Restaurante Bares Espanol En Londre de Tapas

The sherry on top of the cake at a Tapas Bar London

El Pirata serving the best Spanish tapas one of the top tapas bar and restaurants in London since 1994 superb function party room in Mayfair.

Do you remember sherry? If you do, you might have vague memories of sherry trifles, and Christmas cakes laced with Bristol cream. Or the elderly relative who didn’t drink, but could sup sherry discreetly from a thimble sized glass all day and well into the night. It’s as British as the Boxing Day blues.

Well, here’s some big news – sherry is cool again, and we’re not talking about the syrupy stuff at the back of your gran’s kitchen cupboard. Proper sherry is a decent mixologist’s secret ingredient: it’s sometimes sweet, sometimes salty and dry, it can be nutty and there are varieties that have a whisky edge. It can even be used as a substitute for whisky to make less-alcoholic cocktails.

Spanish Tapas Bar in London

But to begin at the beginning. Sherry isn’t one thing, but all sherries are fortified wines made from white grapes – mostly Palomino – grown near Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. (Sherry is, in fact, an Anglicised version of Jerez.) The range is broad, from light wines like Manzanilla to the darker Amontillado and Oloroso.

They are ‘fortified’ because they have grape spirit added to increase the alcohol content to 15.5 per cent by volume (ABV) in the lighter fino sherries to 17 per cent in the heavier Oloroso sherry. Compare that to 11-13 percent in most wine, and the minimum of 40 per cent in whisky and you’ll begin to understand why it’s a current favourite of mixologists worldwide.

But while the professionals have rediscovered sherry, the public is still lagging behind and demand isn’t what it used to be. Since the 1980s land given over to vineyards in the Sherry Triangle – bounded by Jerez de la Fontera, Sanlúcar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María – has fallen by more than 75 per cent, and there has been a flight to quality and away from quantity.

That might be to the region’s benefit. A tipple strongly associated in Britain with comic characters like Uncle Monty from Withnail and I and Mrs Doyle from Father Ted, could probably do with a rebrand – at least the for ordinary punter.

A good tip, if you’d like to taste a lighter sherry, is to try La Goya Manzanilla. Pale gold, it has notes of roasted almond, citrus peel and chamomile and is light and smooth on the palate. Order one next time you’re in El Pirata on Mayfair’s Down Street. If you fancy something a little more robust, how about the Mira la Mar Oloroso – a deep tawny sherry with notes of dates, walnuts and treacle. That’s on the wine list too.

For 30 years customers have pulled up a stool at the artistic bar at El Pirata and sipped on some of the best value wines, sherries and other drinks that Mayfair has to offer. Situated on a quiet corner between Green Park and Hyde Park Corner, customers have often left the hidden gem and gingerly walked down the cobbled streets after a leisurely lunch or dinner, Spanish style, feeling like they were on the backstreets of Barcelona rather than Mayfair.

El Pirata serving the best Spanish tapas one of the top tapas bar and restaurants in London since 1994 superb function party room in Mayfair.