Quality mixology returns as Florence Cocktail Week resumes a weeklong smorgasbord of shaking from September 20 to 26. A mainstay on the city’s social scene, Paola Mencarelli organized the first showcase focused on fine drinks in 2016. Since then, FCW has gone from strength to strength, and now from region to region as the showcase ventures to Venice later in the year (December 13-19).
“This year we’re organizing a cocktail week that aims to fly the flag for the sector’s recovery, which has been hit so hard by the pandemic,” Mencarelli explains. “Times are tough, but we’re doing everything we can to give a blast of positive energy to the Tuscan and Italian bar industry. We’ve also decided to double the format by bringing our Cocktail Week to Venice too. It’ll be a bit of a different event, given that it takes place in December, but we’ll bring this stunning city of art and culture to life with the sound of shakers.”
This fifth Florence Cocktail Week involves bars that took part in previous editions, all strictly in compliance with Covid-19 legislation. As in 2020, Florence’s bars will be divided into hotel bar, cocktail bar and high volume bar categories, and each will present a dedicated cocktail list for the event with bartenders displaying all their verve and creativity. Cultural and recreational events are in abundance too, from masterclasses to evenings centred on drinks sponsors, and even an awards ceremony for the winning bartenders and bars, including Best Signature Cocktail FCW21. Dining and Pizza with the Spirits makes a comeback for the second year running as chefs give centreplace to the stronger stuff in their recipes and pizzas, presenting them on restaurant menus and during themed nights during the week. Plus, a book has been published that features the 143 signature cocktails that have been crafted throughout the event’s history to date.
Florence Cocktail Week 2021: participating bars in Florence
Hotel bars: Angel Roofbar & Dining @Hotel Calimala; Atrium Bar @Four Seasons Florence; Bar Mediceo @Villa La Massa; Caffè Cibreo @Helvetia & Bristol Firenze; Caffè dell’Oro @Portrait Firenze; Divina Terrazza Rooftop Bar @Grand Hotel Cavour; Empireo @Plaza Hotel Lucchesi; Harry’s Bar The Garden @Sina Villa Medici; Horto Convento; Il Chiostrino @Villa San Michele; Irene Firenze @Hotel Savoy; La Terrazza @Grand Hotel Minerva; La Terrazza Rooftop Bar @Continental Hotel; Santa Garden @Villa Cora; Picteau Cocktail Bar @Hotel Lungarno; Winter Garden Bar @The St. Regis Florence
High volume bars: Fuk; Dome; Floreal; Gesto; Habitat; Inferno; MAD – Souls & Spirits; Move On; PanicAle; Rex; Strizzi Garden; Urbano; Viktoria Lounge Bar
Cocktail bars: Bitter Bar; Cafe 19.26; Caffè Concerto Paszkowski; Ditta Artigianale Oltrarno; Djaria American Bar; Fake Firenze; Gilli 1733; Gunè; Harry’s Bar; La Ménagere; La Petite; Largo9; Locale; Rasputin; Rivoire; Santa Cocktail Club
Future bar: Seeds (new entry)
Capriccio N°5 @Fake Firenze
Ph. Andrea Di Lorenzo
3 cl Ginarte Premium Dry Gin
1.5 cl Bitter Fusetti
3 cl lime juice
2.25 cl grilled pineapple syrup
1 spoon sugar syrup
3 foamer drops
Rosemary scent spray
Technique: Shake and strain
Glass: Cocktail cup
Short and sweet on the palate, followed by the refreshing citrus notes of the lime and the bitterish part from the Bitter Fusetti, which blends well with the Ginarte botanicals, giving a balsamic bitter flavour that doesn’t dominate and is balanced by the fruity sweetness of the pineapple syrup. The rosemary spray creates a fresh and herbaceous juxtaposition with the sweet opening in the mouth. The edible garnish makes the most of the contrast between the sweet caramel and the Bitter Fusetti.
Message in a Bottle @PanicAle
Ph. Andrea Di Lorenzo
3 cl Montenegro Amaro
6 cl Nardini Grappa Extrafina
0.75 cl Campari
Mist of PanicAle exotic blend
Technique: Stir and strain
An anytime cocktail with a flavour that changes. This is a drink that you can alter to your tastes and every sip yields a new surprise. The eclectic recipe for Montenegro is replaced with a small addition of Campari, which blend together in the elegance of Grappa Extra Fina by Nardini. The end result is an enjoyable complex bouquet accentuated by the exotic scent of the accompanying mist. Don’t be shy: open the bottle and start the journey!
Old “Tom” Fashioned @Angel Roofbar & Dining – Hotel Calimala
Ph. Andrea Di Lorenzo
3 cl Winestillery Copper Strength London Dry Gin
3 cl Winestillery Old Tom Gin
1 cl Winestillery Tuscan Bitter
0.5 cl Winestillery Slow Gin
1.5 cl Oleo Saccharum
Glass: Old Fashioned
Jump on this journey into Tuscan flavours, which takes the most traditional of cocktails and dresses it up in a refreshing and refined look with citrus notes. Add depth and silkiness and you have an unexpected elegant drink that goes down nicely.