The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress Launches ‘Bassano Aperitivo Season’

Mezzoemezzo 1_Low Res

Pop-up innovators Bassano Events and their Manchester venue, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress located on First Street, are launching a tasting calendar of Italian aperitivo over the next two months.

Focusing on Distilleria Nardini, the namesake of the bar name Bassano with its origins from Bassano del Grappa in Northern Italy, guests will enjoy one of the famous serves originating from the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge distillery, the Mezzoemezzo, itself combined with soda and a twist of lemon. A closer look at the flavour profiles of Nardini Grappa Bianca 40 and a selection of their liqueurs, including the citrus peels of Acqua di Cedro, juniper led Ginepro and the almond profiles of Mandorla.

Each session looks to finish with a refreshing Nardini Ginepro and Tonic, as well as a classic offering of Italian Antipasto courtesy of PizzaExpress.

Each hosted by Dave Marsland, co-owner of Bassano Events and brand agency Drinks Enthusiast, the Bassano Aperitivo Season is said to demystify the Italian spirit category, showing off the tradition of grappa and aperitivo and its versatile use within simple mixers and flavours.

All sessions will be held within The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, itself opening in June 2017 to bring the modern Italian cocktail bar concept to the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Dates of the Bassano Aperitivo Season;

18th August
25th August
31st August
7th September
21st September
28th September

Price;
£15 pp – tickets can be purchased in venue or via http://www.thebassanobar.com

General Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Address;
The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

#BassanoMcr

ALL DRINK IMAGERY BY GEORGIE GLASS/ WWW.GEORGIEGLASS.CO.UK / @GEORGIEGLASS_

Italian Brand, ITALICUS®, To Launch In Mid-July With Cellar Trends

Italicus

Leading branded alcohol distributor, Cellar Trends, is building on its success of 2017 with the addition of ITALICUS® Rosolio di Bergamotto to its ever-expanding portfolio. From mid-July, Cellar Trends will be handling all sales, distribution and marketing for the brand in the UK.

Capitalising on the worldwide trend of aperitivo, Giuseppe Gallo launched his brand-new spirit, ITALICUS® in September 2016, in a bid to lead the global revival of Rosolio and in doing so, has honoured the historic origin and recipe of this forgotten category.

Produced at a family distillery, the spirit is made by infusing Bergamot and Cedro in cold water to release the essential oils, before blending with Italian grain spirit to produce a lightly citrus nose with hints of rose and lavender. In order to make the most of the delicate flavours of the botanicals, ITALICUS® is best enjoyed with Prosecco, served over ice and garnished with three olives to balance the floral overtones.

Director of Sales and Marketing at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker says: “It is always an exciting time for us when we bring a new product to the market and one such as ITALICUS® offers not only a great taste, but also the opportunity for Cellar Trends to work within a unique category. Since its launch to the UK market, ITALICUS® has already gained listings in a variety of premium bars throughout London, gaining some remarkable feedback from renowned mixologists and we are looking forward to building this brand’s reputation and reach.”

Founder of ITALICUS® Giuseppe Gallo comments: “As a young brand we are very honoured to be working with Cellar Trends, and feel that their expertise and experience will help build on the brand’s success as we continue to establish it amongst the on-trade.”

For more information visit: http://www.rosolioitalicus.com

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto

Italicus

Italian drinks are a big focus for me at the moment, with the opening of my ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress‘ in Manchester a great example of utilising a variety of Italian styles. The rosolio aperitivo category escapes me though, until the arrival of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto!

I’d imagine the rosolio category isn’t one that strikes too many bells to many, so a little rundown before heading to Italicus.

Rosolio is an ancient type of Italian liqueur, deriving its name from ‘Drosera rotundifolia’, itself a species of sundew. It used to be flavoured exclusive with the herb, but now it’s known for more homemade low alcohol content spirits. The liqueur is common in Piedmont and in Southern Italy. It enjoys a special popularity in Sicily, where it has been prepared since the sixteenth century and was given to house guests as a sign of good luck.
Local ingredients are typically used depending on the region (for example Sicily with Cedro citrus fruit and fennel) and aromatized with herbs and spices.

Giuseppe Gallo has brought the category from the 1850’s of Rosolio back to the new-age with the launch of Italicus back in September 2016. Using peels from bergamots grown from Italy’s UNESCO-protected area Calabrian region and Cidros from Sicily, they are infused into cold water to release the essential oils (a process named sfumatura) prior to being blended with Italian neutral grain spirit, all within a family-owned distillery in Moncalieri, Torino.

The resulting bergamot and cedro flavoured spirit is then blended for several days with a separate maturation that contains Roman chamomile from Lazio, lavender, gentian, yellow roses and lemon balm from Northern Italy.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto – 20%

Very fresh lemon balm, bergamot, citrus peel and gentian coming through on the nose, followed by a naturally sweet chamomile flavour upon the palate. Notes of subtle lavender, honey, rose petal and lemon balm ride a lingering fresh finish.

italicus
A fantastic liquid on its own, but one recommended to be enjoyed in the following way;

“50/50 with Prosecco, over ice and garnished with three green olives”

Better get a bottle for the drinks cabinet, there are friends and family to impress.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Peroni Ambra Brings A Taste Of Italy To Manchester This Summer

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To celebrate the launch of Peroni Ambra, the Italian brewer has partnered with The Oast House in the heart of Manchester to open ‘The Apertivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ this summer.

Peroni Ambra extends the brand into a new territory, for the first time since its creation in 1963. Inspired by the classic Italian aperitivo, Peroni Ambra combines crisp and refreshing Peroni Nastro Azzurro and the sharpness of Italian Chinotto – a rare Italian citrus fruit, grown and harvested in the region of Liguria, North West Italy.

The new product is inspired by the Italian ritual of the bitter ‘aperitivo’, a pre-dinner drink designed to open the palate and stimulate the appetite. Distinctively, Peroni Ambra is served from its 250ml bottle into a bespoke tumbler glass, over ice, and garnished with orange peel, opening the senses in anticipation of the first sip. It has a bittersweet yet balanced flavour, which leaves the palate cleansed and refreshed. With the attention to detail synonymous with Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Italian designer, Andrea Morgante, was commissioned to design the bespoke glass – each one handmade, crafted by a small artisan Italian glass production house.

Capturing the essence of Italy, guests will be transported to the rural Chinotto grovesof North West Italy during the special four-day residency, from Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June. The Oast House has been beautifully transformed into an immersive Italian setting, where consumers will discover the authentic tastes and rare ingredients of Italy.

‘The Apertivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra,’ will also play host to a contemporary orchestra and DJ collective, allowing guests to enjoy a snapshot of authentic modern Italian culture. The Urban Soul Orchestra, comprising a talented all girl string quartet and DJ from music curators, Euphonica, will be playing laidback Italian grooves between 6pm and 8pm on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th June.

As with all Peroni products, this innovative new drink offering is brewed and bottled in Italy. Reaffirming Peroni’s passion for craftsmanship and authentic Italian heritage, their master brewers have worked closely with the farmers of Besio, where the Chinotto is sourced, to perfect the recipe.

Pronounced Kee-not-toe, the Chinotto fruit is extremely rare, grown in small areas of rural Italy based on the climate. The Chinotto fruit is an ingredient used in aperitivos, as the bittersweet taste stimulates the appetite. Carefully blended with the crisp and refreshing taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro, it creates the perfect balance, making Peroni Ambra the perfect drink to start the evening.

‘The Aperitivo Bar, Presented by Peroni Ambra’ takes residence at The Oast House:
The Avenue Courtyard, Spinningfields, Crown Square, Manchester M3 3AY
From Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th June

For more information visit: http://www.thehouseofperoni.com

The Bassano Bar and PizzaExpress To Partner Up in Manchester This Summer

Spiced Nigroni 1_Low Res

The nation’s favourite restaurant chain PizzaExpress and pop-up innovators Bassano Events have joined together to bring ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress’ to Manchester. Opening June 21st at PizzaExpress’s First Street restaurant, the modern Italian cocktail bar concept will be a first for the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Augmenting the much-loved and increasingly broad PizzaExpress menu, The Bassano Bar is keen to promote a range of traditional Italian drinks, including grappa, Italy’s much under-rated national spirit. Originating from Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region, Nardini is Italy’s most prestigious grappa brand, with the distiller’s home town providing the inspiration for the name of the bar.

Working alongside PizzaExpress, owners of Bassano Events Dave Marsland and Nick Hopewell-Smith have taken the opportunity to bring a flavour of Italian serves to the terrace of First Street, Pizza Express’ newest restaurant in the city, located in one of Manchester’s most dynamic leisure areas.

Dave is a well-known drinks expert and trainer, creating brand agency ‘Drinks Enthusiast’ in 2011, with his own spirits retail business in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.  A marketing professional with over 35 years experience, Nick is the initiator and creative driver behind The Bassano Bar in London and a specialist importer of Italian spirits and liqueurs from The Nardini Distillery.

With an al-fresco feel to the venue, making use of its natural light and, hopeful, Summer months, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress will be a welcome addition to the Manchester bar scene.

Opening Hours;

Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

Address;

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

Image by Georgie Glass / www.georgieglass.co.uk / @georgieglass_

The House Of Peroni Brings A Taste Of Italy To Manchester This Spring

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Italians have always sought to push the boundaries to create something unique – from the pioneering Renaissance art movement that placed Italy as the capital of the world’s art scene, through to Carlo Peroni, who in 1963 was inspired to craft the first premium Italian beer.

To celebrate the quality of craftsmanship that is so inherent to the Italian way of life, The House of Peroni will be opening its doors in Manchester, giving visitors the chance to experience art like never before, all within the backdrop of a vibrant Peroni Nastro Azzurro bar.

The House will open its doors in Manchester’s bustling Spinningfields Square for a special four-day event from Wednesday 5th April – Saturday 8th April that will allow guests to experience a virtual world that blends art and technology.

THE ART EXPERIENCE

The brand has teamed up with Beautiful Crime Agency and three featured artists to produce bespoke art using innovative technology from Tilt Brush by Google. Guests visiting The House of Peroni will be able to virtually step inside these artworks and explore the pieces, before being given the freedom to experiment and explore their own artistic talent, under the guidance of an expert.

Brit artist Carne Griffiths, along with 2016 Lumen Prize winner Fabio Giampietro and Italian graffiti artist, Peeta, have each created incredible virtual reality pieces around the theme of ‘craftsmanship’– a quality inherent to Peroni Nastro Azzurro.

Italian artist Fabio Giampietro (2016 winner of the prestigious Lumen Prize for digital art) has drawn on his early childhood memories with his carpenter uncle and blended this with his love of the ‘Futurismo’ art
movement of the early 20th century.

Fabio comments: “My signature style is to create a fairly abstract cityscape and play with a sense of perspective. For this project, entitled ‘Neon Vertigo’, I’ve invoked the craftsmanship that was apparent in my uncle’s joinery work and related it to architecture and the concept of the ‘metropolis’ – a motif that is apparent throughout all of my work.”
Brit artist Carne Griffiths found his inspiration from his 12 years as an embroidery designer, from which came a real fascination with the creation and manipulation of the drawn line. Similarly, Italian artist Peeta, has looked to his own heritage and experience in the art world to bring his work to life – using Venetian ‘Murano’ glassware as his muse.

THE BAR

The pop up will play also play host to a bar and aperitivo area, where guests can enjoy an evening with friends over a Peroni Nastro Azzurro, an infusion and a selection of antipasti all against a backdrop of works from our resident artists.

Award winning ‘Master of Mixology’, Simone Caporale will also return for a third year to bring his inimitable style of cocktail mastery to the infusion menu. With gin, Peroni Nastro Azzurro and sweet, spring-like citrus notes, the Oro Liquido liquid gold serve glows bright from the menu and is joined by L’Astratto – a long, more bitter serve featuring flavoured, coloured ice cubes. A fragrant take on the traditional Bellini, the Peroni Peony will feature crisp white peach, grape, peony and magnolia flowers. Finally, the classic Peroni Negroni will also re-join the menu for another year.
The centrepiece of the pop up, will be an eye-catching bar structure created by renowned set designer Petra Storrs. For her distinctive design, she has been inspired by the rich colour palette and playfulness of the light effects in the Tilt Brush technology, and blended it with the iconic Peroni Nastro Azzurro ‘blue ribbon’ to create an incredible focal point.

The House of Peroni takes residence at
Spinningfields Square, Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3AP
from Wednesday 5th April – Saturday 8th April.

For more information visit: http://www.thehouseofperoni.com

Luxardo Launches Bitter Bianco For White Negroni And Aperitifs

luxardo-bitter-bianco
Luxardo Bitter Bianco launches in the UK this Spring. The distilled infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and citrus fruits is made to a recipe created by the Luxardo family who have re-imagined the classic Italian aperitivo. At 30 percent abv. it has a transparent ivory colour, which makes it ideal for mixing in a White Negroni. Luxardo global brand ambassador Gareth Franklin will be creating further adventurous new serves, with an individual take on Margarita and Daiquiri styles. Luxardo Bitter Bianco has the fruity aromas of sweet and bitter oranges, balanced by hints of spices and botanicals. Its smooth taste combines fresh citrus with a gentle bitter finish.

Similar to the creation of Luxardo Maraschino, the Luxardo Bitter Bianco also stands out as a liqueur which is unusually produced by distillation. This creates a new dimension of flavours and its signature colour, whilst still staying true to its bitter-sweet heritage.

Distinctly different with a smoother taste profile, it makes for an alternative 21st century style of Negroni, when it is mixed with gin and white vermouth. To enjoy its taste in the freshest way, drink it over ice with a splash of soda or on the rocks, garnished with a wedge of orange or lemon. Luxardo global brand ambassador Gareth Franklin adds, “Luxardo Bitter Bianco is a very modern style of distilled liqueur and works perfectly as an aperitif. It has classic Italian bitter notes and is blended to be soft, floral and aromatic; a very intriguing creation. I will be hosting a roadshow to trial new mixes with bartenders in key cities, and look forward to new taste adventures.”

Marketing manager Craig Chapman adds, “The Luxardo classic liqueurs & specialities have established themselves very successfully in top bars. This year, Cellar Trends will be backing Luxardo Bitter Bianco to join the line-up of Maraschino, Amaretto and Limoncello, and the Sambuca range. They are authentic, full strength choices which bartenders can rely on to really deliver on taste.”

Luxardo White Negroni

1 shot (25ml) Luxardo Bitter Bianco
1 shot (25ml) gin
1 shot (25ml) white vermouth

Stir over ice and garnish with a wedge of fresh orange.

Luxardo Bitter Bianco gin & tonic

1.5 shots (35ml) gin
1 shot (25ml) Luxardo Bitter Bianco

Mix over ice and top up with tonic water. Add a squeeze of fresh lime and stir.

Clive Owen And Paolo Sorrentino Lead (R)evolution To Film For Campari Red Diaries 2017

Campari®, the iconic red Italian bittersweet apéritif, today announces Campari Red Diaries; a holistic (r)evolution to the late Campari Calendar.

Representing a step-change in the brand’s communication, Campari Red Diaries brings to life the powerful ethos that “every cocktail tells a story”, celebrating cocktails as a form of art and a powerful vehicle for expression by shining a light on the experiences and emotions that inspire bartenders to create and share their craft.

Captivating month by month, the 2017 Campari Red Diaries journey harnesses the richness of storytelling, using short films as a vehicle for the first time to guide Campari lovers on an imaginative journey through a year-long series of cocktail stories from across the globe, to be shared with consumers via Campari’s official YouTube channel.

The founding story, a noir called Killer in Red, was written and directed by the Italian internationally-renowned award winner, Paolo Sorrentino and stars globally-acclaimed actor, Clive Owen, to debut the tale of the never-before seen eponymous cocktail after which the enchanting seven-minute short film takes its name.

While Killer in Red stands to ignite the Campari Red Diaries journey, it is flanked and complemented by a collection of 12 cocktail stories, which each bring to life the artistry and flair of 14 bartenders from all over the world. These stories introduce viewers to the magic behind the creation of each Campari cocktail, placing the culture of mixology and its many facets centre-stage, and each is brought to fruition by young and emerging Italian director, Ivan Olita.

While the content will be housed exclusively on Campari’s official YouTube channel, the premiere of Killer in Red and the full unveil of Campari Red Diaries will take place on 24th January 2017 in Rome, Italy; home to the legendary Cinecittà film studio – a symbol of Italian cinema.

On writing and directing Killer in Red, Paolo Sorrentino comments, “Campari is an Italian icon which has garnered global love and attention due to its strong, intrinsic sense of aesthetic and well-defined style – the very same qualities I pride myself on. With this year’s campaign embracing the realm of film, I really wanted to ensure I harnessed the theme of storytelling with an intriguing intensity. Working with Clive was fantastic – his compelling presence and enthusiasm allowed me to create a short film which I hope proves fresh, inspiring and imaginative.”

On his involvement, the Golden Globe award-winning Clive Owen adds, “I was honoured to be chosen to shoot Killer in Red as part of the 2017 Campari Red Diaries campaign, particularly since this year represents the brand’s first foray into the world of cinematography and film. Working with Paolo was a real pleasure.”

Bob Kunze-Concewitz, Chief Executive Officer of Gruppo Campari comments, “This year’s campaign, Campari Red Diaries, centres on bringing to life the stories that inspire bartenders all around the world to innovate and create cocktail recipes we all are privileged to enjoy. The direction taken with this year’s campaign is unique – we have used film for the first time in the brand’s history, to guide fans on an imaginative journey, while also celebrating the flavour complexity and versatility of Campari that too inspires such imaginative recipe creation. The ever-charismatic Clive was the perfect subject to depict Paolo’s intense narrative and we’re very much looking forward to unveiling the full campaign come January.”

Canella

Canella

A few weeks back I was introduced to Bellini Canella, a brand I had followed on social media but never had the pleasure to experience. As the Summer enters, I thought it was now appropriate to look into the Canella brand of Italy, and see if this is a worthy contender for drink of the Summer!

Canella itself starts in the year 1947 with Luciano Canella worked in his mothers family restaurant, touring the local farms for the freshest produce to use. With this knowledge, he starts creating Canella wines, resulting in other inns, restaurants and bars in the area starting to order. The first Canella winery is born via San Francesco at San Donà.

Travelling the world in 1958, Canella started to be enjoyed by the wealthy and famous, including the likes of Vittorio Gassman, one of Italy’s greatest ever actors, toasting with Tocai Canella at Ristorante Geremia, in Mestre. 1960 also saw a focus on branding, with Luciano creating a catchy design to stand out.

Back in 1962, Prosecco was not seen as a viable replacement to the big, hearty reds and whites, but Canella stuck at it, resulting in the popular position Prosecco enjoys itself in currently.

1988 saw the Bellini, a famous Venetian cocktail, become bottled for the first time and resulting in international exposure for Canella. In 1994, the Canella brand won a gold medal at the Gran Medaglia d’Oro – at Vinitaly’s first wine competition. In 2001, the municipal authorities of Venice and the Canella family shake hands over a new branding agreement: Canella Bellini proudly bears the city’s trademark emblem.

It’s the Bellini that I’m concentrating on here, with Rossini and Mimosa also available.

The bottle contains two parts sparkling wine, one part hand-picked white peach juice and pulp from select, ripe peaches and a few drops of wild raspberry, all originating from the Venetian countryside.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Canella Bellini – 5%

Ripe peaches as expected on the nose, with a soft, sugar syrup aroma followed by oat biscuit. Smooth with a soft fizz on the palate, offering a slightly dry pulp of peach profile. Subtle sweetness underlines, with a lingering fresh peach flavour nearing the finish.

A refreshing, smooth offer for the late Summer evenings, with a recommended serve of 6-8° C. A cocktail in its own right, but with the freshness you’d be hard-pressed to have a bar or restaurant offer to you the consistency expected of such a classic cocktail. Although easy to make from scratch, the Canella Bellini is worth a look at for a bottle of cocktail to quickly open over ice!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Piccini Orange Label Chianti Now Available

Instantly recognisable, this wine is at the heart of what Piccini does: a classic Chianti made to a very traditional recipe.

What’s the secret to this wine’s juicy, easy-drinking style? A traditional Tuscan technique called Governo all’uso which sees a small amount of the Sangiovese grape – which is used for all Chianti – added as withered fruit. The effect of this is to induce a very slight secondary fermentation which in turn gives delicious, bright, red fruit flavours to the final wine.

Piccini Orange Label is fabulous on its own or with practically any food you can think of – from pasta and tomato sauce whipped up after a busy day at work, to mature cheeses eaten by the fire with friends.

You can find the Piccini Orange Label Chianti in Sainsbury’s at an RRP of £6.20.

Piccini Label