US bartenders have been approached by the Italian government who are making attempts to fix the drop in alcohol sales caused by the drop in American tourists visiting the country.
A number of Italy’s main alcohol producers have signed up to the Italian Trade Agency initiative called the Spirits Promotion Project. Aperol and Fernet-Branca are amongst those represented on the list amongst many other Italian brands produced by family-run distilleries. Meletti Anisette, Varnelli Amaro, Pallini Peachcello, and Amaro Dell’Etna have also signed up to the scheme.
As part of the programme, virtual seminars will be held to persuade US bartenders and mixologists to push Italian spirits to their customers. Online programs also hope to educate those in the bar trade on how to best work with Italian products like amaro, vermouth, grappa, limoncello.
Forthcoming events will be held in conjunction with the United States Bartenders’ Guild, Bar Convent Brooklyn, and Tales of the Cocktail.
Accompanying the online events, there is a consumer-friendly guide to Italian spirits, as well as a book of recipes, produced by the Italian Trade Organisation.
Director of outreach and engagement for amaro brand Gruppo Montenegro, Ted Carducci, said that bartenders are on “the front line” of consumer education. Speaking with Vinepair he said:
“There is no more attentive student of spirits than one seated in front of a knowledgeable and passionate bartender,”
“When stories are shared, production processes explained, and, ultimately, a spirit is tasted either neat or in cocktails, those consumers remember the zeal with which the bartender presented the information.”
As one of the EU’s hardest-hit countries, Italy’s losses in terms of travel and tourism for 2020 amounted to around US$144 billion, according to a recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council. The recent trade war between the US, the UK and the EU also deeply affected Italian alcohol exports, though those mutual tariffs have since been suspended.
For more information on the Italian Trade Agency, head over to its official website.