Italy's drinking scene is one of the best and most diverse in the world, with speciality wine bars, craft beer bars and cocktail clubs constantly cropping up across the country and its main cities. Since October, Italy is home to two of the 50 Best Bars in the world. The drinks industry's most eagerly awaited night of the year, The World's 50 Best Bars awards, has took place at Christ Church Spitalfields in London on October 8 2015 and guess what? A total of two Italian bars have been crowned among the World’s 50 Best Bars. The first one – no. 21 – is in Rome, the Jerry Thomas Project; the second one - no. 46 – is located in Milan, the Nottingham Forest. Here are the two best places in Italy worth traveling for to get great cocktails, tried and tested by cocktail historian David Wondrich, drinks commentator Tom Sandham and voted for by 400 of the leading figures of the global bar industry.The Jerry Thomas Project - Rome
This ornate speakeasy bar is more than just another Roman bar. Located in the buzzing Rione Ponte, in the heart of the historical center of Rome, the Jerry Thomas Project is a private members club with its own rules such as ‘The Bartender is always right, his word is law’, ‘This is our home, we do what we want’ or ‘The password to access the Speakeasy changes frequently, study it’. In Italy, smoking is banned in bars – but - as a private space - at the Jerry Thomas Project ‘Smoking is allowed in moderation’. The intimate space - barely lit by dimmed vintage wall lamps - holds less than 20 seats and creates an easy-going atmosphere. Order up a drink, chat with the drinker sitting next to you and watch as the bartenders break out ingredients that sound like they are being thrown into a 30's gangster movie.
What to drink: Walnut Gin Martini with Walnut Gin, Italian Vermouth, Orange Bitter and MaraschinoNottingham Forest - Milan
Join the hippest crowds in town at the Nottingham Forest, a carefree dive located in the Porta Venezia district. The bar brings in crowds of any kind who mingle within the exotic interior made of dark woods walls and hanging nautical knick-knacks providing a Polynesian vibe. The atmosphere is cosy, private, elegant, and eclectic like nowhere else. Each drink is a brilliant work of art - an incredible mix of scents, tastes and visuals thanks to the owner Dario Comino and his team’s curiosity for flavour and aroma that influence everything on the menu. You will find standard cocktails but also cocktails inspired by the molecular mixing school that blends together original ideas and solid knowledge. Drinking at the Nottingham Forest is truly an extraordinary experience for all the senses, a place that is worth more than one visit.
What to drink: the Luxury Cocktail, one of the most expensive cocktails in the world which mixes a precious cognac aged more than 100 years with champagne, a pure gold leaf and a strawberry containing a diamond that will remain to the drinker as a present.