Your own private mixologist

By: Maria Simiris

Photo: André Pires Santos

In response to Covid-19 limitations, an Algarve company has devised a unique home barman service

Cocktail Wine & Bar Columbus was born 16 years ago, right in downtown Faro. Today, it is already a renowned staple not just in the region but across the country, having won several awards and accolades, such as Best Bar Team at the Lisbon Bar Show.

According to the company’s CEO, Miguel Gião, given the pandemic, the brand wanted to step outside the box. And so, in June, a unique service came to be, which would take the bar’s well-known cocktails from Faro to anywhere in the Algarve and even the country. The Barman at Home service sets up any person or company with a renowned professional and drinks made to order, in line with all safety procedures. The brand is responsible for bringing the drinks selected by clients and all props as well, from glasses and straws to ice, napkins and more. All clients have to do is open the door, ensure the number of people inside is within the limit set by health authorities, and enjoy themselves.

“It began as an effort to avoid any kind of illegal party or gathering. We wanted to make our staff and our product available but without doing the typical take away. We didn’t want to be just another business doing that, but rather think outside the box and do something original. So we came up with the idea of bringing our service to clients, as it was something they had been asking for often,” says Miguel.

A turnkey menu came to life, where clients only have to choose the type of beverage and the brands they want. There are thematic and even alcohol-free cocktails, providing an option for all tastes and ages that can be as tailored as possible. However, according to Gião, the top-sellers arte the Gin & tonic; the Marajoka, one of the bar’s signature cocktails, with passion fruit, lime, basil leaves and vodka; the Asia Mojito, with rum, mango, passion fruit, lime and mint leaves; and the Morangoska, with strawberries, lime and vodka. For the little ones, options play with juices, sweets, marshmallows and glasses decorated with parrots, skulls and more.

Among the team, the highlight goes to João Rodrigues, who has been working at Columbus for 11 years, and has already received awards for Best Portuguese Bartender and Best Mixologist. Prices vary depending on the number of hours, the number of drinks and the distance the team has to travel (0.75 cents per kilometre). The standard price is €150, which includes bartending for two hours and three cocktails per person.

Still according to Gião, the first events went so well that the demand has started to grow. As he also runs popular brands in the Algarve such as Ostraria Lodo and the Adão restaurant, specialising in poke, the service can also include chefs of both spaces. Hence, in addition to the unique drinks, you can add seafood caught in the Ria Formosa, with an entry that includes prawns, oysters, razor clams or even pokes.

Miguel adds that the team is so used to doing events that they can even be asked to decorate the party, music and even handle desserts or birthday cakes. “We adapt to everything and we get what the client asks us to get,” he says.

To make a reservation, simply call (969 286 222) or send an e-mail ([email protected]). The menu is available online, and the new list for 2021 is also available, with cocktail options inspired by the five continents.

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