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Italian cocktail culture is one of the finest in the world. with the country being the homeland of many famous ingredients. In Catania, there are several great cocktail bars that are putting these ingredients to good use in exciting ways. Here are some of the best cocktail bars in Catania, Sicily.
Bohéme Mixology Bar
Bohéme Mixology Bar is a perfect bar. Not everyone will think this, since we all have our different preferences, but if you’re a fan of unique, well-made cocktails served in a relaxed atmosphere, Bohéme Mixology Bar is your new home.
While Bohéme has an outside patio, the inside Bohemian living room is a welcoming spot to sit on a chilly evening.
Once you’re seated, one of the knowledgable staff members will come over and discuss your preferences. There’s no set drinks menu here, but even those who might have no immediate idea what they want in a cocktail are in good hands. While some bars that offer custom-made cocktails will ask a few basic questions, & then make you something from a standard repertoire, Bohéme Mixology Bar takes things further based on your chat.
Being a fan of Manhattans, this was the starting point for my first cocktail. But my order wasn’t as simple as that. They could have just taken that initial instruction, tweaked one thing, and I would have enjoyed it. The server asked me first where I stood between sweet & bitter Manhattans (middle ground), then if I would be open to a non-traditional vermouth (emphatic yes!), then also if I liked citrusy, which was another definite yes.
With all of these questions, not all of the options will necessarily be followed, but the bartenders will balance your tastes with what they know works well together. Additionally, Bohéme is happy to make non-alcoholic cocktails, with the same care going into every order to make your perfect drink.
After your order is taken, your eyes are drawn to the old school wooden bar behind which the cocktails are made by their award-winning bartenders.
Another touch is the bathroom, which is hidden behind the wardrobe. There’s a bit of magic in every corner at Bohéme.
A few minutes later, our first round came back. I received a wonderful take on a Manhattan, made with Carpano Antica Formula vermouth, served in what can only be described as a chalice. It was a cocktail made for luxury sipping while sinking into a comfy living room chair and having a nice conversation with friends.
We couldn’t have just one round of cocktails at Bohéme, so we ordered another. For this one, I requested a specific ingredient: Cynar. Cynar is a bitter Italian liqueur made from artichoke, and it works especially well in whiskey-based cocktails. The cocktail also featured bergamot.
Over this last delicious drink, we chatted a bit with Bruno & Salvo, the two guys who run the place. They look every bit the part of hipster bartender, but without any of the snobbiness. At Bohéme, they’ve created a bar where they can show their knowledge & love of good mixed drinks. In fact, they had planned to be hosting guest bartenders later in the spring so they could all share info.
Bohéme Mixology Bar is a fun experience, with quality cocktails served in an unpretentious setting. Not only was it my favorite cocktail bar in Catania, it deserves to be included on many “best bars in the world” lists, as it’s certainly one of the best bars in Italy.
Address: Via Montesano, 27/29, 95100 Catania CT, Italy (map)
Circus Cocktail Bar
As you might have guessed, Circus Cocktail Bar is circus-themed. There’s a stuffed white tiger perched in a corner.
Yet, Circus is not overly kitschy – this is still a cocktail bar for a nice evening out. Thankfully the music played in the bar is not carnival music, but rather a nice mix of jazz & funk.
After sitting down, I was presented with a whole book of cocktails. Some were seasonal Sicilian creations, plus there were selections across other spirits, including twists on classic cocktails. Each drink is labeled with its flavor profile. Should the menu not tickle your fancy, they can also of course make you whatever you want.
I had the Zingarello. It was a lovely, chocolaty cocktail made from bourbon, amaro rosso del circo, Italian circus bitters, sherry, and tintura di fave di cacao, complete with a Lego chocolate piece on top.
Circus Cocktail Bar is located a bit up a hill in the Catania city center in a lively area hopping with bars & restaurants. It’s worth the uphill walk for some of the best cocktails in Catania.
Address: Via Sant’Elena, 13/15, 95124 Catania CT, Italy (map)
Oliva.co Cocktail Society
Oliva.co Cocktail Society is another inviting cocktail bar in Catania, connecting Sicily to New York City. One room feels more like a dining room, the other more like a living room, giving the place an overall homey feel.
The small cocktail menu include locally-inspired drinks, including the Compagnia Delle Indie, the interesting almond-flavored cocktail I had. They also serve local craft beer.
Address: Via delle Scale, 3, 95124 Catania CT, Italy (map)
Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant
Located on the 7th floor rooftop of the Palace Catania hotel, the Etnea Roof Bar & Restaurant is the best bar in Catania for cocktails with a view. While I visited on a quiet March evening, it’s easy to see how it could be a place to see & be seen on warm summer nights. The patio has sweeping views of Mt. Etna.
Inside, Etnea is gorgeous. The bar is not stuck in a corner, but rather serves as the focal point once you enter.
The rest of the room is classy, while still being chill & comfortable.
Etnea is yet another Catania cocktail bar where Sicily’s unique ingredients are incorporated into their drinks. Their signature cocktails included the Zàgaro, which uses mandarinetto, a local mandarin liqueur. Sicily’s orange groves are a point of pride for the island.
Etnea ended up being the location of my final drink on this visit to Catania. It was here where we found out Italy would be shutting down, but the Zàgaro was a lovely send-off.
Address: Via Etnea, 218, 95131 Catania CT, Italy (map)
Catania’s cocktail bars are one of the highlights of the city. Their fun atmospheres are welcoming to any visitor, while their love of quality ingredients leads to inventive local cocktails.
Interested in a food or drink tour of Catania? Here are some ideas:
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