The Aperol Spritz was created in Venice and that’s just the start for Venice cocktails…
Caffe Florian: The iconic, the original, the can’t be missed. One of Europe’s first cafes, Florian set the bar of fashion, sophistication and acclaim for gathering places. And while quite touristy now, it still holds its illuminated position and remains a beacon of Venice with its ideal location on the Piazza San Marco. Its historic drawing rooms are worth the crowds, while in good weather sitting outside at one of their tables on the piazza doesn’t get much better.
Cantina Do Mori: Cicchetti are a type of Venetian tapas, small plates of bite sized food served at many local wine bars. Aperitivo can be at any hour in Venice! One of the best in town is not far from the Rialto market, a cozy place covered in copper pots on the ceiling and old fashion wine casks. With a fantastic selection of cicchetti and wines by the glass, I recommend trying the Venetian specialty of Baccala Mantecato or creamed salted cod with a nice cool glass of Prosecco.
Harry’s Bar: Its impossible to not mention Harry’s Bar, and indeed no trip to Venice is complete without having tried one of their world famous Bellinis. Surprisingly Harry’s Bar is not very big, with relatively low key decor, yet it still has a feel of old world grandeur about it with its polished wood and white suited staff, there is a sense that it is what it always has been since its beginning. The bar counter is quite small but much is done to try and accommodate all who want to enjoy a good cocktail there.
Caffe Quadri: Venice’s other grand historical cafe is on the opposite side of the piazza from Florian. It might have a slightly more modern flair with its cocktail menu and stylish glassware. During the day when the sun is out, especially on that side of the piazza, its a good place to pick up a refreshing Spritz, however my favourite cocktail is their truffle martini. Definitely worth a try.
Chat Chi Rit: I’m very reluctant to share this place as it is my quiet hangout in the mid afternoon when I want to hide from the crowds and sit and relax. Very close to the Piazza San Marco, it is a delightful bistrot offering modern Venetian fare, but I have to say I love coming here for a great glass of wine or prosecco, and they have an impressive collection of grappe.
Bar Longhi (and Riva Lounge outside) at the Gritti Palace: For top notch cocktails there are none better than those at the Longhi Bar at the Gritti Palce Hotel. There is not a prettier bar in Venice, decorated in 18th century Venetian styling, murano glass of course, it even has a painting by Pietro Longhi (hence the name of the bar). If you prefer to sit along the canal with some of the best views of the Grand Canal, then you can try and nab one of their much coveted outdoor tables at the Riva Lounge. Its very hard to choose as both inside and out, this is a very Venetian experience.