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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chi Cha and The Great White North

Going out for drinks in North America usually means having typical drinks like rum and coke or vodka soda, but not in Buenos Aires. Sure you can have a cold beer or a great glass of wine. But here bartenders are more than happy to make you something different.

One of my favorite bars to enjoy a custom made cocktail is Chi Cha on Baez. The dynamic team of David (left) and Alejandro (right) provide you with a unique experience. They don’t flip bottles like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. It’s not about the show, it’s about the flavour and the art of making the perfect drink. 

Both bartenders call themselves artists and strive to create the perfect blend for every client. Sure you can choose from the full drink list but I prefer to nestle up to the bar where you get personal service.

David’s favorite cocktail to make is the classic Manhattan, straight up, with Chi Cha's own bourbon soaked cherries for extra kick. 

I had the honour of naming a cocktail made specifically for me. I was craving a vanilla flavoured bevvy after hearing about the house made vanilla syrup. David asked if I liked chocolate (really?) then went to work to create something super yummy. After mixing vanilla vodka, chocolate schnapps, vanilla syrup and fresh lime juice (yes, it works!) a dusting of shaved white chocolate "The Great White North" was born. The next time I went back David had made his own white chocolate infused vodka. Incredible!


Next, I wanted something with tequila to celebrate my good friend Anna Keating's milestone birthday. Anna loves tequila and a good mojito so after a few questions to rule out some ingredients, David outdid himself and made a most spectacular mojito inspired tequila treat. 

Fresh mint, house made ginger syrup and tequila. Hola! 

I know.  Jagger to top up a cocktail?! Again, it works.

We have named this one "The Keating". Happy Birthday dear friend!

Alejandro has his own approach to finding out what you feel like drinking. He asks a few questions. Do you like sweet or dry? Do you prefer vodka, rum, gin? Tropical or citrus fruits? Alejandro asks as many questions as he needs until he comes up with the right cocktail for you.

I've had the pleasure of drinking Alejandro's apple martini which is like none you've ever had. Instead of using apple liquor, he muddled fresh apples. Who does that? Only an artist who takes pride in what he offers you. This time, I thought I would go tropical, but not too sweet.

Made with fresh
juice and
both mango and mandarin vodka
and some house made syrup.

Not only is the twist of lemon for decoration, he zests some over the cocktail to make it aromatic. You smell it before you sip it.

Syrup and infused liquors are made in house and created by David and Alejandro. Unique ingredients are key to these works of art. Alejandro's Rum infused with cinnamon sticks is a big hit. You can also find a unique gin with Earl Grey tea, tequila with hot peppers, herbal grappas, powerful bourbon cherries and delicious syrups made with fresh local ingredients. Nothing comes from a jar, it’s all made fresh. Drinks at Chi Cha don’t just taste fantastic they have to be visually appealing. As David says “a cocktail is something visual you have to drink with your eyes”.

 A few sample cocktails being prepped to present to the bosses to decide if they will make the cut and be added to the menu. Among them, "The Great White North" and "The Keating".

Not only are the drinks incredible they are also 2 for 1 during happy hour from 6 to close and with your drink you are served a free picada (snack) all for 35 pesos. Fed and watered for around $8.50 Canadian/USD. That’s almost as good as the drinks. And of course, tips are always appreciated.

Chi Cha is located at Baez 358, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Open from 9am til late 7 days a week.


  1. Wow!
    Quite the art form here.
    Definitely going to have stop by for a drink!
    Great photography !

  2. Love the look of the Great White North! The last pic is fantastic too. So many nice shots it makes me want to go to the bar.

  3. You've really captured the local flavour.
    LOVE the family shot with a breastfeeding Mom.
    Pure mothering.

  4. This is amazing, Amy! Love the drink series -- fantastic photo-feature. xoxo A

  5. Thank you for your awesome comments!
    Keep an eye here because there will be much more to come!