Martina Bonci is the Bar Manager at Gucci in Giardino 25 in Florence. She makes us two cocktails, one with Gin and Yuzu Sake and the second with Tequila and Ancho Reyes.
Martina introduce yourself
My name is Martina Bonci, I am from Umbrian, Gubbio to be more precise. I’ve been attracted by the bar life since I was a kid. I loved watching what was going on behind the counter, the speed and magic of the movements always caught my attention. I was lucky enough to be born into a family where attention to good drinking has always been important, thus developing curiosity and passion. As a teenager, I started working in bars in my home town, mostly for fun. After high school, I moved to Perugia to study economics and play volleyball. But an injury forced me to stop and I started to work in a friend’s bar, where I realised that my real passion was the bar. I started to take this job very seriously, studying, travelling and above all experimenting. After a few years, I started to work at Gesto, a tapas and cocktail bar group where I stayed for 7.5 years. In the beginning, I took care of the various openings around Italy (Perugia, Florence, Bologna and Milan) and then I became bar manager for all the bars. There I had the chance to develop my creativity and start creating my own identity in mixology. In November of this year, after two complicated years in our sector, a great opportunity came to me, becoming the bar manager of Gucci Giardino 25 in Florence. We opened on 14 February 2022, where the bar identity is aligned with the brand philosophy. The importance of raw materials, colours and unique flavours. The idea is to make our guests feel relaxed but excited at the same time and bring back memories to them. Together with my team, who are the driving force behind everything, we are working to make Gucci Giardino 25 a place that our visitors won’t forget.
The classic you want to show us
Mémoire di Negroni
30ml of Luxardo White Bitter
30ml of Martini Reserva Ambratto Vermouth
30ml of Peter in Florence Gin infused with Butterfly Peas Flowers
5ml of Yuzu Sake
2 Dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
The bar you dream of
Right now I can’t complain about my bar, so it’s hard to want anything else when you get what you want. If I have to dream even more… I imagine something big, full of plants and flowers where you can smell them the minute you get in, and then feel the energy, passion and positive vibrations. The idea is to give my customers a truly unique experience and satisfy their tastes while maintaining my own identity. So a bar without a cocktail list, where you can have a “carte blanche”, something bespoke, to create a bond of trust and uniqueness between those on both sides of the counter. A brainstorming session between customer and bartender.
What do you do in your time off
In my little spare time, I play with Nina, my little white Maltese. It relaxes me to look after my plants on my day off. I have a lot of plants at home. Obviously coming to the bar even if I can’t help, but I like to visit my colleagues/friends. It always ends up in a great evening full of laughs. I have to admit that I also have a bit of a nerdy side on me which is dedicated to reading about new ingredients, techniques to improve, and distillates to learn about. Everything you need to stimulate and keep alive creativity is a fundamental part of who I am.
The spirit you like the most
The distillate I like working with the most is agave. I love the complexity it brings to a drink, and all the facets it can have. It can be mixed in any way and shape but in any case, its personality will never be lost. A unique flavour that always gives so many emotions.
What makes a good cocktail
For me, a drink is good first and foremost when it’s balanced and when it manages to reflect what I wanted to communicate. Let me explain, not all drinks are created in the same way. Some have to impress you with a wow-effect, others have to give you lightness, and others still have to stick in your mind. For me a drink has to be like a tailor-made suit, so to be really good we have to understand who we are dealing with, what they want and what they expect from what they are going to drink!
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
My drink list will always have seasonal fruit and citrus fruits. Always. I love working with what nature provides. I love being able to exploit every single part without waste and make the customer appreciate the complexity of simple things.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
Chi si Ferma è Perduto
25ml of Homemade Mint Syrup
30ml of Lemon Juice
45ml of Casamigos Tequila
15ml of Italicus
5ml of Green Ancho Reyes
Rim of Salt and Peas Powder
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Recommending bartenders in Florence is difficult because we are all very close friends. I would say Matteo di Ienno of Locale and Manuel Petrotto of Lovecraft, who as well as being great friends are also great professionals. I would then move on to Milan to visit Dom Carella, the super host of Carico. To finish, in London, to meet two of the greatest in this world, Giorgio Bargiani and Monica Berg, they are fantastic!
Thank you Blue Blazer for having us