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Photo from Tragos Mágicos, 1955

Santiago “Pichín” Policastro


Dean of Argentine bartenders, author of Tragos Mágicos

Born in Buenos Aires to Italian immigrant parents, Policastro worked as a barman from the 1930s until 1956. By his zenith in the 1950s, he was a major figure in Argentina’s professional bartender association (AMBA), he owned multiple bars, was a radio personality, and was being recruited to serve as an international cultural ambassador for the country. All of this summarily ended with the right wing coup of 1956, sending Policastro into exile in New York and Venezuela. Policastro’s book “Tragos Mágicos” (1955) is an essential document of the South American interpretation of the American-style Bar at the mid-Century, notable also for its splendid graphic design.

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