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The emphasis is on classic cocktails

Split into three sections, Cocktails’, Bloody & Rare and Buenos Aires Classics, the new cocktail menu launched last month at Gaucho Restaurants, aims to showcase Gaucho’s classic drinks, such as the Gaucho Mojito, alongside popular South American beverages.

Devised by team Gaucho and Tato Giovannoni, winner of the highly coveted Bartender of the Year award in Argentina for the past ten years (making him Bartender of the Decade), the redesigned Cocktail section focuses on characters and symbols in Argentine terrain and culture. Las Cumbres, Tato’s favourite cocktail, takes its inspiration from the Andes Mountains and translates to ‘top of the mountain’ in Spanish. It combines Sauvignon Blanc, cucumber infused Cinzano Bianco and apple juice for a delightfully fresh cocktail.

The second section, Bloody & Rare, highlights the popularity of the Bloody Mary in Argentine culture. The menu houses three variations on the cocktail; the Gaucho Bloody Mary, using fresh tomato juice and chimichurri; the Chépirosca, with freshly muddled cherry tomatoes; and the Bloody Asado, using roasted plum tomatoes, red pepper, fresh lemon and orange juice.

The final part of the menu is a dedication to Buenos Aires Classics inspired by the glamour of ‘old’ Buenos Aires (1930-60). During this era the city was considered one of the best places in the world for cocktails and many of the world’s champion bartenders had origins in BA, winning no fewer than three awards in the 1950’s and ‘60’s. Cocktails became a symbol of sophistication and were inextricably bound to glamorous night scenes in hotels and bars.

This notion spread rapidly and cocktails were soon the beverage of choice in Milango and Tango clubs. Many of the recipes are from the period, such as the delicious Mar del Plata, created by Enzo Antonietti who was head bartender at the Claridge Hotel in the 1960’s. With this recipe he won the IBA world competition in 1964. Claridge hotel in the Bario Norte area of BA was a popular establishment amongst the city’s artists, poets and musicians. The cocktail invokes flavours of the era, combining Plymouths gin, Noilly Prat, Benedictine, Grand Marnier and orange zest.

The cocktail menu was launched in August in Gaucho’s London restaurants, Manchester restaurant and the recently opened Leeds restaurant. With each Gaucho housing a stylish bar area. The new menu has 16 cocktails to choose from: 10 classic Cocktails, three Bloody & Rare and three Buenos Aires Classics.


1 September 2010 - Felicity Murray