Lorenzo Di Cola is the Bar Manager of the Experimental Cocktail Club in Venice. He makes us two cocktails, one with rye whiskey and Punt E Mes Vermouth the second with Amaretto and a Cordial of Lapsang Souchong and Brine.
Lorenzo introduce yourself
My name is Lorenzo and I am born in Siena, even though I spent most of my youth in Rome, where I started to study hospitality and mixology. Rome is a city where I develop my passion for the bar industry. I would say that I began to attend bars as a customer, but then I wanted to find out what it means to work on the other side of the bar counter. So I started my bartender life in a small cocktail bar in Rome, and after some other jobs, I decided to have an international experience and I moved to Paris. It was the first time I worked for an international company. As a next step, I came back to Italy, in Venice, where I started to work with the Alajmo Group. I realized the importance of the relation between cocktails and cuisine and I met very professional colleagues, who also became my friends, as Lucas Kelm and Michele Pozzani. At last, about two years ago, I saw the birth of the new project of the Experimental Group in Venice: The Palazzo Experimental, an elegant and yet cosy hotel with a restaurant and a cocktail bar. Today I am the bar manager of the Palazzo, where I found not only a well-trained team but also my french-Venetian family.
The classic you want to show us
50ml of Michter’s Rye Whiskey
15ml of Punt E Mes Vermouth
15ml of Maraschino liqueur
2dashes of Angostura Bitters
The bar you dream of
The bar I dream of is a place where every customer can feel at home, just like where I work. It doesn’t have to be very large, and the work between the kitchen and the bar should be synergistic and go in the same direction. The drink list should be based on seasonal and local ingredients, to support the small businesses of local producers.
What do you do in your time off
I think that one of the most important things to do when you don’t work at the bar is to rest a bit to recharge your energy. I love reading books, watching movies and tv series, spending time with my partner. Pandemic aside, I really enjoy travelling and discovering new cultures, habits and, especially, flavours from different countries.
The spirit you like the most
I love Vermouth, both neat and mixed because all the various kinds of Vermouth share a grape base but the flavour and the nuances can be very different and surprise you every time. Also, the ABV is not so high, so it is suitable for any situation.
What makes a good cocktail
In my opinion, the most important thing to make a good cocktail is to understand and respect the customer’s desires, and this aspect has to be combined with a balance of ingredients and flavours.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
One of the ingredients I like the most is rhubarb because it can be used in various ways, and it makes a drink more complex and intriguing.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
10ml of Amaretto Adriatico
30ml of Nardini Chinato Bitter
30ml of Mancino Rosso Vermouth
15ml of Cordial of Lapsang Souchong and Olive Brine
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
I would suggest visiting Rude, a very interesting project born in a part of Rome less known by tourists, Centocelle. Talk with Marco Zampilli and Christian Ricci, and try not only their surprising drink list but also the tasty kitchen proposals inspired by the fusion cultures. Otherwise, with no doubt, two of my favourite places are Two Schmucks in Barcelona and Penicillin in Hong Kong.
Thank you Venice Cocktail Week for having us