Indigenous blends, fresh ingredients, and local products have turned cocktails into a healthy and appetizing alternative that is drawing more fans by the day. Seba García—mixologist at Leo Messi’s wedding and lead mixologist at Presidente, a sophisticated bar and restaurant in Buenos Aires’ La Recoleta neighborhood—is committed to appreciating local, native ingredients and educating consumers so they know and understand what’s in their drinks and where they come from.
“People can have healthy cocktails if the ingredients are fresh and prepared well. In our case, for example, we squeeze limes every day. We use ingredients that, because of their characteristics, people tend to associate more with a salad, such as cucumber and celery. And also pineapple, so you don’t need to add more sugar,” he explained.
Seba stresses that staying hydrated while drinking is key, and that’s why cocktails are served with a glass of water on the side. Another one of his secrets is his talent for coordinating and individualizing every detail, working closely with the chefs so the menu’s local ingredients and flavors are perfectly paired with the drinks. “For me, the secret to a good cocktail is experience. In Presidente, we don’t think of it as just a liquid and we start when we welcome you at the bar. Some come to celebrate, others to nurse a broken heart. The experience starts by asking and trying to connect with the person who is going to drink the cocktail.”
One of the bar’s signature cocktails is the Buenos Aires Zombie, which contains distilled local fruit, rum, and is served in a ceramic obelisk in honor of the city’s symbol. The last time Messi visited the bar with a couple of childhood friends, he drank a toast with the bar and kitchen staff. “With Messi we drink a toast to dreams; if one of them comes true, he has to come back,” the mixologist shared.
Luckily, you don’t have to book at trip to Argentina to try one of Seba’s healthy cocktails. The mixologist is sharing a delicious Oriental Jimador recipe you can recreate from the comfort of your home to impress your guests.
Oriental Jimador Recipe
- 1½ oz. Jimador tequila
- ½ oz. Aperol
- 1½ oz. Lychee syrup
- 1 oz. Lemon juice
- ½ oz. Passion fruit juice
- Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and serve very cold. Garnish with lemongrass, sprigs of mint, dried orange or grapefruit, and dried rose buds.