Diego Pandelea: Especiarium Bar (Barcelona)

Diego Pandelea is a Bartender at Especiarium Bar in Barcelona. He makes us two cocktails, one with Gin and Tomato and the second with Whisky and a Wood Cordial.

Diego introduce yourself
My name is Diego Pandelea. I come from Bucharest, Romania, and I started my career in bartending around the age of 19 years old. I’ve been working in some bars in Bucharest since a young age and in each bar I worked for, I became the head bartender or the bar manager. I have moved to Barcelona because my dream was to work with Antonio Naranjo, one of the best… in my opinion. Before moving, I was the manager in one of the top bar in Romania, Decadance Bar, but I gave up on everything just to come to Barcelona without knowing anyone, not even the language.

The classic you want to show us
45ml of Gin Mare
40ml of Seventeen Tomato Juice
50ml of Homemade Tomato Mix

The bar you dream of
Actually, my dream is to open a bar on my own. A bar that can offer you an experience that I can teach you, or present you with something different. I am passionate by cultures so my dream is to open a bar inspired by the cultures of my country because they’re not famous but are so beautiful. Gastronomy is so different and so special. This is what I want to share with each guest that will pass by.

What do you do in your time off
Honestly, I spend all of my time in the bar, in Especiarium, doing a lot of things that can make me better and I am practising to learn new languages.

The spirit you like the most
I would say Pisco, simply because it has a different flavour profile and it’s not that famous.

What makes a good cocktail
A good harmony of ingredients and a good technique. And of course good storytelling.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
It’s hard to pick one specific ingredient but I think Palo Santo. Because you play with it in different ways. You can take its freshness, the wood or its burnt aroma. I find it very different and versatile.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
45ml of Cardhu Whisky
30ml of Wood Cordial
15ml of Le Birlou Apple and Chestnut Liqueur
4 Dashes of Black Walnut and Spices Bitters

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
I would go to Oslo to visit Svanen

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