Over the weekend, I popped into The Aubrey Bar at The Kensington Hotel to meet with Alessandro Pizzoli. Alessandro is this year’s Galvin Cup winner, beating The Waldorf, The Ritz, The Savoy and The Dorchester to the winning post. So, I wanted to know what were the secrets of a cocktail maker.
1. When did you make your first cocktail?
I was already experimenting with cocktails when I was 14 years old, living in Bologna. My brother who was much older than me was a barman and he inspired me. I also used to make my mother Mojitos when she arrived home from work.
2. Have you seen the Tom Cruise film, Cocktail?
Yes, once, about two years ago. My friend showed it to me because he said if there’s one film about cocktails you have to see, it’s this one.
3. If music be the food of love, which cocktail would you serve the woman you love?
A champagne cocktail. It’s a classic.
4. Sex and The City helped to bring cocktails to the mainstream, especially Cosmopolitans. Have you got any tips when ordering a Cosmo?
Don’t have it with orange. Some bartenders serve Cosmos with orange but this cocktail wasn’t created with orange in it. It’s not a Cosmopolitan if it has orange.
5. Can you share your philsophy of cocktails with us?
A classic drink musn’t be disturbed, like a Martini. You can add a twist to it but if you shake it, you’re spoiling the product. There’s no point in putting a good vodka, gin or whisky into a blender. Making cocktails is like cooking; being a barman is like being a chef.
6. What’s your secret behind making a good cocktail?
No two cocktails are the same. The cocktail depends on the drinker. I always try to identify my customer’s taste when making a cocktail for them. Each drink is an entirely personal experience.
Find out how you can win a free Cocktails Mastercall with Alessandro, here.
Other cocktails, we (I had help) tried.