Gabriele Armani: Paradiso (Barcelona)

Gabriele Armani is the bar supervisor of Paradiso in Barcelona. He makes us two cocktails, one with gin and dry vermouth and the second with rum and brandy.

Gabriele introduce yourself
I’m Gabriele Armani from Paradiso Barcelona. I had the pleasure to start working in Paradiso in August 2019, when I was 18 years old, for an internship of 5 weeks. After graduating from the hotel school in Aosta Valley in Italy, where I come from, they proposed this opportunity. In the beginning, I was doing bar back almost every night and some day shift in production. After a few months, my Spanish and English improved and I started working on the floor. I had almost 9 months of day shift doing the set up of the bar. Due to the COVID  pandemic, we had a lot of changes in our team. I was one of the first to reopen the bar after the pandemic and I had the opportunity to start as a bartender. In June 2022 I got promoted to bar supervisor and now I’m one of the oldest employees of Paradiso. I can’t believe that I already spent around 5 years there. This place for me is more than a job. It’s my second home, they welcomed me as a son at the beginning, they trained me and now they are giving me so many opportunities. I had the pleasure of seeing 4 different menus and worked in the creativity process of 3 of them. I’m super proud every time we change a menu, I have experienced many changes in the bar and every menu is every time more complex and full of emotions.
We are launching the new menu MYSTERY OF THE WORLD, we have spent a lot of months creating this menu. The new menu, Mysteries of the World, is the result of the combined ideas of Giacomo Giannotti, owner and founder of Paradiso, his wife Margarita Sader, and our Paradiso team. We have dedicated months of hard work, research, experimentation, and passion to create a unique menu. The inspiration behind the Mysteries of the World lies in the curiosity and passion for exploring the mysteries of our planet: from giant Egyptian pyramids and underground ones to microscopic fungi and bacteria, from the mystery of the human brain to the Great Flood, and on and on… We have a total of 15 new drinks, each honouring a mystery or dilemma, which has always haunted and given thought to the greatest scientists, as well as to each of us. Each cocktail tells a unique story, combining different techniques, including experimental ones, with high-quality ingredients, always adding a touch of originality and the ‘wow effect’ that has characterized Paradiso for several years. I’m really happy and satisfied with the results and to showcase one of these cocktails in a video, with one of our classic drinks.

The classic you want to show us
Supercool Martini
40ml of Supercool Water
60ml of Tanqueray Ten Gin distilled with Fennel and Origano
10 Sprays of Dry Vermouth infused with Mustard Seeds

The bar you dream of
Every day, I  think about my future. I’m young but for me, the future is not that far. For the moment, I’m happy where I am, but one day, I would love to create something special in my home town, a small village in the Alps. I would love to open a bar/restaurant with my best friend. He’s currently working in a two-Michelin-star restaurant in Colmar, France. I don’t know if in the future I would enjoy living in a big capital like Barcelona. I have a big wild spirit, I miss my mountains sometimes, I miss the fresh air of my Alps. At the same time, it’s really difficult to leave this city. I see a lot of potential there, it’s an amazing city, full of art and a lot of different cultures. Since I moved there I have loved going to the different tapas bars of Barceloneta/Born & Gothic Quarter. I don’t deny that I also dream of a place similar to el Xampanyet that also serves aperitif-style cocktails.

What do you do in your time off
Sometimes on my day off I travel for a guest shift but everybody knows that I’m a food lover, I love good cuisine and when I have time I love to ride my bike around Barcelona and Costa Brava.

The spirit you like the most
I love mezcal! At first, I didn’t like it so much because I didn’t understand why it had such a smoky note. Then finally I was able to travel to Oaxaca, meet the producers and try mezcal in the palenques it was a real thrill. Mezcal can be versatile! it can be used in many different cocktails as an aperitif and after dinner! I love mezcal negroni and Tommy’s margarita with mezcal!

What makes a good cocktail
A good cocktail is first made with a good balance of ingredients. I love it when there is a story behind a cocktail. A cocktail is good, also because of the atmosphere of the bar and the happiness of the bartender. I like it when there is synergy between the customer and the bartender.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktail
As I am Italian, I love to use bitter aperitif liquor inside a cocktail because it gives the perfect bitterness and sweetness in a cocktail and sherry wine. After all, they give a bit of salinity and dryness.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Hidden Island
30ml of Rum infused with Carrot Cake
10ml of Torres Brandy
5ml of Pedro Jimenez
60ml of Salicorn Coconut and Lemon Grass Cream
15ml of Pepper Syrup

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
I think, you should go not too far in Madrid Massimiliano from Angelita, then visit Paul Voza from Himkok in Oslo, and further in New York, Chris and Harrison from Overstory and Takuma from Martinys.

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