Mixology is Los Angeles is crap. It came out of the counterculture of always wanting to do/be something different. People in Los Angeles are willing to drink it just because it’s different and not because it actually tastes good. That’s why so many of the drinks in LA taste like cough syrup. If I’m in Los Angeles, don’t bother me with your mixed concoctions. Give me a beer or whisky on the rocks, but in Buenos Aires it’s a different story.
The concept of mixology in Argentina came out of a necessity during the early 2000′s when economic hardships made a variety of liquors hard to obtain. Bartenders had to get creative to make tasty libations, and even though they have access to a lot more today, they are still continuing to mix up some of the best drinks I’ve ever tasted.
This is Daniel, the best bartender in Argentina. He is the resident bartender at Home Hotel in Buenos Aires where we stayed. He built the entire drink menu on his own. He had just returned from a world bar tending competition in Singapore so we were fortunate enough to taste some of his drinks. My favorite drink was the Sweet n’ Spicy Scotch.
While we were spoiled to have Daniel right downstairs from our room, he’s not the only one mixing up great cocktails. We were pointed to 878, a speak easy that has gained quite a bit of popularity recently among locals. Fortunately we had a call put in to expect us at the door. This place has over 100 varieties of Scotch but still serves up some great mixed drinks.
Liquor by the bottle in the markets is more expensive in Buenos Aires than it is in the states. If you look at the price of a cocktail in a bar, it’s about $8 USD. Still I was happy to pay for this, because the quality of the drinks was so good. If liquor isn’t your thing that’s okay too, because beer and wine are very inexpensive.
This beer and wine cost less than $5 USD. The beer costs just under $1 USD. It’s delicious wine, and in case you were wondering, yes that is a standard full sized bottle of wine next to that beer. With alcohol being so inexpensive you have to be careful that you don’t go too crazy…like this.
Our new friends, the Portenos (locals). The blondes are sisters from Mallorca, Spain who seem to be permanent residents in Buenos Aires. The guy bought me a whiskey, and when I went to return the favor with a round of shots, I realized I didn’t have any more Pesos and the bar couldn’t take my American Benjis. My new friend picked up the tab! This picture was taken in the private lounge area of the bar.
We also met some awesome folks from the UK. When the Portenos left to hit up another club we brought our new friends with us to the lounge area. The security recognized Michelle and I and asked if it was just us two. I looked at our new friends from the UK and told the bouncer, “Somos juntos. (We’re together.)” I bet that’s the first time a bunch of foreigners took the private lounge area.
I don’t turn red when I drink. I’m red because of too much sun, but yes I am throwing up Westside in both those pictures. I may not be red because of the alcohol, but I’m definitely quite drunk because of the alcohol.
I woke up the next morning to find a champagne cork in the bathtub.
If you’re looking for a trip to enjoy some great drink culture and night life, Buenos Aires is your place. These people party until 5:00 AM. They definitely know how to enjoy life. Fortunately Buenos Aires is a city much like New York City in that there aren’t a whole lot of historical and cultural sites to see, because I had to hardest time trying to get Michelle up to do anything the next day.