DISCOVER THE WORLD CLASS 50

The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Clark Jiménez Alvarado’s Salt Air Naranjilla Margarita

Clark Jimenez Alvarado represented Costa Rica at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013

8vo (or Octavo) is a brand new bar that occupies the rooftop of the Sheraton Hotel and has great vistas over Escazú, Santa Ana and old San José. Escazú is a smart residential district of San José, home to many embassies and a booming restaurant and retail sector, it’s as much like Miami as Costa Rica. The bar is right beside the pool on the terrace, inside is a sister restaurant that serves gourmet Costa Rican dishes. The combination of traditional recipes, local produce, luxury spirits and new mixology methods make 8vo an essential Central American stop for cocktail lovers.

The Bartender

Clark Jiménez Alvarado, 31, is the winner of World Class in Costa Rica, and has worked as a bartender for six years in a wide array of venues dotted around the country (Trio, Hotel Parador, Trocadero). He learned his trade from Costa Rican mixologist Jerry Manzanares and polished his skills with study at the Escuela Argentina de Sommeliers in San José. He crafts his recipes with local produce, such as the super sweet tomato apero or the naranjilla (an orange/lime cross). Working on the balance of acidity, alcohol and sweetness, and as much on aroma as taste, Clark enjoys making the most of the opportunities opened up by molecular mixology techniques.

The Drink

‘The intense flavours and moderate acidity of Salt Air Naranjilla Margarita make it a perfectly refreshing take on a classic. The Don Julio Reposado is silky and mellow, with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon, and in this Margarita Clark introduces salt to the drink in foam form. ‘My signature cocktails typically feature fruit from Costa Rica in a classic drink, enlivened with a new technique or method,’ Clark explains. ‘for this Margarita I tried a few different fruits, but the naranjilla was the best by far.’

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The Technique

Don Julio Reposado • 50ml
Cointreau • 15ml
Fresh Lemon juice • 10ml
Agave Syrup • 30ml
A naranjilla (If not available use an orange and a dash of lemon)
Salt Air
Contains 20 grams of alcohol per serve

To create the salt air whisk 1 litre of water, 20g salt and 2g sucrose (available online from catering suppliers) into a foam.

Shake all the ingredients (minus the salt air). Pour into a whisky glass, ideally flared at the top. Spoon the foam over carefully.

‘I love to promote national flavours & ingredients to my customers,’ says Clark, ‘something I feel this drink perfectly captures.’

Order your Salt Air Naranjilla Margarita on the terrace, the perfect place to enjoy this sundowner, as the DJ goes about his work.


Images by Alex Zuñiga

Clark’s Insider’s Guide to San José

Place to stay
Aloft San José

Place to relax
Manuel Antonio National Park

Place to lounge
Club Unión

Place to Dance
Castro’s Bar y Discotheque

Place to shop
Multiplaza / Avenida Escazú

Place to visit
Museo de Jade and Museo del Oro Precolombino

Place to see
Poás Volcano National Park