You’d be forgiven to think that cocktails and Ibiza go together like Mojitos and beach bars. But on the cusp of a fresh, new season, Santa Gertrudis ‘eatery and drinkery’ Overall Ibiza is ready to – quite literally – shake things up on the island’s culinary scene.
Located at the heart of the island, ‘the village’ – as the locals call it – has a well-established reputation as a hotspot for foodies. Just a short stroll from the bustling church square, hidden behind an inconspicuous exterior that betrays the vibrant universe of flavours that lies within, you will find Overall.
But when you stroll inside – possibly lured by the tempting aromas of freshly smoked meats or the sight of a colourful cocktail floating past on a tray – you are not just walking into Ibiza’s latest hip hangout. You are entering the lifelong dream and passion project of its owners, Mónica and Jorge.
“We’ve been dreaming about something like this since… forever!” Jorge tells us. “Everything you find on the menu, every tool or trinket you see on the shelves, is a memento from the places we have lived and worked.”
Lived and worked they have all over the world, unafraid to follow their instincts and culinary curiosity. Originally from Colombia, Mónica, whose family moved to Spain when she was very young, met Jorge during their school days in Galicia. After completing their studies – Jorge trained as a graphic designer, while Mónica honed her cooking skills in some of Spain’s most famous culinary regions – the couple moved to London together.
It was there that Jorge began to pursue his passion for mixology in earnest. He explains, “I started to work in hospitality in Spain when I was 16, making classic holiday cocktails like Mojitos and Caipirinhas. At the time I didn’t even know those were cocktails!
“My real education in F&B began in London, where I started as a ‘bar back’. I didn’t have a word of English, but I was working 18 hours a day behind the bar. At home, I would watch mixology videos and experiment with spirits. After three years, I became head bartender. Having passion, being an absolute freak about my craft, and drinking a lot of cocktails got me there!”
Mónica adds, “But this is what we both do – when we have a free day, we go to restaurants or cocktail bars and we spend all our money on drinks and food! We watch the people, we watch how the waiter is serving the guests and how they plate up the food… when you have passion, learning is a pleasure.”
Indeed, getting their own project off the ground during one of the most challenging times the gastronomy industry has faced has been a steep learning curve. After falling in love with the space that now houses Overall – a former art gallery – they completely gutted and redesigned it from scratch.
Mónica says, “One of the only things we kept from the original design are two concrete pillars. The other day a girl came in, and she told us that she had decorated them herself by hand. It was a long time ago and she was so happy to see we kept them, because to her, they are an homage to her parents – one represents her mother, the other her father. It’s such a nice story.”
Overall is a real labour of love, down to the very smallest details. From the colourful walls adorned with geometric shapes hand-painted by Jorge to the beautiful yellow velvet chairs that add a retro lounge vibe, every last centimetre of bar space has been meticulously planned out to make room for the special equipment the couple imported to create the best possible food and cocktails.
These include a completely customisable bar station, the Tayer Series’ trademark hexagon system created by Alex Kratena and Monica Berg in collaboration with Behind Bars for their renowned London bar Tayer & Elementary, as well as a special ice-making machine from China.
“Good quality ice is very important, because it is part of your drink.” Jorge explains. But that’s not where it ends. With sharp knives and an electric saw, the cocktail obsessive transforms the crystal-clear blocks of ice into little pieces of art. Islanders who need high quality, stylised cubes for their own venue or event can order them at Overall.
The selection of tools you see hanging on the walls at Overall are not necessarily what you would expect from an Ibiza cocktail bar, but then the whole concept goes against the boho chic aesthetic that the island does so well. With graffitied walls and Hip-Hop beats pumping from the speakers, Overall’s vibe is refreshingly different. “We don’t follow any trends, we just do what we love,” says Mónica.
What inspired them when dreaming up the concept for this cool, relaxed watering hole and kitchen? It all comes down to family. “We chose the name ‘Overall’ because it’s a word my grandmother used to say a lot,” explains Mónica. “In Colombia, we use a lot of American words. And we are workers, so we wear overalls. Our uniform is a homage to my grandma.”
This down-to-earth spirit is reflected everywhere. Both Mónica and Jorge have impressive gastronomical CVs, but neither of them like to name-drop. Likewise, you won’t find any bottles adorned with big name brands behind the bar. Instead, vintage medicine bottles line the shelves, labelled with intriguing inscriptions such as ‘Wagyu Beef’, ‘Nutella’, or ‘Dorito’. They contain homemade shrubs, distillations and flavour extractions created with a special rotary evaporator machine Jorge brought over from Germany.
Looking like something out of chemistry lab, the fancy piece of equipment can extract the natural, intense aromas from almost any dry or wet ingredient – and from fresh strawberries to tree bark and YES, Dorito corn chips, Jorge uses it on a daily basis to come up with new flavour combinations you won’t find anywhere else on the island.
With our eyes popping out of our heads, it’s time to try one of the master mixologist’s creations ourselves: La Pepa Pagesa: an unusual, sweet and sour mix that combines strawberry aromas with celery, white pepper, ginger, gin and a splash of tonic water.
After extracting the flavour from the fruit with his distillation machine, Jorge blended the pulp with honey and ginger before dehydrating it to create a wafer-thin biscuit that is now balancing on the top of our cocktail glass. Taking a bite will, sip by sip, alter the flavour of the drink – while adding an unexpected spicy kick!
“We use everything, nothing gets thrown away,” Jorge explains. “I buy a big bunch of ingredients only once a week. I preserve the flavours through distillation, I make a shrub or I pickle them. This way, all my ingredients have got a long shelf life, too.”
Sustainability in both their bar and kitchen is hugely important to Jorge and Mónica. He says, “What we want to represent here is the preservation of flavours. The link between the bar and the kitchen is the shelf you see in the middle, where concoctions such as fermentations like aerobic and anaerobic fermented foods get stored. Even the smoke from the meats Mónica prepares in the kitchen, you can preserve.”
And this is exactly how the cocktail creative came up with the intriguing ‘Wagyu Beef’ distillation we spotted earlier. Using the fat from the brisket his wife was cooking, he infused it with Galician Orujo brandy before adding Hickory wood essence for a smoky effect. “Nothing gets wasted,” Jorge says.
There are little to no limits to his imagination, as becomes evident when perusing Overall’s ever-changing cocktail and food menus. And while there are a few staples you will find year-round, Jorge loves to mix up a bespoke concoction according to his guests’ preferences. Prop up at the bar and tell him your favourite aromas – and he will come up with your very own cocktail!
We try another of his regular concoctions, the potent and citrussy ‘M’. Its fluorescent yellow colour hints at the drink’s strength. “Your body will be immune to anything after this,” Jorge laughs. “Those who know, know… “
A slightly more mellow version of this zesty powerhouse cocktail, the ‘M of Mules’, is available for takeaway – one of several mixology creations sold in 330ml beer bottles. The idea is to offer cocktail fiends a signature Overall tipple to enjoy at home, or wherever else the mood takes them!
The ‘Eva Smith’ is one of these delectable options, combining Granny Smith apple with vodka, a blend of sherry wines, and soda. Fresh and citrusy, with the added saltiness of the sherry, it goes down all too easy. Coming back to Overall’s ‘no waste’ policy, Mónica has turned the leftovers from the most recent batch into alcoholic ice cream – a creamy, apple-flavoured popsicle with a punch!
Like the cocktail menu, you will find these kinds of quirky surprises amidst Overall’s staple dishes, too, with the food offering changing depending on which ingredients are in season – and capture Mónica’s imagination.
“We have four or five things that are always on the menu, and when I see something special at the butcher’s or some vegetables that I love, I will come up with a ‘sugerencia’ special dish,” she says. “The ‘arepas’ are one of our signature plates – something traditional from my culture, but also traditional from my home. How I cook them is how my grandma and my mum showed me. And I do everything with love.”
If looking at Overall’s drool-worthy Instagram posts whets your appetite, then smelling the aromas that come from Mónica’s specially imported Timberline smoker in real life will make it impossible to resist a bite. The talented chef has a passion for meat, and our jaws drop when she pulls out a giant slab of thick-crusted, melt-in-your-mouth beef brisket for us to try that has been smoked somewhere between 12-15 hours.
“Sometimes when we smoke overnight, she turns off the extraction fan. When we come in the next morning, it looks like Cypress Hill has been locked inside with the amount of smoke that comes through the doors,” laughs Jorge. “The whole place smells delicious – we like it!”
Dedicated to using fresh, local produce, you will also find lighter bites, such as ‘salpicón’ corn tortillas topped with smoked fish, prawns and vegetables, Nashville-style crunchy chicken fillets served on a ‘slaw’ cabbage salad with spicy Korean marmalade and traditional ‘arepa’ dough, and smoked vegetables.
Minds blown, appetites sated and a little bit tipsy, our first visit to Overall has been a revelation. As they see us out of the door, Mónica says, “I see Overall like my house. I don’t work here, I take care of my guests as if they were in my home.” Adds Jorge, “We are working class people, fighting for our dreams while wearing overalls.”
And for Ibiza foodies with an appetite for craft cocktails and tasty bites, Overall Ibiza is indeed, a dream come true!
Overall Ibiza is located at Passeig de Santa Gertrudis n11, Local 3, 07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera and open from Tuesday – Thursday between 13:00-17:00 & 20:00-22:30, and Friday – Sunday 13:00-17:00. To stay up to date, follow on Facebook and Instagram or head to www.overallibiza.com.