Great success for the third edition of Venice Cocktail Week

The third edition of Venice Cocktail Week took place in the Serenissima from Monday, October 23 to Sunday, October 29, 2023.

The 2023 edition of this showcase dedicated to quality mixing, organized and directed by Paola Mencarelli, was a great success.

It received the patronage of the Municipality of Venice and the support of Vela. It featured 7 exciting days filled with events, masterclasses, tastings, product presentations, book launches, cultural events, and guest shifts with renowned Italian and international figures.

“It was thrilling to bring the Cocktail Week to Venice for the third time. The Serenissima welcomed us with great warmth and enthusiasm,” said Paola Mencarelli. “This year, the calendar was brimming with content and events. Recognising the importance of staying current with the times, we highlighted the new trends in a rapidly growing sector by shining a spotlight on establishments and professionals who have consistently worked with quality and awareness.”

The format of the event followed the pattern of previous years and sister initiatives, Florence Cocktail Week and Cortina Cocktail Weekend. There were no competitions or rankings, but the focus was on participating cocktail bars and their bartenders, with educational and entertainment moments that provided visibility to the establishments throughout the city, showcasing their unique qualities and facets.

Here are the numbers and highlights of this Venetian event organized and directed by Paola Mencarelli.

● 7 days of exploring Venice and its excellence in the world of hospitality.
● 1 “Party Waiting for Venice Cocktail Week” dedicated to the bartending community of
Venice Cocktail Week and Veneto.
● 31 Cocktail Bars
● 14 Hotel Bars and
● 17 Cocktail Bars
● 93 Custom-Created Cocktails
● 24 Restaurants and Cocktail Bars for “Dining With The Spirits”
● 20 Event Partners
● 25 Hotel Partners
● 55 National Guests
● 27 International Guests
● 15 Music Guests
● 96 Events
● 27 Sponsor Companies
● 15 Technical Partners
● 14 Partners
● 3 Cocktail Week Partners
● 7 Italian and International Media Partners
● 7 Influencer Partners
● 6 Fashion Partners
● Educational meetings dedicated to product presentations and mixing techniques.
● Book launches.
● Aperitivi di Mezzogiorno and Brunch
● Guest shifts with selected figures from the best of the Italian and international scene.
● Cross-disciplinary events connected to other fields: art, literature, music, fashion,
beauty, and design.

In its third edition, the Venetian cocktail week highlighted three important points.

The birth and growth of a genuine community of Venetian bartenders, the dialogue between different worlds, with stimulating and productive interactions between mixology and art, literature, music, fashion, beauty, and design, and the establishment of “Dining With the Spirits” as an internal project within VCW, involving high-quality Venetian dining.

The Venetian Community has developed alongside the work of Venice Cocktail Week.
Today, the bartender group in the Serenissima city is driving a cohesive offer in line with the great international bartending destinations, all without losing its own identity. During the week, the bartenders of VCW23 demonstrated their creativity, showcasing talent and inventiveness with a Cocktail List created exclusively for the entire week, featuring 3 unique drinks. The SIGNATURE COCKTAIL, a VCW23 creation representing the cocktail bar. The drink “RIESCO A BERE ITALIANO,” dedicated to “Made in Italy” with products exclusively from Italian companies participating in the “RiEsco a Bere Italiano” initiative. And the “APERITIVO DI MEZZOGIORNO,” a fresh and light drink designed for the midday aperitif, a Venetian tradition.

In the 7 days of Venetian events, aspects emerged that solidified Venice Cocktail Week as an engaging project, not just for enthusiasts of the industry. New and dynamic ideas created interactions and parallels with other realms, shifting the focus from self-referential aspects to relational ones. Venice Cocktail Week 2023 highlighted a different way of conceiving the world of bartending, no longer limited to the creation of drinks and customer service but elevated to a different form of communication and experience, positioning it as a key actor in a harmonious and relational cultural journey.

“At first, with the cocktail week, I wanted to create an awareness of responsible and quality drinking, emphasizing the role of the bartender, the creation of the drink, and its consumption,” Paola Mencarelli explains. “However, with this edition, the need arose to emphasize the quality of the proposal in a different context, where the drink, the bartender, and the establishment move away from a self-referential dimension to engage with other worlds, creating unique moments with a refined, conscious, and cultured style.”

The 2023 edition gave significant importance to culture. Throughout the week, experiential activities were offered where cocktails accompanied guests in discovering the city. Among these: “Venice in a Glass: from Historic Cafes to Cocktail Bars via Bacari,” “Venice’s ‘Green’ Salons,” “Beyond the Canal: Rialto and Historic Osterias,” “Open Ateliers of Hotels,” “Cocktail with the Designer.” There was also a focus on the world of fashion through collaboration with Venice Fashion Week, craftsmanship with visits to glassblowing workshops and artisanal boutiques, and experiences in traditional Bragozzo. Additionally, literature was explored with “Strolling with Hemingway,” and music was celebrated with “The Four Seasons: Music & Mixology” and “Opera and Cocktails.”

Dining With The Spirits fostered strong synergies between the mixology and culinary worlds, placing even greater emphasis on the gastronomic professionals of the lagoon. Born in Florence during Florence Cocktail Week, DWS 2023 involved 24 restaurants and cocktail bars in the Serenissima, which throughout VCW23 week or on a single evening, offered their interpretation of spirits in the kitchen, using them as ingredients in their dishes, in a single dish, or in an entire menu. This was complemented by interesting pairings, with cocktails or straight spirits, creating dedicated events to shed light on the importance and quality a cocktail can bring to a dinner.

There are many ideas in the works for 2024, and among them is an exciting new addition: Amalfi Coast Cocktail Week.

This event joins Paola Mencarelli’s other initiatives to promote high-quality Italian mixology and will take place on the Amalfi Coast from September 23 to September 29, 2024.

1. Ai Do Leoni
2. Amo
3. Ancòra
4. Blue Drop Venice
5. Caffè Florian
6. Caffè Lavena
7. ChicBar
8. Grancaffè Quadri
9. La Barrique Wine Bar
10. Marciano Pub Venezia
11. Osteria I Rusteghi
12. San Giorgio Cafè
13. Tarnowska’s American Bar
14. Terrazza Aperol
15. Tiki Noir
16. Time Social Bar
17. Venissa – Il Bar
1. Alchemia – Ca’ di Dio
2. Arts Bar – The St. Regis Venice
3. Canova Bar – Baglioni Hotel Luna
4. Experimental Cocktail Club – Il Palazzo Experimental
5. Il Caravellino – Hotel Saturnia & International
6. La Biblioteca – Nolinski Venezia
7. Le Maschere – Splendid Venice
8. LPV Bar – Londra Palace Venezia
9. Orientalbar & Bistrot – Hotel Metropole Venezia
10. Rose Bar – JW Marriott Venice Resort&Spa
11. Santa Cocktail Club Venezia – Hotel L’Orologio Venezia
12. Skyline Rooftop Bar – Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
13. The Bar – Aman Venice
14. Top of the Carlton Sky Lounge – Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal

1. Ai do Leoni
2. Algiubagiò
3. Antinoo’s Lounge & Restaurant – Sina Centurion Palace
4. Aromi Restaurant – Hilton Molino Stucky Venice
5. Arva, Aman Venice
6. Gio’s Restaurant&Terrace – The St. Regis Venice
7. Glam Enrico Bartolini
8. Hostaria Bacanera
9. Il Caravellino – Hotel Saturnia & International
10. Local
11. Marciano Pub Venezia
12. Oriental Bar & Bistrot – Hotel Metropole
13. Osteria I Rusteghi
14. Ristorante Canova by Sadler – Baglioni Hotel Luna
15. Rose Bar – JW Marriott Venice Resort&Spa
16. San Giorgio Cafè
17. Taverna La Fenice
18. Terrazza Aperol
19. Top of the Carlton Sky Lounge – Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal
20. Venissa Osteria Contemporanea – Venissa Tenuta
21. VERO Restaurant – Ca’ di Dio
22. Wistèria
23. Zanze XVI
1. Algiubagiò
2. Aqua Palace Cocktail Club
3. Al Todaro
4. All’Angelo Art Cafe
5. Aurora Beach Bar
6. Boutique Lounge, Santa Croce Boutique Hotel
7. Ca Select
8. Corte di Gabriela
9. Hard Rock Cafè
10. Heureka Bar, Hotel Heureka (cambio posizione x digitale) HEUREKA con H
11. Hotel Colombina (digitale)
12. La Pagoda
13. La Voga Bar, NH Collection Grand Hotel dei Dogi
14. Lunardelli
15. Mirai Cocktail Bar, Hotel Principe 16. NasonMoretti
17. Pomellato
18. Rebecca
19. Sina Centurion Palace 20. The Gritti Palace Hotel
Venice Cocktail Week is an event endorsed by the Municipality of Venice, with the support of Vela.

Thanks to
Altamura Distilleries, Campari Group, Cointreau, Distilleria Nardini 1779, Ferro Beverage&Co, Select

Amante 1530, Angostura, Bitter Fusetti, Costiera Gin, Limestone, Nonino, Nordès, Yerbito
Amaretto ADRIATICO, Amaro Camatti, Amaro Santoni, FIOL Prosecco, Gin Beside, Gin dei Sospiri, Nonino, Xedequa

Cadello, Rum Diplomatico, SVN senses, Tito’s

Venezia | 23 – 29 Ottobre 2023 |
Paola Mencarelli | [email protected] [email protected] | Follow us @VeniceCocktailWeekOfficial