There are two things to consider when choosing where to have an aperitif. In olden times, one spoke of “taking” an aperitif. Today we say “have” an aperitif: this is a fully-fledged activity, and undoubtedly a key a part of the day when you are on holidays. The aperitif combines a good drink with a suitable setting. These are also the criteria behind the survey that led to the 2020 ranking of aperitifs on the coast. It is not actual ranking, but a sort of scan from west to east, taking into account the location and the opportunity to enjoy drinks and snacks suitable for those who “take life with a pinch of salt, and a slice of lemon and tequila”.
Sea Lounge – Capo Testa – Santa Teresa
Sea Lounge is built on wooden beams that extend over a steep dip on the north side of Capo Testa, one of the most beautiful spots in Europe. A good bar, with an international clientele, unobtrusive music, a spectacular sunset and the possibility of having a kiss sitting on the sculptural rocks around the lighthouse that dominates the Bocche di Bonifacio strait.
Yacht Club Punta Sardegna – Porto Rafael
Only for the few: on the pier of the tiny Yacht Club of Porto Rafael there is a bar so small and pretty that it recalls the early years of the Costa Smeralda. There is no space, only an inimitable atmosphere, with waves lapping against the stern of the boats moored there. You can take your glass over to the flat rocks and savour the passage of boats coming back from the islands.
Le Terrazze Del Ritual – Baja Sardinia
A fantastic idea to reclaim the two terraces located at the top of the enchanted castle that hosts the spectacular Ritual Club in Baja Sardinia. Here too the sunset is great, the service is top-class and there is an almost endless choice of things to drink. The proper name is Terrazze12.
Le Calette – On the Road
At the edge of a maritime pines forest, a secluded – one could say hidden – little wooden bar stands right in front of the sunset. It’s about twenty meters above the sea, so you can enjoy the reflections of the sun on the Gulf of Arzachena.
Luci di la Muntagna – Porto Cervo
Small, but with an incomparable view of the marina and Porto Cervo. On the terrace of the hotel Luci di la Muntagna, one of the first structures built in Porto Cervo, where you can breathe a refined air, that of the Costa Smeralda of a bygone era. A priceless feeling and a wonderful host in Andrea Temussi.
Zamira – Porto Cervo
A social aperitif at the centre of the Promenade du Port. The quality is excellent and this is the perfect spot for people-watching. Dino is one of the best known and expert bartenders on the coast, and it shows.
Nikki Beach – Cala Petra Ruja – Porto Cervo
The famous international brand that invented the format of the beautiful aperitif, both in the glass and all around it, taking it to the beach and increasing the times when a cocktail is obviously a good idea to cover almost all 24 hours of the day. In Costa Smeralda, Nikki Beach can be found on the fantastic beach of Cala Petra Ruja and at the Waterfront in the old port of Porto Cervo.
Terrazza Frades – Abbiadori
The terrace overlooks the bay of Cala di Volpe from the hairpin bends that lead to the village of Abbiadori. The Paddeu brothers know their craft, and bring the best of Sardinia to the table: local hams, cheeses and preserves to accompany the wines and cocktails. It is no coincidence that they are from Orani, a town of serious people in the Barbagia region, home to many great artists including the sculptor Costantino Nivola, the tailor to VIPs Modolo, the Ziranu blacksmiths, master carpenter Antonio Nivola, and many others.
Li Neuli – San Pantaleo
The aperitif is a serious business here. The country club that last year hosted a big Unicef party, attended by film and TV stars from all over the world, has a pair of competition-level bartenders, one of whom took third place in the World Class Competition. So the cocktails are on another level, and many can only be found here, such as the “Sapore di Mare” with Peruvian Pisco, infused with helichrysum, Vermouth with myrtle, Sardinian artichoke bitters and bitters with pompia, a native Sardinian citrus fruit, plus the signature cocktails of the Japanese-Peruvian restaurant Shima Lounge, a guest star at Li Neuli in 2020.
Caffé Nina – San Pantaleo
The aperitif in the square in San Pantaleo is the most famous on the coast. Yes, the village is adorable and Cafe Nina know how to do aperitifs. Super drinks, an excellent cellar, and tasty appetisers served on carasau bread were invented here, 15 years before they spread throughout the rest of Sardinia. Priceless.
J Club – Razza di Juncu
New for 2020. A beautiful structure has been created on the Razza Di Juncu beach that promises top-quality aperitifs accompanied by plentiful appetisers from the chef. The bartender is the excellent Matteo Zarri who offers a collection of fresh fruit extracts with varying percentages of alcohol, as well as all the international cocktails and some special ones. The music? Funky and Body Heat from the DJ every night from 5 to 10 p.m.
Vigne Surrau – Arzachena
Wine for your aperitif? Surrau winery is the perfect place. A large covered structure, open all year round, with spaces for conferences and exhibitions (with a large permanent one all summer by Stefano Sanna), this splendid oasis is nestled among the vineyards that serve up the excellent wines and bubbles that we all know and love.
Spirits Boutique – Olbia
Spirits Boutique, in the lively centre of Olbia, is part of a project that includes the production of Vermouth and other spirits in Sardinia. It is a bar and shop where you can taste special cocktails (also available to take away) and buy spirits from all over the world chosen by the incredible bartender Emilio Rocchino, who is always happy to illustrate their characteristics A corner where experts find themselves at home and amateurs like us get lost, happily.
Bar del Molo – Porto Rotondo
Strong on aperitifs. A long tradition, a well-stocked bar and a great passion for cocktails. Is that enough? We would add that we are in the harbour of Porto Rotondo, in the heart of the village but on the water, at sunset. The full name is Bar Gelateria Del Molo.