Aguardiente in Marina di Ravenna

Home is where anchor drops as good navigators know who, after long wanderings on the seas, love to dock at ports and relax at the counter of a bar in more or less frequented places. We lower the sails, dock and walk along the quay of the port until the gaze is captured by two shop windows, a few tables outside lit by small candles and, suddenly, the eye is on the inside and a bottle rack immense. The walls of the whole room are covered with an infinite number of labels and, in that moment, one acquires the awareness of being in the right place exactly where one can feel at home, without losing the emotion of a place capable of making you live a unique experience.

This is exactly the feeling it gives AguardienteRhum Bar in Marina di Ravenna, which reveals itself at every glance with its sugar cane distillate labels and the landlord, Jimmy Bertazzoli, able to know how to interpret them in designer cocktails and great classics that enhance the production areas and aging. Barman with long experience, self-taught and for 9 years a member of the Mowa – successful cocktail bar in Marina di Ravenna –, Jimmy grew up in bar industry indulging a passion that, over the years, he has let become his main professional activity. whereby, Aguardiente represents, in the training process of Bertazzoli, the fulfillment of a long journey of study and growing love for rum and the Caribbean culture of sugar cane distillation.

A noteworthy bottle cabinet that boasts a collection of 3000 bottles of distillates between Cachaça, Agricole, Haiti with a particular fondness for white rum

A noteworthy bottle rack that boasts a collection of 3000 bottles of spirits among Cachaça, Agricole, Haiti with a particular fondness for white rums

In about 7 years of activity of the Ravenna rhum bar, Bertazzoli he has more than 40 trips overseas during which he has had the opportunity to explore production methods but also to get to know important players in the marketing and processing of spirits. If we had met him ten years ago, we would have known an excellent barman, on the crest of the wave at Mowa, an expert in creating fruit-based cocktails and respected by colleagues from all over Italy. On the other hand, the lightning strike for the Caribbean came thanks to two happy encounters: the first with Luke Garganopatron of Velier – company recently awarded as Rhum Producer of the Year at ISWC 2022 – and great connoisseur of the world of rum, and Erwin Weinimannone of the most important Master Distillers of Cachaca.

IS Gargano to open the doors of the Caribbean a Jimmythanks to numerous “adventures” in the best known distilleries such as Clairin in Haiti, until he became Ambassador of some of them, creating his own selection of barrels currently in paper and in bottle from Aguardiente. Weinimannfor his part, was a master on the subject CachaBrazilian ca, who has indeed transmitted his knowledge to the point of dealing with the bottling of special releases and making the best use of the Brazilian distillate within the blending, in a panorama such as the Italian one in which it was not yet used and valued adequately. And the choice of field towards sugar cane distillates is precisely the characteristic of Aguardienteclearly defines its identity, i.e. being a Rum Bar capable of leaving its mark in the memory of customers and at the same time opening up a cross-section of a world that tends to be little known to the Italian public.

The bottle rack of the room is extremely emblematic in the evolution path of Aguardiente where, in the beginning, there were 300 different rum labels, 100 gins and a few other references, while today we are talking about about 3000 bottles of distillates between Cachaça, Agricole, Haiti with a particular preference for white rums.

Each bottle has been a subject of study for the patron of the restaurant, who has chosen to enter and fully embrace the Caribbean world, its culture and intense, often disarming taste. And when bottle selections enter the drinklist, they always take center stage. That’s why leafing through the paper is a journey through renowned distilleries such as Hampden, Appleton, Caroni… and their aging of inestimable value and limited edition. The menus, from the opening until the next one which will arrive at the end of autumn, are structured in such a way as to always have the distillate in the foreground, as an element that connotes the aromaticity of the drink more than the other ingredients. If, for example, you are looking for more acidity in a drink, you will try to work on the distillate and not on the citric character of a fruit or of another process, because the centrality of the distillate is the key to understanding the uniqueness and beauty of Aguardiente; to discover how classic cocktails and their twists acquire new and fascinating nuances.


Scrolling through the current map, proposals such as theOld Fashioned #2 Navy where head the Royal Navy Very Old Rum mixed with Syrup de Sucre Bio (squeezing cane) e Angostura bittersas well as more important processes such as the Sazerac #2 with a precious Caroni 12 Trinidad Rum, Michter’s Rye Whisky, Bio Sirop de Sucre, Peychaud’s Bitter and Absinthium La Fee Parisienne.

Old fashioned

Old fashioned

Using large labels in blending is, second Bertazzoli, an interpretation of the distillate that starts from absolute respect for the product and then creates a side dish around it that accompanies it and never dominates its taste. Surely, one of the drinks that in his opinion lends itself better to respecting large bottlings is precisely the Old Fashionedwhich always appears in the home drinklists.

The work of conceiving the drinks is also an important moment in the life of the place and of sharing within the work team, made up of the Head Bartender Pier Mario Zanotti, Ilaria Tasini at the reception and in the dining room, ed Erica Accorsi at the bar and in the dining room. A synergy that translates into real research and experimentation, as is happening these days for the development of the autumn/winter 2022-2023 drinklist. How did he anticipate us Bertazzoli, «The greatest work was to recreate recipes with the authentic distillates that compose them, starting from the production plants present at the time of their conception».

Clearly, not being able to have a Cuban aguardiente from the early 1900s, it follows the production style of the time and recreates a blend that can get as close as possible to the authentic one. This rule is followed for all new cocktails of the first section of the upcoming card, entitled genesis, which will represent popular Caribbean beverages and the drinks that gave birth to Cuban Golden Age. This section will follow Cocktail List #8 with the signatures and finally, last call, that is, the section with a selection of the best-selling drinks in the 7 years of life of the club.

Rum Collins #5: Providence First Drop, Thun Quintessential Dandelion Honey, Citrus Soda and Angostura Bitter

Rum Collins #5: Providence First Drop, Quintessential Thun Honey with Dandelion, Citrus Soda and Angostura Bitter

Meanwhile, we present a small spoiler, the Rum Collins #5your first stop on a journey into the world of the Caribbean and the history of sugar cane distillation with Providence First Drop, Honey Thun Quintessence with Dandelion, Citrus Soda and Angostura Bitter.

Piazzale Adriatico 7D
Marina of Ravenna
+ 39 347 777 7584

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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