Taking the Bars by Storm: Contemporary Argentinian Cocktail-making

Drinks, bartenders, and products with a strong local identity

Gustar

Since entering the new millennium, Argentinian cocktail-making has undergone a revolution. The traditional recipes and products of the international cocktail-making scene that prevailed throughout much of the 20th century are being completely reinvented at the hands of new generations of bartenders.

This revolution in Argentinian bars is underpinned by the inclusion of growing quantities of local products and spirits, ancient techniques, and native plants, in the search for unique experiences right across the country. This is a small journey around some of those ideas, and the people responsible for them.

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Pipi Yalour

This Córdoba-born bartender is a champion of the use of local products and seasonality in cocktail-making. “The key is to use raw ingredients when they are at their best, which is also when they are at their best price.”

Frutillas, Colonia Suiza, San Carlos de Bariloche (2021-02-08/2021-02-11) by Diego TorchiaGustar

Products in season

“Summer is the time for watermelons, melons, cherries, peaches, and apricots. In the fall, it’s mandarins and quince. Winter is when we have citrus fruits and kumquats. In spring, you should use beetroot and strawberries,” says Pipi.

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"Fiesta": a spring cocktail.

This drink, invented by Pipi, is a good illustration of a seasonal cocktail. She makes it in the spring, and it is based on a syrup made from fresh beetroot and grapefruit. It also contains vodka and lemon juice, with a finishing touch of sparkling rosé.

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Matías Visconti

Visconti is a bartender from the Entre Ríos province who creates drinks that capture the essence of the area, based on the quality and diversity of local products such as citrus fruits, local honey, eucalyptus, and, of course, yerba maté.

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A drink that tastes of the Argentine Littoral

One of Visconti’s signature drinks is known as Guris and is served in a traditional maté gourd. It contains local mandarin gin, eucalyptus honey liqueur, grapefruit juice, and yerba maté infusion and is decorated with fresh rosemary sprigs.

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Gustavo Brizuela

For several years, this Córdoban bartender and researcher has been at the forefront of the program known as Indigenous: Argentinian flora in cocktail-making (Autócono: Flora argentina en la coctelería), which explores the use of native plants and flowers in cocktail-making.

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Ancient techniques

Brizuela uses a number of traditional techniques, including té de brasas, an infusion based on charcoal, sugar, and medicinal plants. In using native plants, his aim is to create cocktails that reflect their landscapes, climates, and identities.

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Argentinian spirits

The boom in new Argentinian cocktail-making is also based on the production of excellent local spirits. Gins have paved the way, led by Príncipe de los Apóstoles, a gin created by Tato Giovannoni and based on yerba maté, eucalyptus, peperina, and pink grapefruit.

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The finest quality

Argentinian spirits are getting better with every passing year. In addition to the boom in gins, recent years have seen the appearance of whiskies such as La Alazana, an incredible Patagonian single malt made in the town of Lago Puelo, in the province of Chubut.

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Soledad Mouledoux

In the remote town of Ushuaia, Soledad finds her inspiration in local flavors and aromas, such as Magellan barberries or winter’s bark, which she uses to make different kinds of gin and tonic. Her philosophy is based on products that are fresh, local, and handcrafted.

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Aromas from the end of the earth

One of her signature drinks is called Bramble del Fuego, and it contains Jeremy Button gin (made in the Tierra del Fuego), freshly squeezed lemon juice, ginger syrup, ground winter’s bark, and Magellan barberry liqueur. It is garnished with Patagonian red berries.

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Juan Roda

From Mar del Plata, Juan Roda is another champion of the new cocktail-making movement, based on nature and a local identity. A journey through the Peruvian jungle helped him to understand the opportunities presented by native fruits and flowers in cocktail-making, and he began to apply this knowledge in his home town.

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Forest treasures

Roda finds eucalyptus and other edible flowers and plants from the forests that surround Mar del Plata, turning them into syrups and cordials. His aim is to create drinks that tell the stories of this part of Argentina, shaped by the Atlantic Ocean. 

Credits: Story

Editor and text: Diego Marinelli

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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