From the other side of the bar
23 May, 2019 | Emily Kilner
Photo Essay by Emily Kilner
The intricacies of inventing, creating and presenting cocktails at Jallalla
Will it be a G&T or an espresso martini tonight? We often spend a few minutes browsing the bar menu for a suitable tipple and wait, often impatiently, for the drinks to come after choosing our go-to classic. As customers, less appreciation often goes into the innovative and experimental work that goes on from a bartending perspective.
I wanted to capture this often undervalued talent and skill, so we headed to Jallala, a vibrant bar situated above the Galería Mamani Mamani on Calle Jaén in La Paz’s colonial district, to chat to and marvel at head barman Gonzalo Guerra’s work and discover the real view from the other side of the bar. As bars seek to diversify and attract new customers, the drinks have to follow suit. Guerra is a perfect example of a bartender whose hard work, passion and pure creativity we should appreciate more.
The master behind the bar: Guerra is an ambitious bartender. With six intriguing and tempting cocktails on the menu, he aims to use nearly all Bolivian products and local ingredients to create delectable concoctions that push boundaries.
Not your average G&T: ‘What have you had for dinner?’ asks Guerra as I ponder the drink menu. After I answer, he says that a Martín Cruz is what I need. Named after the man who named Bolivia and finished with airampo (the fruit of an Andean cactus that adds natural colour) and smoky rosemary, it’s exquisite.
It’s all in the final touches: Every ingredient of this drink is precisely thought out: ‘The cream is eaten with a stick of cinnamon, the fresh strawberries add a distinct texture and the lemon zest exploits the aromas,’ Guerra says.
A drink that tells a tale: Every cocktail comes with a story at Jallala. The Luka Quivo, a citrus-based cocktail, is served in a shoeshine box to honour the masked lustrabotas who work in La Paz’s plazas and streets.
28 Jan, 2020 | 00:23
28 Jan, 2020 | 00:23