Italy shines in the 2021 World’s 50 Best Bars ranking

The awards ceremony of the World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 was held on the 7th of December in London. The 13th edition of the event, which it classifies and rewards the best cocktail bars in the world, voted by a jury made up of over 600 professionals including journalists, bartenders and leading figures in the food and beverage industry, was particularly significant, as it came at the end of a critical period for the world of catering and hospitality in general, including closures, limitations to international travels and a drastic decline in customers arrival. The Content Editor of The World’s 50 Best Bars, Mark Sansom, was therefore keen to underline the “resilience and sense of communion” shown by the locals, while Elisa Gregori, International Business Unit Director of Perrier – main sponsor of the event – placed the emphasis on the  fact that the sector “has shown incredible resilience and has learned to adapt to local restrictions”.



Italy has excellently defended its illustrious tradition in the field of signature drinks and mixology, placing itself after Singapore, China (the Asian city-state and the former celestial empire both six addresses on the list), USA, Australia , Mexico (four each) and Spain (first nation in Europe with four venues, including the third classified, the Paradise of Barcelona) thanks to its three cocktail bars, the same number as the United Kingdom, the true triumph of this’ year with the London Connaught Bar repeating the first place of 2020, also winning the title of best bar in the old continent, and the Tayēr + Elementary, also in London, in second position.


London Connaught Bar Team : Giorgio Bargiani, Ago Perrone, Maura Milia

Specifically, it is the Drink Kong of Rome (creature of the king of the Capitoline bartenders Patrick Pistolesi, with an atmosphere between 80s sci-fi and a refined nightclub, with lighting with neon tubes and the oriental appeal of the Japanese room), from the Milanese 1930 (speakeasy of the duo Flavio Angiolillo-Marco Russo, inspired in all respects by the clandestine haunts where, in the United States, people gathered to drink in the times of prohibitionism, the address is secret, hidden by an anonymous door, and to find it you have to rely only on the word of mouth of the “initiates”) and about Camparino, the historic sign of social and cultural gathering of Milan, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II; if the first one has dropped from 45th place in 2020 to the current 19th, the latter has gained five positions compared to the past year and is now 20th, while the 3rd one, new entry in the list, is on the 27th position.


Drink Kong, 1930, Camparino in Galleria


Actually, we also find a bit of Belpaese on the top of the podium, the Connaught team, the bar of the homonymous five-star luxury hotel in Mayfair, is led by Agostino Perrone, Giorgio Bargiani and Maura Milia, respectively Director of Mixology, Head Mixologist and Bar Manager, architects of a success that it has its flagship in the modern reinterpretation of the classic Martini cocktail, prepared by expert bartenders using a trolley that it moves from table to table. Ad hoc awards then it has assigned , among others, to the Attaboy of New York, winner of the Rémy Martin Legend of The List (a special prize that can be obtained only once, awarded to the venue that showed greater consistency in the “performances” in the ‘span of the 13 editions of the World’s 50 Best Bars), the President of Buenos Aires (Nikka Highest Climber), the Re di Sydney (Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award), the Cardiff Lab 22 (Siete Misterios Best Cocktail Menu) and the Hanky ​​Panky of Mexico City, whose debut in the ranking at 12th position earned him the Disaronno Highest New Entry.




Chef in Town: Ronco Calino Franciacorta, an oasis for wine lovers.

“If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed will go to the mountain”. That’s how we have reinvented ourselves because of Covid, and that’s what Milano Wine Affair did to introduce one of its customers, Ronco Calino Franciacorta. Located between Milan and Verona, it has been a land for winemaking for a long time. It is an oasis of peace where wine is produced with the method of secondary fermentation in the bottle. 

The Ronco Calino winery, surrounded by ten hectares of organic vineyard, produces an accurate selection of Franciacorta: the iconic Brut, the textured Satèn, the particular Rosè Radijan, the classic Millesimato, and the Nature. Among the rarities, we can find mighty wines, aged for over ten years on the lees, including Sinfonia n.13, Centoventi, Càlinos. These are all bottles to celebrate important events, enclosed in precious caskets. 

Milano Wine Affair leads us, remotely, to discover Ronco Calino’s secrets, taking us to the cellar where wine is aged in wood barrels that give additional peculiarities to the grapes (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir).



It is a full-fledged visit, surrounded by a verdant hilly landscape, which we hope to see first-hand soon. Today the experience entertains us with quizzes and a live wine tasting of Ronco Calino Franciacorta Satèn, the pride of the winery. 

You can immediately notice its pale yellow color with greenish hues and its fine and elegant effervescence. You can smell floral aromas of white flowers, orange blossoms, and jasmine. At first taste, you perceive notes of fresh and young fruit, unripe pear and apple. At the second taste, the aftertaste becomes creamy, of butter, brioche, bread crust. However, this creaminess does not come from sugars because Ronco Calino Franciacorta is not a sweet wine, but a Brut. The creaminess results from a perfect balance between hard and soft parts; it is the proportion between acidity and sapidity and sweet notes. 


Ronco Calino Franciacorta Satèn is the perfect sparkling wine because it goes well with everything; it is easy to match, pleasant for all palates, and with a particular touch given by the aging in French oak barrels. Well then, enjoy your wine tasting! 

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: 5 Italian terroirs among wines, seas, lakes

There are places, whose lands, well delimited by the rules of nature, pushed by their background, give life to products of which wine, today more than ever, is the absolute protagonist: terroir.

This term, whose meaning is getting richer and richer, does not directly refer to the climatic connotations insisting on certain parts of the territory or the type of land where the vineyard is located. It involves, rather, the human aspect meant as history, culture, and tradition.

Here is a fascinating and agile guide that touches our peninsula in every cardinal point, suggested by Andrea Frizzarin, well-known Food and Beverage Manager, an expert in territory and eco gastronomy.

LIGURIA

This breathtaking strip of land enclosed between the Apennines and the sea, dotted by mountains and hills, offers a great variety of flavors while keeping traditions in wine. When talking about Liguria, it is necessary to pay attention to Rosato ‘Mea Rosa’ of Lunae winery. It is a rose wine produced with Vermentino Nero grapes, a grape that is almost forgotten and is vinified as rose wine.

The color is the result of the cold maceration for about four hours. The city of Luni, the last strip of land before Tuscany, is still wrapped by its history. In ancient times has been important for different cultures. They find expression, in our days, through the presence of native varieties typically territorial.

TRENTINO ALTO ADIGE – LAKE LEVICO

Lake Levico is for those who love spending time in a pleasant and mysterious atmosphere at the same time, a turquoise pearl located in Trentino Alto Adige. It is enough to hear the region’s name to have the products’ guarantee. The sparkling wine TrentoDoc is the pride of these areas. Only Trentino grapes are used, and they are pampered through a harvest by hand followed by the winery’s process, handed down from generation to generation. The wine worthy of note for its particular aging is Cantina Romanese’s Lagorai TrentoDoc Riserva. Every single bottle is aged for almost two years in the depths of Lake Levico. Here it acquires a very particular aroma.

UMBRIA – LAKE CORBARA

From a lake to another, we meet a place that requires a careful observer to immerse ourselves in a location that seems to have no time, such as the magnificent Umbria. In recent decades has had a considerable development that has led it to be a true oasis of cultural interests and not only. The protagonist of this evolution was also the Lake of Corbara. The River Tiber’s waters are thrown, softened by a series of environmental transformations: a beautiful ecosystem, with protected areas such as the Tiber River Park. The daughter of this land is the Barberini winery and its vines that dominate the Lake. Here the harvest has a slow rhythm. It is said that here wine is an uncompromising identity. The symbolic wine, for its name and history, is the Orvieto Classico Superiore Luigi e Giovanna 2012. It has an intense golden color with strong fruity scents.

PUGLIA – BETWEEN BARI AND TARANTO

Every place in this region is a real paradise. Puglia is among the most desired of our beautiful country. Valle d’Itria, between Bari, Brindisi, and Taranto, is a focal point where it is possible to see the various clothes in this region can wear. Right here, wine lovers meet La Verdeca, a grape variety that owes its name to the greenish color of its berries; its wines offer an olfactory range from flowers to citrus fruits and exotic fruits such as pineapple. Among the most renowned ones, there is Curtirussi Verdeca of Mocavero winery, great exporters of this wine jewel having a fresh and light taste.

CALABRIA – IONIC COAST

“L’amuri è come l’acqua: in calata va, in chianata no”: love is like water: it goes downhill but not uphill. We often use proverbs to give an idea of the popular culture of a land. That explains humanity and historical traditions. Calabria and wine are an assured match, especially if we consider the excellence of one of the most important grapes of the region: Gaglioppo, an autochthonous black berried grape mainly spread in the coastal areas, it is the most common variety in Calabria, and we find it in all red wines, the most significant of which is Cirò red. The Calabrian climate and the peculiarity of the arid soil represent the necessary conditions for this wine. It has an early maturation and high resistance.

The love for this land gave birth to Cantina Ceraudo, which welcomes those who cross the threshold of Contrada Dattilo with the inscription <<Happy is the one who makes others happy>>. It is a sentence that goes beyond the passion for wine and binds everyone to reflect on something that is not only drunk but lived.

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: Foss Marai, the leading winery in the production of sparkling wine and its strength

They call it <<heroic viticulture>> and Carlo Biasotto, founder of Foss Marai winery, tells it like this:

“We were children, and our parents used to order us to go and pick the grapes: that was the time to cry because we knew how hard and dangerous the work was.”

Land with a 45-degree slope, no terracing, the need to intervene by hand, limiting the use of machinery that would risk tipping over: this is why the work of winegrowers in Valdobbiadene is called <<heroic>>. The landscape is so suggestive, with hills that weave infinite shades of color, from clover green to fern green, as hard as it is for man to tame it.

It is in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area, today a Unesco World Heritage Site, that Foss Marai wines are born. Thanks to the respect of the “disciplinary regulations of the wines of controlled and guaranteed origin Conegliano Valdobbiadene – Prosecco” aimed at the full protection of prosecco, a wine symbol of Made in Italy quality, without forcing the plants and the cultivation system.

The Biasotto family is formed by Carlo, Adriana, and their children Andrea, Cristiana, and Umberto. They continue the tradition of respect for the territory: the company’s DNA, founded in 1986.

It is an agricultural model where the secret is know-how, craftsmanship, precision, and care with which complex selective and productive processes are managed. These processes are often long because they are based on manual labor and therefore expensive: any compromise would ruin the outcome’s quality.

In the use of autochthonous and indigenous yeasts of prosecco, especially the DOCG territory lies their strong point.

An accurate selection is done by the external state of grapes, called <<pruina>>. It is a wax that covers the berries. There is a multitude of types, and thanks to the collaboration with the University of Piacenza, a selection of yeasts suitable for alcoholic fermentation has been made: both for base wines, the result of the primary transformation from must to wine, and for fermentation in autoclaves. These yeasts guarantee the uniqueness, typicality, and variety of the grape, and the original aroma is maintained, which would be lost if commercial yeasts were used, giving prevalence to fermentation aromas rather than varietal ones.

Mother yeasts are kept in small chemical vials. Every three/four months the brown part must be renewed, and a small portion of yeast (the white part) is taken, then re-inoculated in a new vial; at a temperature of 35/37 degrees Celsius, growth waited for a week until the yeast colony is in good health. Then the vial is placed in the refrigerator for storage and monitored.

The meticulousness of the process is necessary to make sure there are no bacteria because it is predominant to maintain freshness and vivacity. The pride of Foss Marai, in this step, are the innovative technological tools used: from machines with an infrared laser to “enzymatic” implements for the examination of alcohol and sugar.

While other producers use commercial yeasts, mostly selected by multinationals, often from the Netherlands, Foss Marai has been selecting and working with its yeasts for 20 years, producing 20,000 bottles per day, for a total of about 2 million per year. The result is a particular and unique timbre. In years that are not particularly favorable, it is possible, thanks to the 30 indigenous yeasts, to give the same results as in happier vintages, with the same aromas and scents, reducing to a minimum the gap between one harvest and the next.

Many reflections arise knowing the history of this family, which has put the love for its territory before everything else, which has made life itself become <<work>>. Jean Giono, a French writer, born into a family of Piedmontese origin, would sum up the thought in a sentence, taken from his essay <<Letter to the peasants on poverty and peace>>, written in 1938:

“One cannot know what the work of the peasant is: whether it is plowing, sowing, mowing, or whether it is at the same time eating and drinking fresh food, having children and breathing freely, for all these things are intimately united, and when he does one thing he completes the other. It is all work, and nothing is work in the social sense of the word. It is his life.”

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: MGC, the new lightest Mumm cuvée in the world

Essentiality: this is the aesthetic signature of the MGC cuvée, an acronym for Mumm Grand Cordon.

This is the value that marks our contemporary life.

Maison Mumm reconfirms its role as a pioneer and innovator with MGC, the new cuvée created from a sustainable perspective of 835 grams for a 1 liter of bubbles, the lightest champagne bottle in the world. Ross Lovegrove, an acclaimed and visionary Welsh designer, realizes MGC Mumm in recycled glass, therefore a hand to eco-sustainability. An avant-garde design makes it stylish, essential and expressive, which gives back to the artistic gesture its functional aspiration. No label: logo and gold emblem are directly hot printed on the glass. The unmistakable engraved Cordon Rouge identifies it: it is a red scratch, which instills grit and power telling the strength of pinot noir, Maison’s characteristic grape.

The bottle’s elegance can be noticed thanks to its elongated and slender neck: an aesthetic choice that adapts to the need for accompanying aroma. Finally, the careful passion for quality has determined the use of cork: Mitik Diam, which, among other things, avoids the annoying inconvenience of <>.

A curiosity. Maison Mumm believes so strongly in the urgency of an eco-sustainable perspective and the need to strive for the essential that it invented a new remuage program, adapted to the new MGC cuvée, in both form and content.

Ross Lovegrove

Ross Lovegrove is an artist and industrial designer. His style and designs are instantly recognizable, a mix of technology, material science, and organic intelligence. His work represents the new aesthetic of the 21st century.

Born in 1958 in Cardiff (Wales), Ross Lovegrove graduated with honors in Industrial Design from Manchester Polytechnic in 1980, and in 1983 received his Master of Design from the Royal College of Art in London.

Lovegrove has participated in some projects that have become true icons such as the Walkman for Sony and the Computers for Apple. He has worked on numerous projects for British Airways, Kartell, Cappellini, Hernes; Moroso, Artemide, Driade, Renault, Issey Miyake, Vitra, Tag Heuer, Herman Miller, Japan Airlines, and Toyo Ito Architects in Japan.

His work has been published in numerous magazines and exhibited in prestigious museums worldwide, such as the MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Axis Centre in Japan, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the Design Museum in London.

MGC Mumm Grand Cordon

Pinot Noir, Maison’s signature grape, defines the personality of Mumm Grand Cordon. Representing 45% of the assemblage, it is the engine that offers power and structure in contrast to the freshness and elegance of the Chardonnay (30%). The softness and fruity notes of Pinot Meunier (25%), and reserve wines from five different vintages (up to 30%) are added to the whole, as a guarantee of consistency of style. 30 months of aging.

Refined bubbles of a brilliant straw yellow testify to the elegance and dynamics of the champagne.

Mumm Grand Cordon reveals aromas of yellow tropical fruits, including pineapple, vanilla, and caramel. The taste is round with a precise freshness which testifies the complexity of the wine. The finish is persistent but never sharp.

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

Chef in Town: “Belvedere Vodka,” the luxury vodka for tastings and star recipes.

Two Cocktails recipes to do at home perfect for Valentine’s Day

The most elegant angel of the cinema used to sip it with boredom, touching it with long satin gloves: yes, we are talking about Audrey Hepburn of <<Breakfast at Tiffany’s>> and the cocktail is the <<White Angel>> a mixture of vodka and gin in equal parts. You need a personality to drink it without hesitation, and the weird Holly had plenty of it to spare!

In <<The Blues Brothers>> during the concert at the Palace Hotel, surrounded by police, the boys perform, and the sheriff, played by John Candy, enjoys the show by ordering an <<Orange Whip>>, a mix of dry vodka, amber rum, orange juice, and cream. A show for the palate!

The <<Blonde Atomic>> played by Charlize Theron has launched the <<Lorraine vodka>> an anarchic drink in which add to the cup vodka and ice to taste! For true rebels!

And in the funniest season of the series of all time, <<Peaky Blinders>> a sparkling countess named Petrovna upsets the balance. She enters forcefully in the life of the protagonist, Thomas Shelby, involving him in parties to the sound of vodka and women of dubious morality.

In short, vodka wants to be heard in the cinema in addition to bars, changing tastes and preferences of lovers of fine drinks. But if until now the collective imagination has always remembered vodka as a distillate useful for mixing other ingredients, there is someone who changes its fate: Belvedere Vodka! The first brand in the world to introduce the concept of “terroir” in the world of vodka! It is a concept that fits well with the history of champagne but is new in the vodka distillate.

Belvedere Vodka has the appellative of <<Polska Vodka>>, similar to the DOC extended to wines. They use rye cultivated exclusively in Poland and spring water owned by Belvedere Vodka. They don’t use added sugars and additives.

What makes Belvedere Vodka, not a distillate like any other, odorless and tasteless, is the rye that gives a natural aroma to the liquid. It gives it an aftertaste of white pepper and vanilla, thanks to which it can be also be used as a tasting alcoholic beverage.

Lastly, the package is an elegant transparent bottle that allows seeing the distillate and the three-dimensional effect of the design: the Royal Palace from which it takes its name. Belvedere Vodka is defined as the luxury vodka to be sipped alone or to make your drinks precious.

1 – Miriam’s Cosmopolitan

It is Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite cocktail. In Sex and the City, she orders it at every party. 

The original recipe includes cranberry juice, the American cranberry, a classic vodka’s base, and lime juice.

Miriam’s Cosmopolitan revisited: 

Belvedere Vodka Pure 50ml 

Orange Liqueur 20ml 

Pink Grapefruit Juice 

Ice

Utensils:

1 Shaker (or jar) 

1 Jigger (or cup)

1 Citrus Squeezer (or hand squeezer)

1 Cutting board 

1 Knife 

1 Strainer

One spoon 

1 Potato peeler

Serving glass: Martini Cup

Procedure:

After arranging the station with all the ingredients, it is time to prepare the pink grapefruit juice: cut the grapefruit in half and, with a citrus squeezer, obtain the juice. 

Pour the ingredients into the shaker: first the fresh pink grapefruit juice, then the orange liqueur, and finally Belvedere Vodka. Now fill the shaker with ice, close it and shake vigorously. Pour the liquid into a martini glass previously cooled with a passage in the freezer and proceed with a double filtration (strainer of the shaker + strainer). As decoration, we can make a peel of pink grapefruit with a potato peeler and knife. 

Belvedere Vodka, made from rye, makes the drink with even more character.

2 – Belvedere Vodka Sour flavored with Basil

In the world of mixing, “sour” alludes to the use of a sweet part (sugar syrup) and an acid part (citrus). 

Curiosity: whisky made this type of drink famous, with the drink whisky sour. Today, any alcoholic base mixed with lime juice and sugar syrup is considered a <<Sour>>.

Here is the Vodka Sour version with Belvedere Vodka. 

Original Recipe: Vodka, lime juice, and sugar syrup.

Basil revisited: 

Belvedere Vodka 50ml 

Lime juice 15ml 

Homemade basil syrup

Fresh Basil

Ice

Utensils:

1 Shaker (or jar) 

1 Jigger (or cup)

1 Citrus squeezer

1 Cutting board 

1 Knife 

1 Colander 

1 Spoon 

Serving glass: Low Tumbler

Procedure:

After setting up the station with all the ingredients, prepare the fresh lime juice. Cut the lime in half, squeeze it and pour the liquid into the shaker together with the basil syrup and Belvedere Vodka. 

Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, then pour the liquid into a low tumbler, making a double filtration with a filter. Fill the glass with ice and garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil Syrup Preparation: 

1KG Sugar

500ml Water 

10/15 basil leaves

Procedure:

In a pot, bring the water to heat. As soon as the water begins to heat, pour in the sugar. Stir continuously to prevent the sugar from sticking to the pan. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for at least 2-3 minutes and turn off the heat. With the heat off, place the basil leaves in the pot and stir well to release all the flavors. Then remove the basil leaves once the syrup has cooled. 

Enjoy!

Chef in Town- a food and beverage column curated by

Intl Editor Francesca Romana Riggio

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