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Monti / Colosseo / Esquilino

The Race Club - Love at first sip

26/01/2016
The Race Club - Love at first sip

Rome is notorious for its terrible cocktails. We all suffer the abstinence, or the sad versions of so called “can’t do it wrong” cocktails. However, fresh air is breathing in the capital of Italy! Many new bars and clubs are opening with the aim not only of offering great cocktails provided by stellar mixologists, but to teach the local population what it means to enjoy a truly well-made drink.

The Race Club is one of these places. Like many small clubs in Rome it is an association, which means that access is not guaranteed, you have to convince the guy at the door. Usually such behaviour is unnerving but in this case it simply translates into a relatively chill, but still present, dress code; don’t show up in slacks and flip flops and be respectful to your surroundings (there’s a reason its called speak easy).

Once inside you will be asked to become a member of the association, because this is to all effects a private club. The membership costs 5 euros and gives you access to the bar downstairs. Hidden under a stylized motorbike shop, this club is one of the many speakeasy remakes popping up around town, but it has managed to create and maintain a very individual character.

Different from many other speakeasies, here the atmosphere is relaxed, the staff is forthcoming and the barmen, and the lovely bar lady Laura, are only happy to explain the secret functioning of the perfect cocktail. The ambience is perfect for sinking into one of the vintage sofas sipping on a spicy-but-not-too-much Jalapeno Mule and enjoy the music, which from time to time is live, and just seep in the groove.

Peeking behind the bar, you will notice that the famous brands shine in their absence, letting lesser-known producers come to light: naturally my eye immediately caught two Sardinian gins, Pigskin and Giniu. The two gins offer very different interpretations of the classic liquor, the first is rather aromatic with typically Sardinian herbal inflections, while the latter remains classically dry; differences that the staff artfully consider when preparing a perfect custom drink.

Don’t come here if you’re in a rush, that tour can wait, itprobably has for roughly 2 millennia, so sit back, relax and enjoy the few minutes it takes for Angelo to make that Mike Collins by watching the people around you, have a chat and then slowly and lusciously sip the somewhat bittersweet but perfectly balanced drink. We don’t have the pleasure of being around for as long as Rome has, but the embracing care of the soft-spoken and lovely staff, together with the happy and calm faces of the pleased clientele makes us forget such worldly worries and just enjoy the moment.

 

The Race Club

Via Labicana 52

+39 06 9604 4048

 

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