Originally from Como in Italy, Simone built a name for himself during his five years at Artesian at The Langham, London where he was responsible to redefine the hotel bar experience and leading the venue to win the title of World’s Best Bar four years in a row (2012 - 2015). Panoram Italia had a chance to interview Simone on some of the currents trends of mixology at the moment.
PI: What are some of the trends in mixology at the moment internationally
From London at the moment, the trend is towards drinks with lower alcohol. Also, the use of more sustainable ingredients is getting a better awareness too. Fermented drinks culture is getting a good deal of attention as well.
PI: What are some of the favorite cocktails among young Italians in Italy
Young people drink to look cool and drink whatever their peers choose in order not to look like "outsiders". I find that's a bit sad The most popular drink in Italy is the Americano or Negroni Sbagliato. In the summer, mojito is the most popular.
PI:Is the fashion for Amaro based cocktails, is here to stay or is just a fad
Might be.... definitely is being appreciated from the bartender community and bar fly people... general consumers can find it challenging.... also these kinds of drinks contain a more concentrated percentage of sugars, despite their bitterness... and it tends to overload the palate.
PI: What does it take to be the best world bartender? Is creativity a big factor?
I can tell you what it takes to make a bartender happy, as the terms "world best" I have never been able to understand the meaning. Creativity is the capacity to create... but at the end is important to create, having or not having the skill of creativity... don't be afraid to make mistakes, listen all the suggestions, surround yourself with people who like to share and learn, be humble... that's the essential that I have experienced personally
PI: How you create a cocktail? Are there any universal based drinks?
There are different starting points. But the most important is be aware of where to take it. Why you do it, what's the purpose of this drink, aperitivo, refreshing, savoury, pairing, digestive.
PI: What are your impressions of Italian vermouth?
Vermouth is the identity of a social status, identity of a country, it has a function and a criteria of why is formulated so... it's my favorite thing to drink… it's very versatile
Italian wines to celebrate the return of good weather.
As the rainy and grey days goes away, BBQ season is officially open. Whether is grill or charcoal, nothing beats the taste of a noble piece of meat or fish cooked in the open flame. Here are my wine recommendations based if you are having meat or fish:
San Felice Il Grigio 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva 2013. SAQ # 00703363. $26.30
A reference for Chianti lovers in Canada, The Il Grigio Chianti Classico Riserva from San Felice is born from their very best vines at the heart of Chianti where Sangiovese is king. Lighter than previous vintages, it still display rich notes of blackberries, earth, and figs in a very elegant and classical Tuscan style. It will age gracefully for 10 years. Pair it with a grilled thick veal chop or a T-Bone steak.
Beni di Batasiolo Barolo DOCG 2013 SAQ # 10856777. $28.55
An excellent Barolo with a friendly price tag. The nose is all about Nebbiolo goodness: red rose, ripe red berries and complex earth and mineral notes. It is elegant and bright with more juicy red fruit flavors and laced with white pepper, cloves and licorice. Firm and fine tannins with a fresh acidity make this wine delicious now, but it will be even better in the next 7 years. Pair it with grilled rabbit
Banfi Aska Bolgheri Rosso 2013 ( Private Import, Charton Hobbs, $28.05)
Mostly Cabernet Sauvignon (90%) with a hint of Cabernet Franc (10%), this Bolgheri blend is intense and complex on the nose with blueberry, tobacco and cacao nuances. Sweet and fine tannins, give this wine a good amplitude and persistence on the palate. Pork chops will be nice with this wine.
Marchesi Mazzei Belguardo Rosato 2016 ( Private Import, Le Marchand du Vin, $19.95)
This rosato from the prestigious Mazzei producer in Tuscany is made with equal proportions Sangiovese and Syrah. Very floral on the nose with strawberry and red cherries flavors in the mouth. Medium body and elegant with a fragrant finale. Pair it with swordfish skewers