Set in the Eternal City a stone’s throw from its millennia-old iconic monuments, Drink Kong feels like a scene from a sci-fi movie. The unique bar is a collection of eclectic spaces that evoke different moods from London modernity and high-energy New York to Japanese minimalism. However, its overarching style – neon lights and futuristic spaces – was inspired by Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner and it shows. The venue, the music (classic rock with weekly live music nights) and the atmosphere come together as essential parts of the bar’s fundamental tenet: creator Patrick Pistolesi wants customers to have an experience, not just a drink.
Irish-Italian Pistolesi has been making a name for himself since emerging at popular Rome bar Barnum, racking up experience in New York, London and Japan. Drink Kong is his first solo project, giving a physical expression to his inimitable style. Much like the décor, the menu is minimalistic, a collection of colours, cocktail names and short evocative descriptions, such as the Original Sin: “A gimlet for beluga. Original – tempter – chic.”
Everything at Drink Kong is about instinct. Rather than reading through long ingredient lists, customers are invited to choose a flavour profile (dry, sweet or bitter), or let themselves be guided by the menu’s colours, which represent each drink’s feeling. This encourages the use of gusto-olfactory senses to discover the elements that went into the drink, leading to a deeper cocktail experience.
Opened in late 2018, Drink Kong has already become a must-visit spot on any keen drinker’s itinerary in Rome, and it is now set to make its mark on the international drinks scene with the Campari One To Watch Award 2019.