Club Caribbean Barcelona – My personal highlight
The next bar, and my favourite of this trip, is a recommendation from François Monti. I would never have found this little gem. Tiny, intimate, personal, selected spirits and a bar team full of love and passion. A bar with history and a bar for rum lovers. With a daiquiri in your hand you can listen to stories and the Cuban sound. A paradise for serious drinking and cultivated conversation.
In the old quarter of Raval, west of the Ramblas, you can find a secret bar, hidden behind an inconspicuous door. A bar which is probably better known to the rum lovers of this world. It is easy to miss and I almost passed by, when I noticed a tiny bar behind a porthole.
When you enter the bar, watch your step. There are some stairs leading you straight inside the belly of an old ship. The interior is maritime. Dark wood paneling, compasses, a huge ship’s wheel, the brass portholes and old maps fit the boat concept perfectly. There are showcases alongside the wall, packed with old cocktail books, antique shakers, glassware and Cuban souvenirs. Everything is bathed in subdued lighting. There is history, there is a serious rum collection. Rum bottles as far as the eye can see. The place is very tiny and has about twenty seats.
I was heading straight to a wonderful evening. The cocktail menu is a thick piece of paper with drawn pictures of the cocktails. But honestly, you don’t need the menu. The Club Caribbean itself is a Roneria, but there is plenty of whiskey, tequila and mezcal. The drinks are classic and are impeccably built.
The hospitality and the bar team are excellent. Juan José González Rubiera, owner and bartender, is one of the city’s best bartenders and has a legendary background. If you watch him throwing your drink from one shaker to the other, you know that you are in perfect hands. You feel like you are in Juanjo’s living room, and if his wife is also working you don’t want to leave.
I was there twice, because it is a unique and very authentic experience. Every cocktail enthusiast must experience this.
“Eres una enthusiasta” (not sure if the Spanish is correct), this is what Juanjo said to me on my first visit. I felt so warmly welcome. Furthermore, he told me that the Caribbean Club itself was founded forty years ago. The building is more than 400 years old. His story is legendary and one should ask Juanjo himself. This is one of my bar adventures that will remain in my memory forever.