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Ragno d'oro: an icon of wines, spirits and cocktails in the province of Bari

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golden spider

It is an icon in Giovinazzo and throughout Puglia. And now, with the excellent research work on wines and especially on spirits carried out by one of the two owners Cesare Marzella, is gaining nationwide resonance. The Golden Spider it is one of the few mid-19th century venues still alive. Yet, if on the one hand it shows all the years it has, on the other the cocktails of the bartenders Giuseppe Gagliardi and Davide Pertino express, in a contemporary way, all the quality of this destination. 

golden spider

What is the Golden Spider

Born in 1856 thanks to Filippo Martinelli, The Golden Spider it is a symbol of the city of Giovinazzo. Passed into the hands of four families, the last of which Marzella, who took over in 1981, it is a place that knows how to conquer, not only for its furnishings, but also for its history of over 150 years, carried forward with an eye towards the future by the brothers and owners Cesare and Raffaele. Above all thanks to the first - the second leads the room - the initial café, with the production of artisanal desserts and ice creams, has also become a bistro with cuisine from around the world and a reference destination for tasting the best spirits, wines and champagnes from all over the world. world. If once the Golden Spider it was visited by celebrities such as politicians, American actors and singers, today it is frequented from morning to late at night, at all times of the day. 

golden spider dishes

The warm colours, the wooden furnishings, the soft lights, the many memorabilia, the books, the works of art, a piano and a leather sofa reflect in every way the vintage style of the sign, a meeting point for citizens and not only, who seek quality. In the products, but also in the moments, for example those of a drink sipped while admiring nineteenth-century chandeliers and a fine wood counter. The restaurant has two floors: while most of the spaces are on the ground floor, on the upper floor regular customers can access a secret room with 8 seats, hidden behind a library. 

Spirits and wines

If there is one thing that makes Ragno d'Oro more impressive than anything else, it is the selection of spirits. There are over 500 visible references selected by Cesare Marzella, not to mention the bottles displayed in cabinets and furniture throughout the venue. The latter, in fact, are not even for sale, but it is Cesare who, at his own discretion, decides to open them, to let enthusiasts of the theme taste them. “The bottle shop made an important leap in terms of number of labels at the beginning of 2018, when the renovation also allowed, among other things, a renewal of the spaces” says Beppe. “Our references never stand still. We are always looking for new things for our customers." 

golden spider spirits

The most present spirits are undoubtedly whiskey and rum. “We have over 300 whiskey labels here: French, Taiwanese, Japanese, Zeeland, Australian and Italian” says David. The whiskeys are selected by Cesare, with the help of the two bartenders. Just to give an example, here there are timeless collections of Ardbeg and Macallan, as well as Clairin, Caroni, Samaroni and Hampden rums. “At Ragno d'Oro, you can also appreciate exclusive references of mezcal and tequila, including the prestigious Clase Azul references, of grappas - Berta's selection is important - of Japanese whiskies, such as the Yamazaki 100th anniversary, and more generally of all spirits, because we travel, taste and select. Here, at Ragno d'Oro, you can never find commercial labels, but only research ones." 

golden spider wines

The same goes for spirits too for wines. “There are over 200 labels on paper, the result of meticulous research that never passes through the distributors, but is followed from cellar to cellar by Cesare" Davide continues. In the approximately 200 labels there is space for reds from all over the world - Italy, South Africa, China, Argentina, France and California - but also for excellent bubbles, such as Franciacorta and Champagne. “As with the spirits, also in this case there are some gems that, alone, are worth the trip: the Redigaffi, a Tuscan Merlot from the Tua Rita winery, rather than the Barolo Ester Canale Vigna Rionda by Giovanni Rosso, from Piedmont, or the champagnes Louis Roederer and Dom Pérignon”.

The cocktails

Exclusively signature. The cocktails on Ragno d'Oro's current drink list are dedicated to Sherlock Holmes, historical symbol of English literature, coined by Arthur Conan Doyle at the end of the 19th century. On the menu of the Giovinazzo restaurant, Sherlock - who according to the legend of the Golden Spider began frequenting the restaurant as a child and then returned once he retired – lives again in six research drinks, associated with phrases borrowed from the books dedicated to him and presented at the end of 2023.

Sherlock cocktail

“Each cocktail is served in a glass specially created with the 3D printer while the homemade ice bears symbols of Sherlock's life on the upper side, such as the pipe”. The Poppy Pipe he resumes it with the use of tamarind (here acidified) because it was one of the main ingredients of a drink that the character consumed to take opium.

Smoking, which characterized the London man so much, is recalled inElementary, Watson, a drink with whiskey, mezcal, liquid smoke, Lapsang Souchong Chinese smoked tea cordial and salted caramel. “The Bee Punch instead it recalls an activity that Sherlock began to dedicate himself to once he retired: beekeeping. In the cocktail there is space for rum, zibibbo, honey, ginger, turmeric, milk kefir and for rectangular ice in the shape of a honeycomb".  

From March, the Sherlock Holmes drink list will have a summer sequel, with fresh cocktails who will continue the story told about the Giovinazzo legend of one of the most famous men in the history of literature.

For lovers of mixing, the Ragno d'oro is also an exceptional place to enjoy a classic, because you can choose to customize your Boulevardier, for example, with a whiskey that is difficult to find elsewhere.

sherlock

Who are Giuseppe Gagliardi and Davide Pertino

Giuseppe Gagliardi and Davide Pertino, both born in 1995 and from Puglia, the former from Giovinazzo and the latter from Modugno, are the bar managers of Ragno d'Oro. Giuseppe arrived in Cesare's restaurant in 2017, where he was joined in September 2023 by Davide, who boasts decades of experience in the sector. Giuseppe's favorite cocktail is the Martini, while Davide's is the Gibson. Both of your favorite spirits? The whisky.

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Alessio D'Aguanno

Alessio D'Aguanno is the copywriter. He interviews bartenders and talks about the work they do in Italian and worldwide cocktail bars, both in the blog and in the paper guide.

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