06 March 2011

Luca Cordiglieri Interview

1. What is the first cocktail you ever made?
- A Gin Martini in my father's bar, back in Italy in Santa Margherita Ligure near Genoa, where I was born and bred. I was 18 a very long time ago!! I made it for a regular guest, Giorgio, under my old man's supervision. Giorgio liked it or at least he said he did!

2. What are your 3 favorite drinks plus recipes; old, new and your own?
- Old depending on my mood, could be a manhattan with rye or bourbon or a Negroni, New I recently went to the Connaught and really enjoyed a Balsamico Martinez and I also did taste a cardamon Daiquiri at 69 Colebrook row that was memorable. My own is a combination of Beefeater 24, The King’s ginger liqueur, Benedictine, Cardamom Bitter, Szechuan peppers, stirred over ice and served into a martini glass, It will be on the new menu at China Tang so you're all welcome to come and try it.

3.Tell us about a new flavor you have discovered recently?
-Mao Tai a chinese spirit made with sorghum, quite nutty and chocolatey but very overpowering, a bar spoon of it takes over the whole drink!

4. If you could pass just one thing, on to an apprentice bartender what would it be?
- Travel, travel and travel. I think travel is great to see new ideas, opens the mind and it's also a great life experience.

5. What does the future hold for yourself and what do you see happening in the future in the industry?
- I hope the future for me holds my own bar at some point. As for the industry I think the status of bartenders will continue to grow with the general public, the profession is so much more respected now than it was say 15 years ago. but I can also see a move towards proper qualifications for working behind the bar in both product knowledge and service. Who knows one day we might have a degree in bartending there is surely enough subjects!!

6. What has been your biggest satisfaction from working behind the bar?
-It has to be taking the Chairmanship at the UKBG, as at the beginning I was full of doubts but as the time progressed I felt growing into the role and really enjoyed it! Also the response from the industry was fantastic which was a great motivator.

7. If you were to have a conversation with a cocktail, (and presuming it could talk back to you and tell you its past). Which cocktail would it be and why?
- I think it has to be an Adonis, one of the first cocktails I learnt and it brings back memories of when I first started. Also a while back I tried to do some research on it and could not find much out. I would love to talk to it, find out exatcly who created it, how the creator came up with the idea to use sherry as the main base, who were the people drinking it.

8. What influences your drinks from outside the industry (i.e. art, fashion)?
- I sometimes look at chef's recipes for inspiration.

9. If you where to break a bartending golden rule what would it be?
- Top of my head there is only 2 rules I wouldn't break, one is the grooming which for me it's really important and the other one is personal touch. People will always come back to the bar where they will be recognised and made feel at home. Everything else can be broken and it should be, only this way one can push the boudaries and find new things.

10. Outside of flavor and the craft of the cocktail what in your opinion effects the appreciation of cocktails the most?
10. In my experience a cocktail to sell in a bar needs to sound nice, so when people read the ingredients they are enticed to try them.

11. If you where to champion a cocktail which would it be?

A Widow's Kiss, a combination of Apple Brandy, Yellow Chartreuse, Benedectine and Angostura Bitters shaken and served into a cocktail glass. We tried this cocktail for our new menu at China Tang and we were surprised how the ingredients worked so well together.

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