First, Dave Palethorpe. Then, Jorge Camilo. After that, Daniel Zamith. Later, Miguel Pereira. Bistro 100 Maneiras’ bar isn’t just a beautiful wooden counter – even if this counter has an Art Déco cut… It’s a piece made of people, a lot of people who have mixed and emulsified with the house, with that bar, over these years.
The recipe that made it win an important mixology prize – the Coaster 2017 for Best Bar in a Restaurant in Portugal – doesn’t only involve spirits, juices, bitters, gums and broths. The formula that makes the success of this bar, identified in 2014 by the prestigious Monocle magazine as the perfect place to have a drink at the end of a day in Lisbon, is made of flesh and bone, blood, sweat and laughter (and ok, a few tears too).
Drinks to be eaten
In the months leading up to the opening of the restaurant, in September 2010, it was the British Dave Palethorpe, from Cinco Lounge bar, who created the first cocktail menu and formed the team who would be in charge of the counter in the number 9 of Largo da Trindade. But, quickly, our bar, this bar, freed itself from the “father” and, in its cry for independence, became a staple of the restaurant and one of the reasons Monocle chose Bistro 100 Maneiras for world number one at Monocle Restaurant Awards 2017 (and third in 2018!).
Much more than a simple extension of the restaurant, it is a space with its own prizes, recognized by the original creations that come from some of the heads that made (and make) it grow. First of all, Jorge Camilo, the head bartender, in the restaurant since its opening. Jorge was a hockey player, but at the first sip of a Dave Palethorpe’s cocktail he realized that lifting glasses was the next sport he wanted to play. He learned everything behind that counter and, two years after he started, he won the first place in the Gin Mare national competition with the cocktail Red Hot Guava – still one of the biggest hits at the counter. In 2014, Zest by Gin Lovers magazine mentioned him as “probably the best bartender in Portugal”.
With Daniel Zamith, our second bartender, the same thing happened. From January 2012, when he started, until 2016, when he won the first place in the Gin Mare national competition and the third in the Grand final in Ibiza, it took him “only” four years of intense work – and, above all, a lot of curiosity, perseverance and love – for the métier and for this house.
Jorge and Dani were the authors of around 100 recipes of the first great Portuguese cocktail book, 100 Cocktails 100 Maneiras, published in November 2015 by A Esfera dos Livros. They created these blends from scratch, most of them born in the moment, from the products they found in some of the places they traveled. Travels in our land, in search of the best national ingredients to create cocktails with a Portuguese soul.
In the book, the philosophy of Bistro’s bar became even more clear. Inside the glass, a gastronomic approach is made to classic mixology. Which means: many of the ingredients used in cocktails come from the kitchen. This blend-of-mixing-way has spawned creations that have become classics, such as 100 Maneiras Strong (with lemon, ginger and lemongrass in its composition) and 100 Maneiras Smooth & Easy (with coriander and pineapple), but also Red Hot Guava (with guava, chili and ginger), Hulk (basil and pepper) or Damn That’s Good (raspberries and peppermint), the undisputed bestseller. These are hallmarks of the cocktails by 100 Maneiras and a working base for virtually all Bistro’s creations. It is food in a liquid state. A world in colors, sometimes sweet, other times more acidic, but almost never bitter.
With the growing success of the bar, new faces arrived at this counter. Like Miguel Pereira, the youngest face of the bar, who in 2017 was distinguished as Young Talent of Gastronomy in the Barman INTER category and, in 2018, became a national finalist of the Chairman’s Mai Tai Competition.
We want to grow. As a brand, but above all as a family. We want to help our people grow, but above all we want to grow together. We believe we can make a difference – all together, with a little more from each of us. We believe that together we are always stronger and united we will win. We want the 100 Maneiras spirit to be mirrored in each of us – and to contaminate each one of you. We want to recreate this spirit every day in every state – liquid or solid.
Therefore, at the end of 2018, we proceeded to a deep intervention inside the bar, keeping, on the exterior, its historical curves. Remodeled with the support of Schweppes and the “brush” of Filipe Pinto Soares, artist with a long history of collaboration with the house (author of the Milagro windows, outside the restaurant, and co-author of Hendrick’s Room, upstairs), we wanted give it new life and greater functionality.
The laboratory glasses, which refer to the alchemy of the creation of carbonated water, and the pieces of clocks that recall the watchmaker’s past of Johann Schweppe, founder of the company, are combined with the use of mirrors that provide an optical illusion of depth – similar to what was done at Hendrick’s Room.
To welcome the “new-born child“, the bartender team celebrated creating an unprecedented cocktails menu. Built from scratch from the memories of the various elements behind the counter, the new menu brings together over two dozen creations that appeal to all senses, carrying in each glass a story to be read, heard, smelled and shared. Drop by drop.
Between author creations, reinterpretations of classics and mandatory names, a trip to the Bistro’s Bar can begin in many ways – even one hundred of them – that’s for sure, but it will always end up the same way: with the glasses held high, in a toast to life’s small greatest pleasures.