What Continues To Draw 'Paradiso', The World's Best Bar, Back To India?

Andrea Pagliarini and Matteo Ciarpaglini, the dynamic duo from Paradiso Barcelona, on what goes down in the world's best watering hole, and how recognitions such as World's 50 Best stir up the cocktail cosmos like a shaken martini.

Published On Jul 04, 2024 | Updated On Jul 04, 2024


This isn’t the first time for Paradiso, Barcelona in India. After wowing people twice last year, in Bengaluru and Mumbai respectively, they are back for yet another bar takeover. This time around, straight from the streets of El Born to the fishing village of Koliwada. This speakeasy collaboration is bringing world-renowned bartenders Andrea Pagliarini and Matteo Ciarpaglini at Slink & Bardot, with an idea to bring a slice of Paradiso to Mumbai.

So what keeps bringing them back to India? Andrea Pagliarini, senior bartender at Paradiso shares, “India is a growing market in many sectors, including the cocktail sector. Experiencing cultures so different from your own is a real school that inspires us every day.” Ranked #1 in 2023 and #4 in 2024 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, this hotspot has charmed discerning patrons worldwide with its inventive libations and charismatic ambiance. But then, what does it take to be on the world's best list in a row? Of course, it’s consistency and Andrea doesn’t think otherwise, “You need consistency and dedication, clearly driven by the passion you have for the job”.


Paradiso is a high-volume bar; that serves around 800 cocktails a day and has more than 40 employees, from research and development departments to production areas. What truly unfolds within the confines of the world's best bar? “We are a very structured company with the desire and ability to improve every day,” says Andrea. And with the ever-evolving space of mixology and trends, to stay ahead of the curve, it can be quite a challenge for the world's best as well. Andrea mentions it’s a process, “We collaborate with many professionals, not only from the gastronomic world, so we try to evolve not only in terms of cocktails but also in presentations, techniques, and ideas.” 

Interiors of Paradiso, Barcelona

But if you thought, the world’s best definitely has a secret ingredient or technique that makes them stand out, there isn’t any. What they seek is simple - balance. Andrea elaborates, “Speaking of classic cocktails, the most necessary tool is the ability to understand balance. Don’t refer to recipes from guides and pamphlets as if they were the holy grail but focus on understanding the raw material you are working with. A lemon in Barcelona may not have the same acidity as a lemon here in India.”

Revival Negroni

The takeover features some interesting concoctions, with a story each. For those, who like a little bit of mystery in their drink, there’s Atlantide - a beautiful looking cocktail made with white chocolate, lemon, and Roca Brother served in an arcane sea wave-shaped glass that takes you back to the ancient civilisation era. Up next, there’s Kriptonita - a vibrant green potent blend that will make you feel invincible with every sip. For Negroni lovers, their version, the Revival Negroni, is a whimsical potion that brings the world of mushrooms to your glass. 

While all that sounds pretty interesting and unconventional, does Paradiso have a favourite ingredient or garnish they love to play with? Matteo Ciapaglini, head of lab, Paradiso says, “I really like working with Mediterranean ingredients such as tomatoes, olives, herbs, and citrus fruits. They represent me in flavour mainly because of the link I have with my land.” Now, imagine a bartender whose roots lie in Italy, works in Spain, but loves all things umami. That’s quite a combination! Ask Andrea about his favourite cocktail and we weren’t surprised when he said, “I love creating umami cocktails. I am a fan of all Asian food culture, and one cocktail that encapsulates my Italian origins and fuses them with Asian culture is definitely the Bloody Mary!”

Matteo Ciapaglini, Head of Lab at Paradiso, Barcelona

As trends swirl like a perfectly stirred martini, mixologists are crafting experiences that blend artistry with science, shaking up traditional notions of what a cocktail can be. From molecular mixology to sustainable practices, there’s a lot happening in this realm. Talking about how Paradiso contributes to that evolution, Andrea says, “There are many capitals when it comes to cocktails, with London always being a key city. Barcelona is growing in all sectors, gaining many awards for restaurants. New York, Tokyo, and Rome have always been cities where we hone our craft. New frontiers like Mexico, India, and South America are also on the rise. We would just like to share our passion and love for all things cocktails.”

Now that the crème de la crème of bartenders are here, it's time to bend their ear and find out how rankings like the World's 50 Best really shake up the cocktail scene. Do these accolades pour in the business and stir up the buzz, or are they just another splash in the cocktail shaker of fame? “Being on the list is very rewarding because of all the connections you make with colleagues worldwide. It brings you into a community from which you can only be enriched personally and professionally. And it honours what you do, which is very important,” Andrea signs off. 

Photo: Featured Brand