Drink Kong, one of Rome’s coolest cocktail bars, should already be on your list of essential hangouts in Rome.
The brainchild of Patrick Pistolesi, one of the city’s leading mixology experts, Drink Kong is located in the trendy Monti district, within easy reach of Rome’s Termini station.
With interiors inspired by Blade Runner, excellent cocktails, and a stunning Japanese dining experience, it’s the place for after-dark drinks, Asian fusion food, and occasional live music sets.
Drink Kong’s neon charms make it one of the best looking bars in the city, but there’s substance here too, from the signature White Negroni to steamed bao buns, pastrami sandwiches and exceptional tacos.
Rome’s cocktail scene has seriously evolved in the last five years, and Pistolesi is well-known across the city as a top bar consultant and occasional creative director of projects as diverse as The Gin Corner and Caffè Propaganda.
In the past, you essentially had to be a bar entrepreneur or mixology peer to benefit from Pistolesi’s vast experience and knowledge in the world of cocktails.
However, now, a new masterclass taking place in Drink Kong’s private Japanese room gives everyone the chance to enter a fascinating world of mixology and the evolution of cocktails. Pistolesi is the exclusive teacher, talent and mentor for this experience, which can be booked for up to eight people.
With prices starting at €70 per person, and available in Italian or English, it’s a great value night, featuring five cocktails paired with Japanese food. Pistolesi mixes the drinks at the private bar in the Japanese room for you and your party of friends, so all you have to do is listen, sip and taste.
Dubbed Ukiyo, this Drink Kong cocktail masterclass takes its inspiration from the Japanese concept of a floating, fleeting, or transient world. It describes the urban lifestyle, especially the pleasure-seeking aspects, of the Edo-period Japan (1600–1867); here it is used to indicate an introspective leisure pursuit which brings happiness.
The menu is stripped into five elements: dry, salty-spicy, bitter, sour and sweet. Each sensation provides the opportunity for Pistolesi to serve a classic cocktail from the mixology hall of fame – rendered exceptional, of course, by his magical touch.
These cocktails at the Drink Kong cocktail masterclass are of the mignon variety, which is probably a good thing as the pairing plates definitely veer towards the light bite category. The typical size is something like this:
The Ukiyo Drink Kong cocktail masterclass started with an iconic martini, mixed with flair and presented with a fascinating potted history of this drink, which inspired greats such as Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming over the years. Invented in the US in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, you’ll have to attend the class to find out why an olive ended up in the drink.
The martini was served with cappelletti filled with beef and pork, cooked in saltwater, and accompanied by 40-month aged Parmesan.
Next it was the turn of our salty/spicy course, and what else than a classic Bloody Mary, made from organic yellow tomatoes and deftly mixed with a secret spice and condiments mix (and vodka, of course).
This was served with Roman-style oxtail, a fusion nod to the city’s most iconic recipe creation.
The mixology journey at the Drink Kong cocktail masterclass next passed to Florence, birthplace of the Negroni, which was served with a sugar-seared scallop. An absolutely classic and a great stop on the Drink Kong cocktail journey.
It was time for cocktail number four, and this was a classic White Lady, combining gin, Cointreau and lemon juice. This was served with twice-marinated Scottish salmon, taking its lovely deep pink hue from a dalliance with a beetroot marinade.
We were coming up to the grand finale of the Drink Kong cocktail masterclass, distinguished by one of Pistolesi’s signature cocktails – the Lotus. This version of the gin sour is mixed with elderflower, and was served with a pork dumpling and roast pineapple. Absolutely sensational.
I loved every step of the Drink Kong cocktail masterclass, learning a lot from maestro Pistolesi and having fun as we went. The food was divine but might not substitute a full dinner. Contact Drink Kong to book your masterclass today!
Drink Kong |Piazza San Martino ai Monti 8 |Rome |Italy | Tel 0039 06 2348 8666
Testaccina was a guest of Drink Kong