New York’s ICONIC Via Carota launches craft cocktails.
In Italy, living la dolce vita involves great food, great drinks and great friends. At New York’s famous Via Carota Italian restaurant, chefs Jody Williams and Rita Sodi have served that up since the Greenwich Village hotspot opened in 2014. Now, with the launch of their Via Carota cocktail line, discerning mixology lovers can have a taste of la dolce vita at home.
“What’s exciting about launching Via Carota Craft Cocktails, is that there’s no limit to who can enjoy them. At our restaurants, we can only serve so many people in a given day, even though we want to share the experience with more people,” Chef Williams says. “Via Carota Craft Cocktails transcend those limitations and allow us to share what we love more widely.”
The recipes for the cocktail line were refined from a decade of craft cocktails served at Via Carota, and its sister property, Bar Pisellino. In addition, bartender extraordinaire, Chris Cardone had a hand in the development of the craft cocktails. Cardone has won numerous accolades, including the 2017 National Champion of Diageo World Class, the world’s largest global mixology competition.
The ready-to-pour craft cocktails currently focus on three families. The Negronis, including a classic and white Negroni, Bourbon-based Old Fashioned and Signature Manhattan and Signature and Espresso Martinis.
“We wanted to begin with beloved, classic cocktails that are popular in our restaurants and that would benefit from our unique approach to flavor and construction,” Chef Sodi says.
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Since opening her first restaurant, Buvette, Chef Williams has captivated the not so easy to impress New York foodies, while Chef Sodi has wowed the city’s food lovers since 2008 at I Sodi. The two chefs, who are both business and life partners, combine their powerhouse culinary skills at Via Carota.
The restaurant oozes authenticity at a time when many eateries seem to just be glamming for Instagram. The restaurant is a perennial favorite of New York food writers and chefs. A sure-fire sign that the often hours-long wait is worth it. Add to it that the chefs were named the James Beard Best Chef in New York in 2019, and it’s obvious Via Carota is a must-do on any trip to the Big Apple.
The restaurant, named for the street Chef Sodi grew up on in Florence, Italy, is known for its seasonal cooking and reverence for vegetables.
"We wanted to begin with beloved, classic cocktails that are popular in our restaurants and that would benefit from our unique approach to flavor and construction,” Chef Sodi says.
BOTTLING THE VIA CAROTA SPIRIT
In Italy, good food and good drinks go hand-in-hand. To bottle the authentic Via Carota experience the duo spent over two years developing their ready-to-pour cocktails.
“We worked very hard at every turn to make sure this felt authentic to who we are, as well as what Via Carota means to us and to our guests,” Chef Williams says. “We care deeply about what we’ve built and how we’ve been embraced in the West Village over so many years. It needed to feel like a natural extension of what started from humble beginnings.”
Creating ready-to-pour craft cocktails isn’t easy and the Negroni family proved to be the biggest challenge. Both the classic and the white Negroni required the creation of a custom vermouth. The team went through 80 versions of the white Negroni before landing on the right mix of botanicals that made the drink sing.
The Signature Martini is a vodka-based martini with a ratio of 3 parts vodka to one part dry vermouth, while the Espresso Martini plays homage to the great Italian coffee culture using real espresso.
While the Old Fashioned is categorized as bourbon based, the Via Carota version features a four-year-old aged rye whiskey with bitters, brown sugar and orange flavor. The ICONIC Manhattan also uses the same rye whiskey and has a rich, cherry flavor.
Each bottle will make four to six craft cocktails depending on how heavy you pour. The pretty bottles ensure that they make a unique alternative to the obligatory bottle of wine when attending a dinner party. Order a set and the presentation will wow for any gift giving occasion.