Lifestyle

The 5 most original cocktail bars in Turin

Article published on Aug. 6, 2015
Article published on Aug. 6, 2015

Our feature "5 things" continues; this time dedicated to the sacred ritual of the aperitif in Turin.

We Turin natives (and I include myself in that) are great lovers of firsts, particularly ours. Therefore it is not by chance that I tell you this: did you know that the apertitif was born in Turin? Not Milan. It was invented in the Savoy capital in 1786 by a certain Antonio Benedetto Carpano, who in his workshop under the colonnades of Piazza Castello created vermouth, that became the aperitif par excellence in the city, accompanied by snacks like breadsticks and salami, and for the most daring, bagna càuda. The ritual was called merenda sinoira (evening snack), and it was the aperitif before the term existed. The people of Turin therefore know how to make a good aperitif, and we didn't want you to miss out on a guide to the best 5 in the city.

Vermouth Anselmo

It's impossible not to mention this first, Vermouth Anselmo offers the new generation of  vermouth: the traditional wine, flavoured with herbs and spices born 200 years ago, has been given a contemporary twist in this bar of vintage taste and twenties atmosphere in San Salvario, the most Bohemian neighbourhood in Turin. Accompany the aperitif with tapas and snacks that the bar offers or, if you want, stop directly for dinner: there is always a vermouth-based dish which, it goes without saying, is heavenly (try the mussels  cooked in vermouth with curry and fresh coriander).

Smile Tree

If you are looking for a scenic cocktail, the place for you is the Smile Tree. Situated in the Quadrilatero Romano, the parisien quarter of Turin, this bar is legendary. Perhaps because no one has managed to go there twice. During the weekend the queues are long, but the quality of the drinks mean it's worth all the effort. Vegan options, extravagant aperitifs, and original cocktails served with so much exotic fruit are what makes this bar unique. Prepare yourself to sip from a cafetiere, from a coconut or from a teapot, and even when ordering a simple gin & tonic you don't know what will arrive at the table, probably a space egg.

Esperia

Situated on the bank of the river Po, the location of this bar alone renders it worth a visit. by day a magnificent and elegant rowing club in Pre-Collina, Esperia in the evening transforms into a sophisticated bar for aperitfs and dinner, with glass partitions and a suggestive (and, lets face it, romantic) view of the Po and the city lights. In summer, the aperitif is al fresco, and offers a rich choice of sophisticated and sought-after foods. If you are lucky, you could also wrap up the evening with a party, with pink strobe lighting that reflects on the river Po.

Floris

Floris House is one of the most chameleon-like places in Turin. A bar, but also a shop, perfumery and a garden, it's the ideal place for an aperitif under the trees, immersed in an atmosphere that is half bazaar street and half Amazonian forest. Plants, plants everywhere, and perfumes, and tastes, and homemade ice teas, and tasty and refined snacks. Between rococò and nouveau baroque, to enter Floris is to take a dive into the nineteenth century and Edwardian London: from the location to the waiters, in pure Savoy style, it's as good as it gets.

Casa Manitù

For those evenings where you just want to be relaxed and secluded, what is better than an aperitif at home? Casa Manitù is the ideal place to enjoy the tranquility of a proper living room in a real life apartment with 2 floors, with sofas, a firelace, chic and bohemian vibe, and so much comfort. Even the choice of location was informed: outside the hustle and bustle of the centre and the trendy neighbourhoods, this little house is at home in the Crocetta Quarter, gentrified and residential. Good food and plenty of it, like your grandma's house.