In Italy, there’s nothing quite like aperitivo hour – a time when friends gather to unwind in the evening with a few drinks to stimulate the appetite. This summer and spring, Amaro Montenegro will bring the joys of this experience to America with Bar Monte, a traveling pop-up bar that will visit various festivals and locations across the U.S. on a road trip that lasts from June to October. At each of its stops, the open-air experience will safely showcase the simplicity of Italian bar culture with cafe-like seating and creative cocktails to feature Amaro Montenegro, Italy’s number one premium amaro liqueur. The first stop on the itinerary is Panama City Beach.
Bar Monte’s centerpiece is a stylish, portable trailer, which will be carted around the country by a classic wood-paneled vintage Jeep Wagoneer. During the roadtrip, it will set up shop in the outdoor spaces of some of the country’s best food and wine festivals and gatherings. Guests can choose between Amaro Montenegro cocktails on draft or use a custom dice game to leave their beverage choice to fate – all of the beverages can be sipped at socially distanced tables that mimic what you’d find on cobblestoned Italian streets. Lawn games complete the pop-up’s casual vibe – bocce pays homage to Monte’s Italian roots while cornhole provides an American-inspired pastime.
The goal is to introduce more drinkers to Amaro Montenegro, an iconic Italian amaro that’s commonly served as an after-dinner drink or mixed into a variety of cocktails. At only 23% ABV, this traditional herbal liqueur is an ideal spirit to sip during daylight hours. The recipe is 136 years old, and here it will be used in takes on the classics that are perfect for a warm evening. “We want to showcase the most joyful aspects of Italian hospitality culture while inspiring visitors to add something new to their drink repertoire,” says Tad Carducci, Director of Outreach and Engagement at Gruppo Montenegro who designed the cocktails on offer. “Something that’s delicious, unique, sophisticated and Italian.”
Guests can sample a flight of three cocktails from the trailer’s draft system – think offerings like the Monterita and Montenegroni – or sip a Montenegro & Tonic or simply enjoy the spirit on the rocks with a twist. If you have any trouble deciding, opt for a discounted mystery cocktail – just pop a set of dice and the bartender will come up with a creative libation on the spot. The partnered venue will also be crafting a selection of signature Montenegro cocktails they will serve on the menu.
“We’re really looking forward to reuniting people who’ve missed spending time together and bringing the magic of Italy to the States, ” says Jean Manning, Marketing Director – Americas. “Since traveling is still a challenge, we thought this was a great way to bring a taste of Italy to them.” The experience will adhere to the CDC and local government regulations, as outlined in each event’s guidelines for safety regarding COVID.
The first stop on the itinerary is Panama City Beach, where Bar Monte will launch at UNwineD, a must-visit foodie event, kicking off on June 4th. Next, the traveling bar will pop up at Bar Convent Brooklyn, the popular trade event for bar and beverage industry professionals, in August. Following a trip to the Big Apple, Bar Monte will visit Nashville for the Nashville Cocktail Festival, held from September 7 – 11. And come fall, Bar Monte will make its final stop at Austin City Limits for both weekends of the October event, where those with VIP access will be able to sip and enjoy a Montenegro cocktail in the Platinum Lounge. Guests can follow #BarMonte and www.BarMonte.com for information about when and where you can drop by for a visit.
“We are excited to bring Bar Monte to these cities at what is sure to be a transformational moment for a lot of the country,” says Carducci. “There’s nothing like sipping some Amaro Montenegro outdoors at golden hour while you watch the sun go down. And to be able to bring this to folks during this time of recovery – well, let’s just say we at Bar Monte can’t wait to meet you.”