If you’re into drinks you sure know London’s Savoy, known as the founding place of cocktails as we know them today, thanks to notorious Harry Craddock and his bar-tending bible ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’. We felt honored to have the head bartender of Savoy’s American Bar of today, Erik Lorencs, as a guest, a mixologist, who must have won more titles and competitions than anyone else in the industry. He came to teach a couple of southern Italian bartenders through the Bar Tales movement, all of them enjoyed the venue a lot. “When I look back at the bartenders who were working with us in the past, they’re all legends and to follow them I need to work even harter”, he pointed out. “The American Bar is such an iconic place for cocktails, so I need to make sure that this place is still on the map and still recognized as a place to enjoy great drinks.”
Did I mention we just went to Milan? Mainly to see “Priscilla“, THE musical (- for those of you who like musicals and/or the film I can assure: You’ll absolutely LOVE it!! Just make sure you’ll get seats in the first row, so you can jump up when you feel like it and sing and dance along with Gloria Gaynor etc….) but also to check out the fairly new Armani Hotel (Via Manzoni 31): right in the heart of the city, with a lobby that felt a bit like Times Square these days because of the fashion week, a spa on the top floor that made you overlook real Milan in a bathrobe, with your feet in warm pool water, and an inviting bar.
There’s a new place in town: cosy as a private home, sophisticated as a modern art gallery, stylish as a hotel bar in London, Liverpool, Chicago. All of that on 15 square meters, called Speakeasy – like the places that sold alcoholic drinks during the American prohibition. The two owners who’ve seen their share of Bari nightlife (both of them ex-”Stile Libero”-people) are declared cocktail lovers. Order your favorite, as extraordinary as it may be – there’s hardly anything you won’t get here.
“Life is like chocolate”, says our barman Natale Marasciulo: ”The bitterness makes you appreciate the sweetness more…” For this year’s Valentine Dinner at Masseria Torre Coccaro he made up this beautiful bittersweet chocolate apertivo called “Chocolate for Happiness“.
A tasty alternative to the classic Spritz: Hugo, once invented in Bolzano, North of Italy, is becoming more and more popular all around the south. At 300 Mila Lounge, Lecce (according to Gambero Rosso one of the 30 BEST aperitivo bars in ITALY; Via 140° Reg. Fanteria, Tel. 0832288383) it’s one of the top sellers, especially in the winter, since it’s a bit sweeter and not quite as strong as the Campari or Aperol Spritz. Put ice cubes in a glass, add the juice of 1/2 lime, then 2 cl of elder liquor. Pick a couple of fresh mint leves and squeeze them beside the ice cubes. Add Bellavista or any kind of dry Prosecco, according to your taste.
Here’s how you prepare one of the most beautiful and impressive cocktail decorations: Cutting a rose out of a strawberry. Seen at Palazzo Personè, Lecce, right beside the famous Basilica Santa Croce (Via Umberto I, no. 5). “All you need are strawberries of a certain size”, says Andrea, the bar chef. Insert a long wooden stick from the bottom side. Cut tiny carvings like slices into the fresh fruit, as shown in the video, without removing the green stem part. Start from the bottom, finish on top.