Florence Cocktail Week returns with a splash

Not just Negroni: a spirited event series

Mary Gray
April 21, 2017 - 13:00

Mixology will take center stage from May 1 to 7: the second edition of Florence Cocktail Week—the first and only festival of its kind in Italy— will be served, straight up, in 16 Florentine bars.

Participating venue MAD – Souls & Spirits | Ph. Michelle Davis

Building on the inaugural edition’s success, the week will showcase innovative drinks and bartenders in a mix of historic cafes (Gilli 1733, Harry’s Bar), buzzworthy newer arrivals (Rasputin, Gurdulù), and hotel venues (The Fusion Bar – Gallery Hotel Art, Atrium Bar – Four Seasons). In addition to hosting events, each space will present a Signature Cocktail and a special, discounted list designed for the occasion.

Food journalist and PR maven Paola Mencarelli and young Florentine entrepreneur Lorenzo Nigro are the creative duo behind Florence Cocktail Week. Taking inspiration from similar events in London and Paris, the event will highlight knowledgeable bartenders and venues, “distinguish {ing} drinking as a vice from drinking as a pleasurable and cultural experience,” says Nigro.

Lorenzo Nigro and Paola Mencarelli, creators of Florence Cocktail Week

Capping off the festivities will be the Final Contest held at the Mercato Centrale on May 6 (4-7pm). All 16 participating mixologists will face off behind the bar—before a jury—and awards will be given out in both the “Professional” and “Young Talent” categories.

In a new twist at this year’s edition, international bartenders Marian Beke (The Gibson, London) and Hidetsugu Ueno (Bar High Five, Tokyo) will participate in Florence Cocktail Week, offering free admission masterclasses on their areas of expertise. Beke will host two events on May 2 at Locale (via delle Seggiole 12): a “Future Drinking by Marian Beke” seminar from 2.30 to 5.30pm and a “World Class Night” from 8pm forward (reservations required for both events; email [email protected]). At the Four Seasons Atrium Bar (borgo Pinti 99) on May 5, Ueno will run a 3pm masterclass on “Hard Shake, Ice Carving…Japanese Bar Techniques and Philosophy” and will stick around as the night’s featured guest (for reservations, call 055.2626470).

None other than The Florentine will serve as the inspiration for an original red (read?) cocktail by Matteo Di Ienno of Locale. Our namesake drink will make its debut at a private event on May 3.

View a list of all participating venues here and see the detailed events calendar on the official website. Bottoms up!


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