Our Best Bar – Venice’s Skyline Bar

skylineHaving just attended the very splendid Worlds 50 Best Bars Awards Ceremony in London (massive congratulations to The Artesian for winning for the second year by the way and all the others who were crowned too), it does occur that judging the quality of a bar is a very subjective exercise. Maybe we should all have our own personal list and certainly the Skyline Rooftop Bar in Venice is right up there on Gintime’s, both literally and figuratively.

Located on the Giudecca on the eighth floor of the Hilton Molino Stucky it has breathtaking views over what has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s particularly breathtaking at sunset as the lights go on all over Venice and the more distant islands emerge dreamily from the Adriatic. Then there’s the super chic décor complete with rooftop swimming pool. But most of all there’s Riccardo Semeria multi award winning mixologist who was drafted in from the Connaught to shake up the Skyline’s cocktail menu.

You’ve heard the expression “see Venice and die”. Now it’s “drink a Negroni at the Skyline and go to heaven”. Made the Riccardo way with Beefeater Crown Jewel (liquid history according to Riccardo) Campari and a brand new vermouth created by top Italian bartender Giancarlo Mancino using 38 botanicals including rhubarb, Italian juniper, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and dried orange. Note to Beefeater folks I hope there is still a warehouse full of Crown Jewel somewhere as bartenders adore it and it’s almost impossible to find even on eBay.

Vintage Negroni

negroniAlthough the proportions of the recipe have been slightly played around with, the extra spiciness and herbaceousness of the Mancino Rosso preserves the heritage of this classic.

30ml Crown Jewel Gin

20ml Campari

50 ml Mancino Ross Vermouth

2 dashes each of Bitter Truth Orange Bitters and Grapefruit Bitters

Garnish with large orange peel

The Negroni is not really a typical Venetian aperitif. That is the famous Aperol Spritz. At the Skyline Riccardo makes it with Prosecco and an olive and its extraordinary how the salty, briny olive flavours cut through the sweetness of the Aperol to create a much more sophisticated drink. And naturally, since we’re in Venice, it comes with a plate of delicious cicheti, the Venetian equivalent of tapas,

Right now the Venice Biennale is on until 24th November the explosion of art, good and bad, that transforms the city every two years. So there’s still time to experience it. But Venice is wonderful at any time of year especially outside the high summer months. We’ll be back in the spring and no prizes for guessing where we’re heading.  And we’ll be sampling the floral deliciousness of Riccardo’s latest invention.

Spring Cobbler

30ml Hendricks Gin

45ml Mancino Bianco Vermouth

20ml Fresh lemon

10ml simple syrup

4 fresh raspberries

Shake and strain ingredients into a wine glass with cracked ice, garnish with two slices of cucumber, 2 raspberries, nutmeg and 3 drops of Bob’s lavender bitter.

Mmmm, can’t wait!

Skyline Rooftop Bar, Molino Stucky Hilton, Giudecca 810, 30133 Venice, (0039 041 2723311) www.molinostuckyhilton.com Open 6.00 pm to Midnight


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