Madrid is a city of wonders, full of exuberant nightlife and exquisite drinks to go alongside it. While the Spanish capital certainly has no shortage of wines from neighbouring wine regions, it also does a brisk trade in colourful cocktails.
Whether you’re looking for classic cocktails or imaginative inventions from leading mixologists, Madrid’s bar scene has plenty to keep you entertained until the early hours. So, get your glad rags on and let’s get ready for a night of fun at the best cocktail bars in Madrid.
Located in the lively neighbourhood of Malasaña, the traditional 1862 Dry Bar is all about classic cocktails and paying tribute to original recipes and techniques. A drinking establishment with a strong stance on maintaining the right methods for creating cocktails, the name relates to the year when the first cocktail recipe book was released. Don’t miss their famous Mint Julep, derived from the traditional Mojito, but with added bourbon, sugar, and peppermint syrup. Other drinks on the menu include a Gin Fizz and Martinez.
For lovers of rock and roll, the Santos y Desamparados cocktail bar is your happy place. A unique space with a distinctly gothic atmosphere (think black walls, soft lighting, and crosses dotted around) it certainly stands out. Consider it an audio pairing with your spectacular cocktails. The drinks are based on the classics, but there are also unique signature cocktails like the Yellow dragon, made with yellow chilli and passion fruit, which provides an exquisite balance between sweet and spicy.
Owned by one of the most internationally renowned bartenders, Fernando del Diego, Del Diego is a cocktail bar built on passion. The bar offers a comfortable space to enjoy a dreamy cocktail with service and staff that treat their visitors like family. With a touch of New York flair, there is still no mistaking that this is an authentic Madrid drinking spot. The menu is extensive, offering cocktails put together with almost every spirit imaginable. The main focus is on the classics, from the Cosmopolitan to the Margarita, but if you want to go off-menu just ask your mixologist for something more inventive.
A Madrid cocktail bar known for bringing a sense of spirituality to those who step inside, La Santoria is hidden behind a black curtain in a small wine bar. You’ll step into a space with soft lighting, surrounded by images of virgins and saints. The interior design is a major focus in this bar, with mesmerising colours and patterns creating an other-worldly backdrop. To match the theme, the cocktails are referred to as potions - expect to sip on Guardian Angel, Moon Water, Sete Waves, and Attract Luck, to name a few.
Based on the Roaring 20s, the Bad Company 1920 bar takes you back in time. You’ll need to ring the bell and provide a password to the person behind the peephole before you’re allowed entry. The staff all have a touch of Peaky Blinders about them, adding to the time travel element. There’s a selection of 20 signature cocktails, with ‘The Bible’ brought to the table hidden inside a book, reflecting the prohibition-era feeling.
For a feeling of modesty and elegance, the Savas cocktail bar shouldn’t be missed. The tucked-away location is a hidden gem that many locals adore. There’s never a set menu, and the drinks on offer change depending on the owners’ inspiration. Most cocktails on offer are reimagined classics, but you’ll never know what’s available until you step inside. With a chic Nordic style throughout the bar, you may feel like you’ve been taken away to the city of Oslo for the night.
Inspired by 1920s London, Bar Cock feels like stepping into a grand British mansion with soaring ceilings, large fireplaces, and fresh flowers. The perfect spot to catch up with friends, you’ll be able to choose from a vast selection of vodkas, whiskeys, gins, and more. You can opt for your favourite classic cocktail or choose from one of their unique inventions. Either way, the drinks are unlike any other.
One of the oldest and best cocktail bars in Madrid, Museo Chicote opened its doors in 1940 to show the residents of the city the founder Chicote’s extensive collection of old liquor bottles. Fast-forward 70 years and it looks exactly the same, full of glamour, but with a few modern touches. You’ll spot the DJ booth, ready to create the perfect ambience, and can enjoy delicious cocktails based on the original cocktail recipes of Chicote himself. What could be better than rich history, low-fi beats and spectacular surroundings?
If the fragrant spices of Indian food paired with delicate cocktails sounds like your ideal evening, head to Benares. Enjoy an elegant meal in the dining area, then head to the informal bar for a nightcap. The cocktails are inspired by the characteristics of different regions in India, each accompanied by unique Indian tapas. Whether opting for The Elf, made with Malfy, sherry, lemon juice, and chamomile, or Hades Elixir, made with Macallan12, blossom liqueur, blue syrup and lemon, you’ll be immersed in an exotic world of flavours.
As the name suggests, the Lolina Vintage cafe provides an atmosphere that feels lost in time. Head back to the 1960s and 1970s for a vintage evening of cocktails. From the wallpaper to the stylish lamps, you will feel right at home the moment you sit on their comfortable seats. During the day, you can indulge in cakes, breakfasts, and coffee. Then as the sun goes down, the cocktails come out. Based on many classics from the mojito to the martini, there’s something for everyone and the flavours are blended to perfection.
Cocktails with a difference
For a city that comes to life at night, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for cocktails in the Spanish capital. Each of these Madrid cocktail bars is a favourite for its unique atmosphere. They all work together to give Madrid its name as one of the liveliest cities in Spain.
Across the country in Barcelona, at Terminal 42 we’ve also been mixing our own experimental cocktails. Come and sample one with your meal the next time you’re in the city.