Cocktails make a comeback (not that they ever left)

Cocktails make a comeback (not that they ever left)

Mon 13 Sep 2021 3:49 PM

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)





Signature cocktails


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

10 euro



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.



Bartender: Daniele Cristellon. Ph. Veronica Gaido






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

Glass: Cup

10 euro



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!



Bartenders: Michel Granpasso Orlando, Valerio Cecchetelli + Arianna Corsetti. Ph. Veronica Gaido





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


Technique: Build

Glass: Old Fashioned

15 euro



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.



Bartenders: Nico Priori + Arianna Valeriani. Ph. Veronica Gaido


Related articles


Best rooftop bars in Florence

Everyone loves a good rooftop bar, especially when temperatures spiral and we hunt down the faintest of breezes and the most fabulous of drinks. Here’s our round-up in Florence.  Stylish ...


Cocktails with a view at Villa San Michele

Indulge in the finest drinks in the finest surroundings at this Belmond property near Florence.


Ottone: Italian cooking in the neighbourhood

A word of advice to restaurant goers: head outside the city centre and into the residential neighbourhoods for some quality nosh. Ottone is just around the corner from piazza Beccaria ...