For the second year in a row, the Argentine bar Floreria Atlántico has gained an honorable place at the World’s Best 50 Bars ranking announced early October. Its ingenious beverages dedicated to the immigrants that helped shape the country have also given the drinkery the Highest Climber award after it jumped a remarkable 26 spots on the chart.
The angelic cocktail-garden camouflaged in a basement under a charming flower shop in Retiro, Buenos Aires, is now the créme de la créme in Latin America and the Caribbean, holding at the same time the 23rd place at the extraordinary global top 50.
Florería Atlántico is enthralling at first sight. The idea of the venture came from one of the most notorious bartenders in Latin America, Renato Giovannoni, who grew up by the ocean until age 18 when he moved to Buenos Aires.
The inspiration for the bar came from the neighborhood itself and the port that received waves of European immigrants during the 19th century. It has purposefully recreated an unfinished space to simulate the deck of a ship.
The textures refer to a roof with infiltrations and moldy walls. The drawings of sea monsters were taken from the ancient nautical charts of the time when Earth was believed to be flat, and the sea was pouring into an endless cascade with many strange beings on the way, Giovannoni explained.
The decor seems incomplete by the way: the ceiling alludes to infiltration, the sea monsters depicted on the walls convey the fear that our brave sailors had, just as a moist air seems to land there just to make you feel at the bottom of the sea.
Negroni Balestrini: The Signature Drink You Should Try
In Argentina, an estimated 4,6 percent of the population are immigrants, which is why Florería Atlántico cocktail menu is intentionally multifarious. It has a selection of drinks that pays tribute to the countries representative of the immigrants who arrived in Argentina at the beginning of the 19th Century. There are cocktails from Spain, France, Italy, the UK, Poles and even a section of “drinks that should not be here.”
The house’s signature drink “Negroni Balestrini” is the epitome of how the best flavors in the world arise when different regions come together. Created to honor his grandfather, a pioneer in Pinamar, Giovannoni’s cocktail mixes Amaro Averna and his own gin Príncipe de los Apóstoles with a touch of eucalyptus and pine nuts.
“I didn’t want to use London dry. I wanted to create a national gin that could somehow represent Argentina,” said Giovannoni.
Príncipe de los Apóstoles is distilled in copper stills in Mendonza by Tato himself. It counts on flavors that refer the rich culture of Argentina like mate grass, peppermint, pink grapefruit, and eucalyptus.
Argentina is home to a unique bar scene. In fact, we are the only region in the world that praises the exquisite —yet peculiar— qualities of Fernet Branca, other than Italy. Now that Florería Atlántico has been awarded as the Highest Climber bar in the world, it might be the perfect time to explore the en vogue local bar scene that is currently betting on Argentine flavors, before they appear on the most popular charts next year.