Vincenzo Civita: Picteau Cocktail Bar (Florence)

Vincenzo Civita is a Bartender at Picteau Cocktail Bar at the Lungarno Collection in Florence. He makes us two cocktails, one with Cognac and Benedictine and the second with Homemade Raspberry Wine and Bitter.

Vincenzo  introduce yourself
My name is Vincenzo Civita and I am 30 years old. I grew up in hospitality as my family owns a little bar in Pulia South Italy. After school from 18 to 22 years old, I worked with them, before moving to Milan for a new challenge. I started with Giancarlo Mancino consulting where I learned a lot about classics, Italian hospitality and products. After that, I went to Tuscany in a Michelin star restaurant with a bar inside. Then I traveled abroad to London and I worked at The China Tang at The Dorchester. We worked a lot with Chinese products, a new world for me. As I was in London I went all around to visit bars and try drinks to enlarge my vision of cocktails. Then I moved back to Milan at Bulk Bar, working a lot with the kitchen and again, I learned a lot thanks to the chef. I followed my girlfriend in Florence and started here in Lungarno Collection. So regarding the audience, we are an international hotel, we make mainly classic. And in 2019, we won the best negroni at Florence Cocktail Week, the one I’ll show you as my signature cocktail.

The classic you want to show us
Vieux Carré
22.5ml of Bulleit Rye Whiskey
22.5ml of Hennessy Cognac
5ml of Benedictine
22.5ml of Cocchi Torino Vermouth
4 dashes of Peychaud Bitters
4 dashes of Angostura Bitters

The bar you dream of
My dream bar is like Bar Termini in London, but it would be here in Florence. Small bar with the Italian touch: hospitality, food, products, coffee in the morning, aperitivo in the afternoon.

What do you do in your time off
I love to cycle and Tuscany is great for that. Sometimes I play padel tennis.

The spirit you like the most
Mezcal for the experience. It’s a complex spirit, totally different because of the terroir. I love to make margarita or Tommy’s with mezcal, so you feel the smoke and the earthy notes.

What makes a good cocktail
For me, it’s important to smile and it depends of your attitude to the customer. Then the quality of the ingredients and the ice are very important.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I discover recently sherry. It’s complex, dry to sweet, an amazing fortified wine. For a martini, we use Palo Cortado sherry and for an americano Fino sherry with Pedro Ximenez. It’s great for the balance.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Comte Di Picche
30ml of Winestillery Old Tom Gin
37 ml of Homemade Raspberry Wine
1 drop of Nardini Fernet
10ml of Nardini Bitter
10ml of Rhubarb bitters

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
I suggest Bulk in Milan to meet Ivan and in London, Cipriani restaurant to interview the bar manager Fabio Roberto.

Thank you to Florence Cocktail Week for inviting us to Florence and allowing us to experience all its wonderful bars

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