Enough cocktails to drown a fish
By Cat Powell
Bars in Madrid tend to generally fall into one of two distinct camps; the ones with the unmissable glow of strip lighting and scattered napkins, that generally tend to be frequented by a more aging population, and those that cater to fans of an exposed brick interior, shabby chic furniture and a drink served in a jam jar. This is what makes 1862 Dry Bar so unique. It falls into neither category and I’m all the more pleased for it. A staggeringly chic cocktail bar perched on the perennially popular Calle Pez, it may look discreet from the roadside, but upon stepping inside, you could quite easily be transported into the prohibition-era bars that are more likely to be found stateside, than in Spain.
The affable owner, Alberto, is a fountain of knowledge on the cocktail front, in other words, what he doesn’t know about all things shaken or stirred isn’t worth knowing. The building (an old hardware store I believe) manages to effortlessly straddle being airy and cosy simultaneously. The downstairs is particularly sumptuous, with plenty of nooks for a clandestine date or an intimate chat, whilst sipping on your expertly made pisco sour.
What I particularly loved about 1862 Dry Bar, was the clearly knowledgeable and creative bar staff. The menu has all the classics in place, but also offers up some truly unique cocktails made by guest mixologists ranging from Trailer Happiness (hailing from Hoxton), with another one being from The Ritz in Madrid.
The furniture, the staff and ultimately the delectable drinks, make Dry Bar 1862 the perfect watering hole for a date night or a glamorous venue for a gaggle of friends. The cocktails are potent and pack a punch, however, the jewel in the crown is Alberto, whose passion for a decent drink prevails in a city that is often lacking.
1862 DRY BAR. Calle del Pez, 27. Metro: Noviciado.
Phone: 609 53 11 51.
Buñuelos de Requeson y Anís
By Butler’S Catering
These light airy crispy balls are perfect for a special treat, and can be dipped in some thick hot chocolate, or consumed with some coffee and a chupito or anís to keep out the winter chill.
Recipe for 15 buñuelos.
* 1 egg
* 1 pot requesón (125gs – curd/cottage cheese)
* 3 rounded tbls flour
* 4 tsp baking powder
* 2 tsp anís
* 1 tsp sugar
* 1 tsp each of grated orange and lemon zest
* Sunflower oil, for frying
* Icing sugar, to serve
1. Empty the pot of requesón into a bowl and add the egg. Beat together until smooth.
2. Add the flour, baking powder, anís, sugar, grated lemon and orange zest. Beat the mixture again to make a smooth batter.
3. Pour oil into a frying pan, and heat until a small piece of bread sizzles and quickly browns when you drop it into the pan.
4. Gently drop rounded teaspoons of the batter into the pan; not too many at a time. The little balls will puff up slightly and turn golden underneath. Gently turn them over carefully to cook the other side.
5. Once they are golden all over, lift them out with a perforated spoon and place them on a plate covered with a kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil. Continue to use up the batter. Once the buñuelos have cooled a bit, dust with icing sugar.
6. To keep warm until serving, you can keep the cooked buñuelos in a 150° oven for up to one hour.
Best served with a shot of anís and a café solo.
Butler’s Catering. Whatever your event, you’ll want the personal touch. A mother and daughter business that for 40 years has been delivering the best in Madrid and London.