The terms craft cocktails and celebrity mixologist can make eyeballs roll faster than you can say Vesper Martini. Because with all the clapping of mint leaves and fancy garnishes, it’s easy for a place to take itself too seriously.
And while the folks behind Salmon Guru do have some serious credentials (proprietor is mixology mastermind Diego Cabrera), you won’t find any stern-faced barmen shaming your request for vodka here. The only thing serious at this spot is the bartenders’ love for well-made drinks.
The dark, unassuming exterior on Calle Echegaray does little to reveal the neon lights and quirky decor inside. The front room is all 50s-era bungalow, with a bar and palm-print swivel chairs to one side and low seating against dark wood paneling on the other.
But don’t stop there. Follow the neon glow toward the back room and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a pop-art light extravaganza, with neon lightning bolts on the ceiling and familiar comic book faces on the walls.
As soon as you sit down you’ll have a menu and glass of water plunked in front of you. If you’ve lived in Madrid for any length of time, you know how rare it is to find a spot who’ll bring you a free glass (let alone keep it filled).
Just like the decor, the menu is an eclectic mix. You’ll find perfectly executed classics listed alongside their in-house inventions. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t be shy!
The bartenders are more than happy to recommend a drink based on what you like. Even better is to simply ask about their favorites, which I how I found myself sipping a Laphroaig-infused old-fashioned that isn’t on the menu.
Need one more reason to check out Salmon Guru? The place is a must for whiskey lovers. If you don’t see your favorite amongst the extensive selection of American bourbon and rye on the shelves, ask to see their secret whiskey menu.
All in all, if you’re looking sip impeccably made drinks somewhere that’s hip while being unpretentious, definitely check out Salmon Guru.
- Address: Calle Echegaray, 21
- Metro: Sevilla or Anton Martin
- Phone: 91 000 61 85
A former Oregonian, Californian and Bogotana, Danielle is (for now!) settled in Madrid. Since 2014, she’s chronicled her experiences living abroad on her blog, No Longer Native.