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Drink Kong: the best bar in Italy is in Rome

Drink Kong, in Rome the “Best Bar in Italy” where you can taste the world. Yasuhiro Kawakubo from Bulgari Ginza Bar in Tokyo opened the season

Skeptics will find it hard to believe that ‘Best bar in Italy’ in Rome and not in Milan. Intercom “Drink Kong” to test with the hand, but above all with the eyes and the palate, the merits and strengths of the most famous local cocktail bar in the world. Simply scroll down the leaderboard “The 50 Best Bars in the World” to find it at 19th rank, at the top of the list of Italian “competitors”. At the controls behind the counter there is Patrick Pistolesi, A real Roman who casually recounts how his dad is still in disbelief that people come into his bar: “How is the bar, do people come? And what are they doing there all evening? “. However, the Drink Kong, for the record, must be described for what it is: Italian excellence in the world. And the world, almost everything, is in the club’s drink list, sitting down and ordering is an experience in itself.



“Trust” is certainly the watchword for every type of customer. In the list of drinks, all to leaf through, only the starting distillate is indicated, without other ingredients. On the other hand, it is necessary to read the descriptions which evoke scenarios and suggestions: to choose is a question of instinct, inspiration and confidence for the bartenders. An interior and exterior journey to the glass, because the Drink Kong atmosphere refers to the smoky alleys of an oriental metropolis, made of sudden neon lights mixed with the rigor of the essential: there is the Orient, which brings together the minimal and rigorous aesthetic of Japan and the warmer and chaotic one of New York of the 80s to the London of today, with their unparalleled charge of innovation and quality of design. ‘welcome. And while even sitting at the counter is an experience, sitting in the Japanese room to take part in a tasting definitely becomes something to talk about.

japanese room drink kong
Japanese room


Inspired by the “hidden bars” of Tokyo and built entirely of cherry wood, with large images of Japanese warriors, the Japanese room hosts a social table reserved for a maximum of 10 diners. This is where Drink Kong welcomes Tasting project ‘Ukiyo’, which in Italian means “floating world”, e where Patrick Pistolesi (great connoisseur of Japan and winner of the Nikka Perfect Serve in 2014) welcomes guests to the new season of events. Those who participate come face to face with some of the absolute masters of the world’s Drink Culture, discovering the most virtuous nuances of mixology. THEThe calendar, organized until December, has already been inaugurated with Yasuhiro Kawakubo, beverage director of the Bulgari Ginza Bar, who arrived for the occasion live from Tokyo. A journey from the Tiber to the Pacific Ocean in 4 cocktails accompanied by recipes from Drink Kong chef Francesco Coltella.

Yasuhiro Kawakubo
Yasuhiro Kawakubo

Pistolesi and Kawakubo, said Dire (www.dire.it), have mixed flavors, degrees of alcohol, history and legends that unite the most “Japanese-inspired” cocktail bar in Rome and the Bulgari club, symbol of Italian luxury in Tokyo. And if we’re here to say it, obviously 4 drinks in one evening can’t be scary. Everything is cleverly mixed, in a game of alchemy, recipes, raw materials and spirits that come together in a visionary way. The few guests thus become tasters and spectators of the stories, suggestions and little secrets of the bartender on duty. Yasuhiro Kawakubo greeted his “audience” with “This is not a Japanese highball”, a cocktail where Monin passion fruit syrup meets Nikka Coffey malt whiskey with the addition of yoghurt, orange and tonic; in the second round, the ‘Mammoni’: Monin coconut syrup, Nikka Coffey vodka, amazake, pineapple and lime; ‘It & It’ is drink number 3: Nikka Coffey Gin, old Samperi, almond, ‘chocolate oil’ and sweet vermouth; Date-Otoko is the welcome cocktail in which Aokage shochu (one of the oldest Japanese spirits) is mixed with our Amaro Montenegro. Sandwich, nem, dumplings and brioche bread accompanied the tasting, creating the perfect bridge between the two capitals.

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