25 May 2011

Max La Rocca Interview

Max La Rocca is the author of the well known Blog called LISTEN TO THE ICE dedicated to the Mixology World, with the goal of providing all colleagues and people in the industry who put heart and professionalism into their job, with useful information, recipes, videos, links and very interesting research as well as updates on seminars, workshops, trainings, Bar Shows and new business trends. 

1. What is the first cocktail you ever made?
I was only allowed to pour beers, absinthe and non alcoholic cocktails back in 2006 when I started Bartending, yes I only started 5 years ago..

2. What are your 3 favourite drinks? With recipes if you have them; old, new and your own
- OLD: Twist on the "Bijou" Cocktail using30 ml Tequila Reposado 30 ml Carpano Antica Formul 30 ml Yellow Chartreuse Bitter Orange Lemon Peel

- NEW: "Angel Draft" by Matthew Daker's:
40ml Bacardi Superior rum
10ml Yellow Chartreuse
20ml lime juice
10ml honey
10ml egg white
1 dash grapefruit bitters
2-3 mint leaves Served UP

- SIGNATURE -SIGNATURE: "CELERIAC" Granny smith apple and fresh celery muddled 5 cl Quintessential Gin, 2cl lemon juice, 2 cl simple syrup 3 cl clear apple juice Egg white Served UP

3. Tell us about a new flavour you have discovered recently..
- Lapsang Souchon tea to strain your Dry Martinis onto and Cotton Candy as a sweetner for more contemporary cocktails

4. If you could pass just one thing on to an apprentice bartender, what would it be?

5. What does the future hold for yourself, and what do you see happening in the future within the industry?
- Well, I don't have perfectly clear at the moment, having started only few years ago I'm still at the stage where I feel like a "sponge" or let's say an old sponge (being 39 yo)..with a young soul ;) wanting to know and understand more and more.I wouldn't mind to do some teaching and share all I've learned in my work trips, exibitions, barshows and seminars,because SHARING IS CARING, in order to give young Bartenders what I've never had when I started.

6. What has been your biggest satisfaction from working behind the bar?
- Changing from being a very shy and pessimist guy to a BETTER person through the interaction with amazing colleagues and incredible guests.

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?
- Probably the Negroni, to ask him more about the influence of my roots in his conception...being Italian

8. What influences your drinks from outside the industry?
- Coming form a small village right between the beach and the countryside, on one side I get influences by the local cuisine with its numerous flavours and on the other....watching the sea horizon with some nice music and "travelling without moving".

9. If you were to break a bartending golden rule, what would it be?
- Rules are ment to be broken, as long as you have respect for the place and the people around you.

10. Outside of flavour and the craft of the cocktail, what in your opinion affects the appreciation of cocktails the most?
- HOSTING!! I think it makes 80% of your experience in a Bar and is what makes the REAL difference.

11. If you were to champion a cocktail, which would it be?.
- The Pisco Sour, refreshing and straight..to the point.

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