Drinking in San Sebastián: Sirimiri (Part 1 of 10)


All those journalists that visit San Sebastián for three days and recycle and re-recycle the same old pintxo recommendations rarely give coverage to the cocktail scene in town. The truth is, it has blown up in the nearly six years I’ve been living (and drinking) here. When I first arrived, there was a lone bar in the old part defending the frou frou gin-tonic. Since that time, even midlevel bars have upped their g+t game, not to mention a spate of true cocktail bars that have popped up in different neighborhoods.

I’ve compiled a list of my top spots to drink in this food lovers’ paradise, and I’ll be revealing them over the next couple months here on the blog (if you want to make sure not to miss one, you can add me to your RSS feed here).


Sirimiri is a bar that, along with its owner’s other spots, has had its fair share of controversy and complicated history. The original Sirimiri burned to the ground in 2013, and instead of folding the owner’s decided to totally reinvest in the aesthetic and the bar’s menus…to a very successful effect. It’s now a point in the Old Part for stellar cocktails, a distinct culinary offering, and special events. 


If you only have one drink:  Order the Corn Bridge. A favorite among clients, and the drink I can’t stop ordering, this drink has port, bourbon and Yzaguirre vermouth with a touch of cinnamon syrup and orange juice.
If you only have one snack: Try the squid and the steak croquettes. Crunchy, nutty exteriors that aren’t exactly typical.
The crowd: A mix of tourists and hip, young donostiarras.
Best time to go: On the night of a Vermut Society vermuteke, which take place every three months or so. {shameless plug} Sirimiri is the only spot in town with a regular Vermut Society event.
Look for: Ivan, the man behind the menu, and Santi, a young prize-winning mixologist.

One of Sirimiri’s defining characteristics is a commitment to vermouth. This comes in great part thanks to head barman Ivan Martín’s passion for the increasingly popular aperitif.  Apart from a wide range of artisan vermouths, you will find a cocktail list with nearly a dozen vermouth-based cocktails, like the sangre y arena, a version of the Blood & Sand.


On the other end of the richness spectrum are the vermouth cocktails like the dark passion, a dessert-y mixture of Dos deus vermouth, grand marnier, blood orange and lime juices, pepper syrup, cardamom and dark chocolate.


Lacuesta vermouth from La Rioja meets Cynar, vanilla syrup, lemon juice, and egg white in the vermú fizz, a refreshing cocktail reminiscent of another favorite of mine, the Ramos Gin Fizz.


The menu is solid, a mix of local charcuterie and cheeses, traditional dishes with a touch of refinement, and global influences from the chefs that have passed through the kitchen (think nachos). Sirimiri does things you won’t find in other bars in town, like invite a troop of chefs from Latin America for a week to cook authentic food with rare ingredients (and all without calling it a pop-up).


And of course, it’s not all about vermouth.  You’ll find original creations as well as twists on classic cocktails, such as pisco sours and margaritas (like the pomelita: tequila, grapefruit juice, and limoncello).

Calle Mayor 18, 20003
San Sebastián, Spain
+34 943 44 03 14

Stay tuned for more updates on the absolute top spots to drink in San Sebastián…