The new Head Bartender at Dani Brasserie, Raúl Navarro, has unveiled what happens when Spanish art, culture and nature combine with the alchemy and magic of cocktails. Known for his peculiar style as the “Bearded Bartender from Barcelona,” the seasoned veteran has brought his talents to the seventh floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Madrid to surprise guests with creations that have never been seen before at the restaurant owned by the chef from Malaga.
“I believe that cocktails are works of art, something ephemeral and delicate that use their flavors and aromas to take you to places you could never have imagined going,” says Raúl Navarro. “This list is presented as a journey through art and pleasure for all the senses based on storytelling, a connection with the place and communication from the barman to the customer.”
These are the ideas on which Raúl has based his work to develop the new Dani Brasserie cocktail menu, which represents the essence of Spain and its exciting art. “Having lived away from Spain for 10 years, I now have a broader vision of our country and I can recognise the characteristics that identify us. That’s why these new creations are focused on fresh local products that are recognised worldwide for their intense flavor,” says the barman.
The new cocktail menu at Dani Brasserie offers a total of nine creations, all inspired by great artists who felt the need to express their soul and leave a mark on the world for posterity. The curtain rises with Luz, a spritz made from Martini Rubino, Bonanto and Fino Peña del Águila sherry, full of Mediterranean flavors and inspired by the painter Joaquín Sorolla. This is followed by Bloody Pepa, which is made from tomato juice, tequila and Amontillado El Neto sherry. This cocktail is a tribute to Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown by Pedro Almodóvar, with gazpacho soul and a spicy heart. Next is the Leyenda, made from mescal and La Copa vermouth, inspired by La leyenda del tiempo by Camarón de la Isla, one of the most important albums in the history of Flamenco. The menu continues with Menina Sour, an exotic pisco that represents the famous painting by Diego Velázquez, and Bailaora Cobbler, which is made from Mountain Wine, chamomile, mandarin, strawberry, lime and lemon to invoke memories of the Flamenco dancer Sara Baras and the essence of Andalusia through the flavor of southern fruits. Saritísima, like the singer Sara Montiel and her performance in El último cuplé, offers an intense flavor of orange blossom honey and cask smoke. Finally, the Espresso Memoria is inspired by Salvador Dalí and symbolizes the passage of time via a rum clock infused in Camembert cheese that melts over the rim of the glass, just like those in his painting The Persistence of Memory. In addition, Raúl Navarro has included two alcohol-free mocktails: Platero, in honor of the writer Juan Ramón Jiménez; and Gloria, which represents the moments from childhood reflected in the works of poetry by Gloria Fuertes.
All these cocktails share the international vision that Raúl has built up over the six years he worked as barman at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto and during his collaborations with some of the best bars around the world. “I work with countless techniques, such as smoking, cryogenisation, infusion and distilling my own alcohols, as well as cutting ice in special ways, which I love doing. However, above all, consistency is my fundamental technique because perfect treatment of the mix is absolutely essential to achieving success in premium cocktails,” says the bartender.
Dani Brasserie is located at 3 Calle de Sevilla, 28014 Madrid. It is open for breakfast. Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 11:00 am and Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays from 8:00 to 11:30 am. Lunch is served every day from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Dinner is available every day from 7:00 to 11:00 pm. Snacks and drinks are available every day from 1:00 pm to 1:00 am.
For more information or to make a reservation, head over to the hotel’s official website.