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Italy Welcomes Its First Zero Waste Bar

After months of open promises, early closing, and high expectations, it is finally official: Scarto Cocktail Bar will open in Bologna the weekend of 22nd and 23rd September 2018.

The opening was made difficult by the concept of the bar, its philosophy and also by the location, which makes it unique not only in the Italian scene but also in the international one.

The creator of Scarto (a name that means ‘waste’ in Italian) is Carsten Steinacker, bartender and architect of German origins. For years, he dreamed of ​​opening a zero waste cocktail bar and, after evaluating various European options, he chose Bologna, an Italian city long known for its culinary offerings.

Scarto | The location

Scarto is situated in a former monastery located in Via della Braina. Carsten decided to change as little as possible, adding a few, very essential wooden furnishings and maintaining the evocative atmosphere with low lights and rough walls.


Let’s talk about the idea behind Scarto. Zero waste mixology is a philosophy that has already found several supporters, especially in Northern Europe, and is based, above all, on techniques such as fermentation or drying – to reuse food leftovers as much as possible. It involves the self-production of soft drinks and liqueurs, when possible. Naturally, special attention is given to the glasses – no plastic straws, so to speak.

The cocktail list was created by Victoria Small, already a consultant for the Wood * ng Bar in Milan and, therefore, decidedly an expert in plants, flowers, fermentations, preserves and such.

SCARTO | The Menu

So, what can you drink at Scarto? We were lucky enough to taste some cocktails in advance. They are incredible! The house-made kombucha is delicious, as are coffee, mango, and banana beer.

“It was a random experiment but it worked very well,” tells me Laura, who along with her boyfriend Alessio, will run Scarto full time. “We put the banana to ferment. The result is a sparkling, alcoholic and not too sweet drink .”

The ginger beer is also great and they use it to prepare an amazing gin and tonic. Most things are self-produced but up to a certain point: gin, mezcal and other liqueurs are carefully selected from excellent producers all over the world.

There are also beers made with scraps of bread and natural wines. 

To eat, for now, there is only a selection of cheeses, meats and bread, along with small samples made with scraps from the nearby Oltre restaurant, such as pappa al pomodoro or beans in sauce.

The average cost of a drink is around 10 euros: perhaps slightly higher than the city standards but largely justified by the production methods.

Scarto will also organize courses and workshops to teach others about self-production and waste reduction, from the management of the refrigerator to the creation of DIY perfumes.

One last thing, access to Scarto is limited to members. By enrolling in the association you’ll receive a card to access the bar and its classes. Information is available on the company website.

What: Scarto

Where: via della Braina 11, Bologna, Italy

Info: www.scarto.net

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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.