facefoodmag ENibiza

Reinvented classics and signature cocktails: welcome to the ‘liquid kitchen’ at Ibiza Gran Hotel

Reinvented classics and signature cocktails: welcome to the ‘liquid kitchen’ at Ibiza Gran Hotel


Daniel Martínez (Blanes, 1979) loves devouring books, travelling, playing chess or football and exploring Ibiza. But his close friends and family know that there’s one thing he’s been madly in love with ever since he became of age: the world of cocktails. We’ve been chatting to the head barman at Ibiza Gran Hotel and Casino de Ibiza about the ‘liquid kitchen’ at La Gaia and other points of sale at this luxury establishment.


How and when did you begin your career in cocktail-making?
In 1997, in Tenerife. I went behind the bar and fell in love. I sampled the delights of the bar when I was 18 and it was love at first sight. All night hedonism, the atmosphere and sense of fun grabbed me, and I knew it was going to be an ever-lasting love affair. After doing seasons in the Canary Islands, Costa Brava and Costa del Sol, I ended up in Ibiza. After a couple of days, I knew it was the place I’d always been looking for.

Would you say you’re a by-the-book or self-taught barman?
I did a cocktail-making course in 1995. I studied classic cocktail-making but learned a lot working with great people, like Eduardo Alonso. I’ve been at Ibiza Gran Hotel for 13 years and we’ve grown a lot. Now we’ve got a team that stands out for both its human touch and professional talent.

Cocktail Namaste de trago largo muy afrutado y ligeramente especiado.  Ibiza Gran Hotel


What are the cocktails like at Ibiza Gran Hotel?
We have different points of sale: Room Service, Pool Restaurant, La Gaia and Casino. The morning menu at the Pool Restaurant has a huge variety of fruit juices and smoothies, iced coffees, lemonades... They’re all natural with fresh fruit and ingredients. The team is really professional and very tight-knit, and that means excellent service and a commitment to improvement. They’re now using the same techniques as the main bar at the hotel (La Gaia,) and the cocktails have become a big draw for our guests.

In terms of the Room Service, the team’s ability to improve when it comes to making complex drinks is another big highlight and this area has really picked up in recent years. We’re making high end cocktails with a selection of new versions of classic drinks.

The Lounge at La Gaia is the main bar at the hotel. It’s a place where R&D and creativity are the order of the day and the cocktails are our star product. Overall, I’d particularly highlight the products we use; we mix drinks with the most exclusive brands. We use all kinds of techniques: sous-vide, filtering, adding acids... Clients can choose from a wide range of drinks, with a signature cocktail section and another that features new versions of classics.

What are your future plans for cocktails at La Gaia?
We’re already working on next year’s project because big changes are on the horizon at La Gaia. We’re creating the ingredients (mixers and preparations) to design the new menu from scratch.

Can clients who come for a meal at La Gaia pair their menu with cocktails?
Yes, some people ask for that. Clients who don’t like wine, or just fancy trying a pairing with cocktails. We have drinks designed to pair with the menus but adapt them according to the client’s preferences and to variations in the dishes.

Daniel Martínez, barman Ibiza Gran Hotel


Which are the most popular cocktails among clients at Ibiza Gran Hotel?
During the years of the pandemic, when physical menus disappeared and we worked with QR code menus, we noticed people going back to the classics. Lots of clients would order a Margarita just so they didn’t have to use the app to see the menu. Now we’re back to physical menus, people are ready to experiment more. It’s made me realise that bartending today doesn’t have a great love for classic cocktails: you follow the recipe and that’s it, and a barman enjoys being creative. Instead, we put a twist on the classics, so I think that the two worlds can coexist. We’re also experiencing a huge boom in mezcal and tequila-based cocktails.

What stands out most among the cocktails at IGH?
The variety across all the outlets. Our clients come from 85 countries and we’re open 24 hours a day. The day cocktails aren’t the same as those at night.

What are your sources of inspiration when you create new cocktails?
We use books a lot and also our own experience – I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years. I’ve got a really creative team and we all contribute our ideas.

What are your favourite cocktails?
I always say there’s nothing like a three-ingredient cocktail. They’re the most successful ones: a Margarita, Negroni, Sidecar... That leads me to the comeback of classic cocktails (which never went away). 

You May Also Like


Ecofeixes, the first organic cooperative of Ibiza


José Miguel Bonet, the chef in charge of Es Ventall


Juan Pedro Domínguez, The Winner of the XI Cocktail Competition of Ibiza and Formentera


Óscar Molina, a trip through peruvian cuisine