It’s clear that we’re living in a new golden age of mixology. The old coke & rum in a plastic cup is now a heresy, and we have become accustomed to quality cocktails, with selected ingredients, expertly blended by mixologists who seem more like alchemists than barmen. In the city, there are always new and interesting places that follow the latest trends of late drinking, but the Wooding Bar (or Wood * ing, as its creators stylize it) is definitely the most original, extreme and courageous that we’ve ever tried.
The minds of Wood * ing Bar are Valeria Mosca Caglio, already known in the world of radical gastronomy and a great expert in foraging, namely the collection, in the absolute respect of the environment, of edible, wild plants, and Stefano Tosoni that aptly curates its concept and developement. After having founded in 2010 the Wood * ing Lab , a laboratory of research and experimentation on wild food, and after writing in 2016 the book “Wild Mixology”, a recipe book and a technical manual for creating cocktails with “wild” ingredients, Valeria decided to devote to open her own place devoted to wild mixology.
The bar is located in the Island area, where a former paint factory once was, and is the first endemic bars in the world. In botany, the adjective “endemic” means a typical and exclusive species of a given territory. In fact, the Wood * ing Bar offers drinks made with wild, never grown, ingredients: roots, herbs, algae, moss and bark collected in uncontaminated areas, respecting ecosystems, and worked by hand.
Just step inside to understand that this is an unusual and different bar. Furnishing and interiors perfectly reflect the wild philosophy: simple and essential environment, soft colors, chipped walls, long tables in Lebanon cedar wood, paintings and details from the natural and botanical world. Even before ordering, with a sprig of spruce, it helps to prepare your mouth for the best tasting experience because it cleanses the palate from any other flavors – as they explain – and is also good, considering that the spruce contains eight times more vitamin C than a grown lemon.
The drink list is divided into two sections. The first, classic wild, classic cocktails, from Spirits to Moscow Mules, revisited with wild ingredients. The second, more extreme, is instead dedicated to wild cocktails, which are identified with ingredients and are listed and explained on the menu. Unless you really are a botany scholar, you will be able to discover new plants, herbs and methods of fermentations. We opted for the drink #1, based on mezcal and prepared with kombucha of bramble leaves, dirt of fermented roots and castalda- an extremely pleasant, fresh and delicate cocktail.
The dishes are accompanied by a plate of small snacks – the menu offers both tastings and regular dishes. Of course, the food follows the wild philosophy, too. There is a strong use of wild herbs, subsistence flours and cooking techniques, such as drying and smoking are preferred to the traditional ones.
An unusual cocktail for anyone who wants to try something different and above all, an innovative philosophy for an intelligent drink that supports the environment.