South Ken’s swanky Galante might be a new kid on the block, but it’s got its heart firmly set in the past. Inspired by Santiago Policastro and opened last year, this dark, cosy bar serves classic Argentine cocktails with a few recent additions added some welcome new twists to keep the punters’ interest piqued.
Policastro, or PichÃƒÂn, was the Harry Craddock of Argentina. Mixing and shaking his way to the nickname’El Barman Galante’, he became one of the leading lights of the Latin American bar scene from the 1930s until his death in 2010.
Speak to Buenos Aires-based Tato Giovannoni for little more than five minutes and his respect for PichÃƒÂn is clear – and having been named Argentine bartender of the decade (snazzy, right?), he might just be on his way to filling the shoes of the great man himself.
Tato – all dashing facial fuzz and South American twang Ã¢â‚¬â€œ is the man behind Galante’s drinks menu, including some of its newest additions. He also happens to be behind almost every bar opening in the Argentine capital so, ya know, he kinda knows what he’s doing.
And it showed.
We were invited along to try some of the new additions on the bar’s menu as well as a few of its most popular offerings over the last year.
Our favourite, called the 2001 en ruta, muddles British Chase potato vodka with apple juice and ginger before the addition of a potato and apple soda top up.
Served in an old fashioned glass, it was a classy, crisp and clearly flavoured man-cocktail.
Another highlight, the Transatlantico fizz No2, was intensely and decadently creamy Ã¢â‚¬â€œ not a characteristic I usually like but here, well, I finished the lot.