A Spirited Christmas in Venice
The 1st edition of Venice Cocktail Week is coming to Venice from 13th to 19th December 2021!
A week of meetings, master classes and evening events dedicated to the world of cocktails, with internationally renowned guests, in the best 26 cocktail bars in Venice.
Conceived and created by Paola Mencarelli, Italian food lover and food writer, who brought Florence Cocktail Week to Florence in 2016, shaping the international format to fit her beautiful city.
Now in 2021 she has decided to bring the same format to Venice with the Venice Cocktail Week, with the aim of spreading the culture of mixology and good drinking even here, where we are not shy when it comes down to alcohol.
So, for seven straight days, each of the 26 Venetian cocktail bars selected will present an Exclusive #VCW21 Cocktail List at a reduced price.
All people have to do is go to the cocktail bar of their choice and taste the drink their prefer.
Pretty simple, right?
From my part I will sacrifice myself in the name of research and will try to go to each one of the cocktail bars on the list to try as many drinks as I can, thanks to 2nightVenezia .
I won’t be alone on this daring mission: I will be joined by my friend Romena Brugnerotto of RomInVenice and of course we will try to bring you some live streaming of our experiences. More about this later in the post!
But first of all, why are cocktails so popular? What is the irresistible charm of mixology?
Why are cocktails so popular?
A research by Cellar Trends says that nearly 9 out of 10 young consumers drink cocktails when they go out at night. Maybe the 1%, who doesn’t drink, is the designated driver.
What is certain, according to the research, is that cocktails are increasingly popular at the expense of wine and beer. Welcome to the colourful world of mixology, where cocktails, it seems, simply make you sexier.
Consequently, it is all about looking for the best bar to drink, finding the best barman to make friends with, so to get tips on the right cocktails of the moment, discovering the label that makes us look better and the one you really like and want to keep at home. Thanks to the spread of mixology culture at all latitudes – even in Asia and the Middle East – there are new exciting combinations, but also real trends.
But we have to make a distinction first!
Mixology vs. Bartending
These are two terms that have now become commonplace, both for those who work in the sector and for those who are a simple lovers of drinks which comes with straws and umbrellas. But what does mixology actually consist of and what is bartending? What are the differences?
Mixology, or the art of mixed drinking, is based on a delicate balance between all the ingredients, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, which must be chosen carefully and with care.
The study of the history, techniques and products to be used is important, but it is essential not to forget that every drink tells a story. Today’s modern cocktail alchemists are called mixologists precisely because of their ability to combine the basic notions of the history of mixing with new cutting-edge techniques. In fact, a mixologist combines his knowledge of preparation of the pillars of blending, with the study of spirits to create innovative cocktails, in step with trends, without ever forgetting the most sought-after techniques.
A mixologist not only studies the drink recipes and the possible interactions with other ingredients (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) but also how they appear on the palate of those who sip them. Creating the right mix between sweet and bitter, sour or sugary. Finding the right combination or, even better, the perfect combination, of the elements making each drink unique and different, is a real art.
Elegant movements, careful measurement of the ingredients and a refined, fascinating and exhaustive explanation of what you are going to taste, this is Bartending. But unlike mixology, it tends to enhance the consumer experience. So what is bartending?
Bartenders generally have excellent knowledge of the techniques as well as of the products they serve to their customers. This professional figure works using the techniques of American bartending. The bartender is also a showman who with his movements and his technique fascinates the audience while preparing a cocktail or a long drink. In the bartending cartel, it is important to underline that there are also “flair bartenders”, i.e. those who prepare drinks with a pinch of inspiration in their acrobatic movements.
Now we got to understand what mixology and bartending are, let’s get to grip with some cocktail basics.
How many times did you happen to hear your favourite cocktail associated with terms you didn’t know exist?
It happens to everyone; especially if you are not an expert in mixology, so let’s find out what the categories of cocktails are and the great families in which they are divided.
Drinks are classified by function, by quantity and by families.
Classified by function:
– pre-dinner or aperitifs
– after dinner and all time cocktail
– long drinks or thirst quenchers
Classified by quantity:
– short drink: between 6 and 9 cl
– medium drink: between 10 and 12 cl
– long drink: over 12 cl
Classified by family
This family includes thirst-quenching medium and long drinks that are characterized by the presence of pieces of fresh fruit and crushed ice. The cocktail is then completed with a good dose of distillate, liqueur or sparkling wine and in some cases even fruit syrup or sugar. These drinks should be served with straws and a spoon.
This group includes medium drinks and all day cocktails in which lemon juice and grenadine or orgeat syrup are added to the alcohol base – which is often brandy. This type of cocktail is prepared by shaking the ingredients in the shaker and served in a tumbler glass filled with ice, diluting with seltzer.
The term fizz indicates a series of thirst-quenching long drinks consisting of distillate, lime (or lemon) juice, sugar syrup and soda. The ingredients are shaken in the shaker and the cocktail is served in a tumbler glass with ice.
This category includes those thirst-quenching medium and long drinks that are made in the blender and are composed of spirits, fruit, citrus fruit juice, aromatic liqueurs, syrups, sugar and lots of ice. In the end the cocktail will have a very pleasant consistency, similar to that of a light slush.
A family of hot short drinks that are prepared with a distillate or liqueur diluted in boiling water, enriched with spices, citrus peel and sugar. These drinks should be served in small glasses with handles.
This group includes the “relatives” of the Mojito. This kind of cocktail is in fact very similar, with the big difference that in this case the ingredients are shaken in the shaker.
One of the most famous drink families ever. The must-have ingredients to prepare these cocktails are lime in pieces and sugar. They have Caribbean origin and a limited alcohol content, which makes them thirst quenching and also suitable for high temperatures.
Similar to the crushed ones, these drinks are prepared in the glass with ice in pieces and a light spirit based on lime (or lemon) and crushed sugar. Compared to the crushed ones, however, they are less sweet, prepared with gin and lengthened with soda.
A family of pre-dinners and thirst-quenching long drinks, which include cocktails prepared in large quantities and served in large jugs. They are made with a base of distillate and adjuvant fresh fruit, sugar, lemon and spices.
This category brings together medium drinks for aperitifs and all time cocktails that are made with distillate, lemon juice and sugar syrup. Their characteristic is that they have a taste that is neither sweet nor sour. They are served filtered or with ice in a goblet glass.
This family includes all those thirst-quenching mediums and long drinks that are perfect for an aperitif because they are prepared by combining fruit pulp or nectar and sparkling wine. Light and refined cocktails, relatives of the Spritz.
Oh boy, looks like Romena and I will have lots of studying to do!
How does Venice Cocktail Week work then?
From 13th to 19th December 2021, 26 Venetian selected cocktail bars will present an Exclusive #VCW21 Cocktail List at a reduced price.
All people have to do is get themselves to the cocktail bar of their choice and taste the drink their prefer.
Each bar will have Four Types of cocktails
One Exclusive Signature Cocktail #VCW21
One Warm winter cocktail
One Twist on Spritz
One cocktail RiEsco (I can drink Italian) with Made in Italy products
During the week there will be also various events: educational master classes with national and international guests; fun and cultural meeting, like book presentations addressed to the curious and passionate; evening events, open to all with internationally renowned guests.
May events will be free but will require booking.
For a list of all events and how to book, please click on the link.
On a cocktail discovery mission
So, what are Romena and I planning to do during this incredible event?
Quite simply: to run a Pre-Christmas Cocktail marathon and attempt to visit each one of the cocktail bars on the list to try as many cocktails as we physically can.
Of course, the plan is to live stream some of the events and also post as many photos and videos as we can on our social medias, to record for posterity our incredible efforts.
Well, how could we call ourselves Venice bloggers, if we did not try out things for our readers first hand?
It is going to be a pretty Spirited Christmas this year in Venice!
Cheers or better even, Cin Cin!!
The hashtags: #venicecocktailweek #vcw2021 #signaturecocktail #venice #cocktails0