Quick take: The first edition of Venice Cocktail runs from 13 to 19 December and features drink specials with at least 26 bars, masterclasses and more.
While I mainly focus on France around here, I do like to share my drinks discoveries from around the world, too. I’ve been taste-testing at a lot of Italian cocktail bars recently and sharing my favorites. Next up on my Italy explorations is Venice. While its charming canals and stunning scenery is reason enough to go, I’m also a fan of its biennale. But, now, there’s one more reason to go: Venice Cocktail Week! Instead of my usual after-the-fact coverage, I thought this was worthy of a heads up should you feel like a spontaneous trip to Italy.
Much like many of the other big cocktail weeks, Venice will welcome thirsty locals and travellers for seven days to promote the city’s drinks culture in historic cafes, cocktail bars and hotel lounges. Venues will offer free masterclasses in the afternoon and in the evenings the bars will offer special cocktail menus that include signature drinks, winter warmers, twists on spritz, and a ‘made in Italy’ option featuring a local product.
I had the pleasure of meeting the event’s Founder & Creative Director, Paola Mencarelli, recently in Florence, where she has been organising a cocktail week for the last six years. It’s been touch and go for these kinds of events, given the Covid-19 pandemic, but she is a driving force and says “In this extraordinary year, we have not given up, and we have decided to double up by bringing our Cocktail Week format to Venice. It will be an unusual edition for this event, our first ever event in winter, but we will warm up this splendid city of art and culture at the sound of shakers and cocktails.”
If you can’t make it in person, you can follow along virtually as I head down to cover the event and find my favorite bars to share with you for when you can make it to this amazing city. For more information on the cocktail week, check their website.
As of the date of writing this, participating Venice cocktail bars include:
Alchemia, Ca’ di Dio
Amo, Fondaco dei Tedeschi
Arts Bar, The St. Regis Venice
Bar Gabbiano, Cipriani, A Belmond Hotel, Venice
Bar Longhi, The Gritti Palace
Blue Bar, Hotel Excelsior
Caffè Baglioni, Baglioni Hotel Luna
ChicBar, Taverna La Fenice
Bar Dandolo, Hotel Danieli
Excess Venice Cocktail Food & Garden
Experimental Cocktail Club, Il Palazzo Experimental
Il Caravellino, Hotel Saturnia & International
Londrabar, Hotel Londra Palace
Palazzina The Bar, Palazzina Grassi
San Giorgio Cafè
Tarnowska’s American Bar
The Bar, Aman Venice
Time Social Bar
Skyline Rooftop Bar
Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
Photo credit cocktails: @andrea_dilorenzo
Photo credit Paola Mencarelli @veronica_gaido