Diego Cabrera: The perfect cocktail "21 years of economic information"

We are left with Diego Cabrera in Salmon Guru, located on Echegaray street of the old town in Madrid.Its place is the laboratory where colors, music, gastronomy and passion for cocktail bar are combined.He is happy to have been considered the best bar in the capital of Spain for the prestigious list The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 and the number 24 of the world

Who is Diego Cabrera? What asked to start!Can't you make me easier?I don't know ... I would say I'm a good person.

Already, but something else, right?For example, you are Argentine and as that eighty song said, what does a boy like you do in a place like this.

I was born where I wanted, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.I am Madrid by decision and as a young man, as my mother said, a rebel without cause.I studied international trade, I really like to travel ...

And with those background, how did you start in the cocktail bar?

It was a casual way.My brother is a defender of the child in Argentina, but then he studied right and at the same time worked as a waiter to have his money.I only studied and also my mother preferred me to dedicate me only to that."You will have time to work, now study," he told me.But my brother, who is older than me, did not think the same.

And then your brother spoke.Yes and asked me textually: "When are you going to work?".Because he saw that I dedicated myself to rest on weekends, go out with my friends ... Typical!So he went to work and spoke with I don't know who and the next day I had the interview to work on weekends, also as a waiter, in a bowling alley.

And there was your first immersion in a bar? The day after the interview I started and a very curious thing happened and when I arrived at the premises I heard that they said the ones already worked there: "There comes, there comes ...".I don't know what I would say to the one who interviewed me that he told them that he has just hired a crack.I was 18 years old.

And you were already a real crack? You'll see ... there were cocktails, drinks, coffees ... and when they saw me do the first coffee they already realized that I had lied to them.Well, it's not that I lied to them, I hid the truth, because I told him that he had worked some loose weekend.Anyway, you know.But I replaced the lack of knowledge for the predisposition, for the attitude.I had never been working seventeen hours in a row.When I went to my house I couldn't even walk!

Did they fire you? When the weekend ended the manager he took me and said: “You don't know how to do anything, but your attitude has convinced me.You are hired".And there I understood that to learn you have to sacrifice.

And you started with the cocktail bar? No, because in the 1990s there was no internet, there were no cocktail books, there was nothing to learn.The trigger was when one day my brother came to see me at work and asked me what Güisqui was going to give him.There were a 12 -year -old Chivas and another Argentine and as I liked the label of this one, it was the one I chose.And then he told me that I had to put the batteries.He knew a little cocktail, wines, liquors ...

And you put the batteries.Yes, there are two starting points for everything that came after.In this bowling alley there was a beautiful and charming girl, Noelia, and I made a proposal: "I am very shy so you are going to take care of attending customers and I do absolutely everything else".So it was.The other point is that the place was going through and those who were going to take it were incognito to see how the staff behaved.

Diego Cabrera: El cóctel perfecto

I didn't know anything like that.When the new owners took the place, they hired a barman who knew about cocktails and there I reached an agreement with him to show me to make cocktails.In return, I would do your work less visible for one or two hours;The time I was going to use in teaching me.

And he taught you? Yes.And when they signs this bartender, which was called Gastón, in a bar in Puerto Madero, which is a very exclusive area of Buenos Aires, it takes me with him and that is when I already start learning the cocktails.But at the same time I was clear that I had to finish my career and save everything I could to come to Europe for a year to see what was being done in the sector.

On April 19, 2001 I left Argentina with my backpack and with all my savings.He traveled through Europe and ended in Barcelona.At six months his savings had finished and went to Ibiza.He earned a lot of money in the summer season.He worked picking vessels in a disco, gardener and even extra in a movie.From there he communicated to his family that he stayed in Spain: "I was very clear that I wanted to be Bartender, that that was what made me happy".

Did you leave Ibiza's unscathed? Yes, I have always been very clear about what yes and what I don't.It is the place that changes me in character, but not professional.I saw a series of things and situations that made me be a countertolent and stopped stuttering.I learned to interact with all kinds of people

Made personal learning, when do you start working in cocktails? For a chance, in 2004 I entered to work at the Arts Hotel in Barcelona with Sergi Arola as Barman.And there I created my first cocktail, which is called passion.It was a modification of the classic pineapple casting.

The origin of your professional career in Madrid where it was?.I brought me drinks, ideas and created my cocktails.I was already 28 years old and tried to do something more like Bartender at the Arts hotel, but it wasn't possible.He agreed that Sergi Arola left the brooch in Madrid and was going to open Gastro.A part of the place was going to dedicate cocktails, so I came to Madrid.Remember that then Barcelona was the most cool and Madrid was much more traditional.

Even so, his cocktails triumphed so much that he ate the restaurant and it was Arola himself who proposed to dedicate all the space to cocktails with a complementary gastronomic part.Was called Le Cabrera, as his last name.Remember that the bet was "a bombing" in the capital and was open until November 2013, which was when it closed after Arola and he were victims of a scam by two other partners.Diego Cabrera was left without a penny.

And what are you doing in Madrid without money? I started advising companies such as the NH chain.I was also Schweppes ambassador.I could live greatly from the advice, but I wanted to have my place and opened Salmon Guru, in an area of Madrid that was not fashionable, but it was the only one that we could afford to pay a rental.We were three partners.

The name of Salmon Guru What does it mean? Guru is the name of the previous business in the premises that was a Hindu and salmon restaurant is because I like what this fish represents in its wild state, as is its vital route: they are born inSweet waters, trace to salt water and return to their origins to spawn.This migration represents effort to overcome adversities.This was during Holy Week 2016.

What is a cocktail? Balance, experience and sophistication.

What ingredients cannot be missing in a cocktail? The ice.

What time of the day is adequate to have a cocktail? Less for breakfast, all hours a day: snack, mid -afternoon, night and early.

What would the cocktails be according to that moment of day and night? For appetizer, stimulating;in mid afternoon;something with body and then long, what suits.I love those in the afternoon: Manhattan, Pisco Sour ...

Gastronomy What role does gastronomy play?.It is a combo, some pecking that rounds the experience.They put some portions in the center of the table, a peak to share and have a small size.Each one has their cocktail and the food is shared.

What color what role does it play in cocktails? Is very important.The warm colors orange, yellow and red are friendly.Brown and dark are strangest.In the book that is published in March next year there is a section dedicated to color.Colors and presentation transmit many sensations.

And music? I choose music and I have proven to mix;Jazz, blues, reggae, funky ... is the most eclectic.Because if you only make a type of music to the third song no longer works.You have to do peaks.This is also part of Lacoctería: stimulate all the senses.

What is the profile of your customers? From 25 years to 80 years.It is a place of sophistication to live an experience.Nobody clash and everyone is comfortable.He is not a classist, we are living a moment of splendor of the cocktail bar.If someone does not feel good in Salmon Guru, then it doesn't work.

Of the two awards that have given you, which one most?.All awards are appreciated, but this is a team award.They are giving you a prize to your profession;Be a hospitable so that everyone who enters your place feels good and is teamwork.And it is also not subjective, a cocktail may like it more than another, but the reality is objective.They have also granted it right on our fifth anniversary and when we are in a pandemic.We are very hard for us to stay and continue.

And the number 24 of the world? It is a prize for regularity.You have to keep doing what we are doing well.Given the time, not suitable for having a cocktail, we said goodbye to Diego drinking coffee on the terrace of his viva Madrid tavern, a few steps from his cocktails, a place also worth knowing.Without a doubt, Diego is like a salmon that after tracing a river of difficulties has reached the sea of recognition where he feels happy.