Isidoro, Head Barman and artiste at the Marbella Club is a true professional. He doesn’t just mix remarkable cocktails, make the most spectacular beverage suggestions or know the Champagne list to a T. He personalises the guest experience, has a knack for remembering faces and drinks and a way of making you feel as if he has known you for years.
Today we were fortunate to catch up with Isidoro, and here is what he had to tell us about life at the hotel and its famed Champagne Room.
When did you first join the Marbella Club?
I started working for the company on the 13th April 1981, as a waiter. For 33 years now, I have been a part of the Marbella Club team and I hope to retire here.
What is your fondest memory at the Marbella Club?
Whew, that is a tough one…I have so many happy memories. One of the most impactful memories was the first dinner outing I had with my superiors and colleagues. I remember thinking that this is where I belong; we were like a big family – we still are today.
What is the secret behind the magnetic pull of the Champagne Room?
The atmosphere, glamourous décor, the vibe, authentic service and extensive champagne and cocktail list all contribute to the bar´s allure.
Guests are also very drawn to the its rich and storied history. It was one of the first in-door bars in Marbella during the days of Callas and Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, Gunther Sachs and Brigitte Bardot.
What do you recommend guests order in the Champagne Room?
It depends on the occasion; however, I like to suggest our guests begin the evening with a champagne based cocktail. It sets the celebratory mood and we have an incredible selection.
As a pre-dinner drink for the ladies, we suggest a glass of Marqués Rosado. The MC Rose Petal Bellini is idyllic for a very intimate or special occasion. The fresh rose petal is so subtle yet dramatic.
And what do you suggest for children?
Whenever we have children in the bar, I propose the “Alba.” It is a fresh mix of strawberries, orange juice, banana and coconut milk and we serve it in a very distinct glass. I designed it in honour of the birth of my daughter.
The children love it – it makes them feel like they are part of the chic scene.
When is the best evening to come to experience the atmosphere?
The Champagne Room is only open during our cooler months, so it really fills up Friday through Sunday. Guests like to come for a drink before dinner at the Grill. Well-dressed people of all ages; couples, families, friends fill the room. There is a cosy celebratory mood in the air.
The Marbella Club is known for its celebrity clientele. Can you share a story about a past guest?
A barman never shares tales …however; I can say that I was floored by the modesty and kindness of Eva Longoria. She was such a pleasure to have with us, and she even speaks Spanish.
If you could only spend one night a year in the Champagne Room, which night would it be?
New Year´s Eve! The Champagne Room radiates with glamour. There is a celebratory buzz in the air and the party atmosphere is captivating.
Which cocktail is most famous at the Marbella Club?
The Sau Sau, without a doubt. It is named after the South Side district of the city of Chicago, Illinois and could be described as similar to a Mojito – fresh and crisp.
Prepare In a Cocktail Shaker:
4 Ice Cubes or equivalent in crushed ice
Several Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Glass of Stolichnaya Vodka
½ Fresh Lime Juice
½ Tablespoon of Sugar Cane Syrup
To prepare the drink, place ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously to bruise the mint leaves; then strain into a chilled Collins Glass, filled with ice.
Garnish with Mint and Lime or Lemon and voila!