Tucked away on a quiet street just off busy Plaza de España is Absent Cocktail Room and Garden, my favourite place to treat myself to a fancy drink. With its entrance surrounded by the warm glow of fairy lights, you immediately escape the dingy street and enter somewhere special.
It’s tempting to immediately grab a seat in the tranquil garden, which is a cool respite on a hot day, but take a few steps inside and you’ll be transported to the old cafés of Paris. You can almost picture Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald having a chat here. Comfy burgundy, cream, and blue chairs, flanked by a wooden bookshelf and bar, are softly lit by candles and dim, tasseled chandeliers. Cool jazz and the cocktail shaker provide the soundtrack.
The atmosphere exudes sophistication with drinks to match. With sweet and spicy cocktails, there is something for every taste here. Whether you choose the popular La Candida, made with rum, kombucha, lime, mango, egg white, and soda, or the El Clandestino with its tequila and mezcal base, you will find that all of Absent’s drinks are made with several complex flavours, all blending perfectly together. Beer and wine are served until 6:00 PM and there is also a small, equally tasty, non-alcoholic menu. On a work night, I love the El de *Asis*, a refreshing mix of orange and pineapple juice, grenadine, lemon, and soda. Absent, amazing during both summer and winter months, is like a home you never want to leave.