and had never worked in a bar before. He’d been mixing drinks for friends and through personal circumstances he suddenly found himself selling gin & vodka in a shop and eventually became a bar owner. A happy circumstance for us, I would say, selfishly.
The menu lists classics and their Signatures. Attadrink and I love the golden age of cocktails, especially Manhattans, Vieux Carre, Sazerac, Brandy Crusta, Daiquiris. At 1862 Dry Bar you can expect perfect classics tailored to your taste. The drinks we had: Well-balanced, the fewer components the more precision and quality is needed, and emptied far too quickly. Definitely a place to revisit.