Stefano Cossio - Mixologist of the Month
- Date of Birth: 24th June 1978
- Birth place: Udine, Italy
- Height: 1m 73cm
- Eye colour: Green
- Nationality: Italian
Stefano chose to do catering college because he always enjoyed looking after guests, and putting a smile on peoples faces, 'It's just a beautiful sensation'.
During his studies he fell in love with the bottles behind the bar, the story and the passion of a family, sometimes even generations, behind every single label.
He finished his studies in 1999, after working in hotel bars in the summer seasons, and then started as a bar waiter in a hotel bar in the north of Italy, then move to Venice to the 'Hotel Cipriani'!
By the end of 2000 he came to London to work as a commis at The Dorchester Bar, and after that he gathered some experience in the Four Seasons Hotel and One Aldwych Hotel.
Stefano returned to the Dorchester hotel in 2006 where he still delights as a bartender.
When Stefano obtained his degree, he chose to work in hotel bars at the highest level because he wanted to experience a position which called for the highest of standards, and he's never looked back!
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
1st place on the World Class Tanqueray gin cocktail competition 2007
1st place on the Snow Queen vodka cocktail competition 2008
1st place on the World Class Ciroc Vodka cocktail competition 2008
3rd place on the Galving Cup cocktail competition 2008
1st place on the World Class national final 2008
3rd place on the U.K.B.G. national final 2008
1st place on the U.K.B.G. Calvados cocktail competition 2009
1st place on the Calvados International Trophy 2009
4th place on the U.K.B.G national final 2009
1st place on the Imbibe bartender of the year 2009
Claim To Fame
I have appeared in many magazines with interviews, and I've been voted number 62 on the top 100 most influential people in the bar industry. Once after the success in Normandy with the Calvados International Trophy I've been mentioned on Italian national radio. Can you belive that?
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
A beer is just what sometimes you really need. I do like a lot the German brands.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
The bar is a theatre where the real stars of the show are the guests, make them feel relaxed, important and special and they will come back with friends.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
I always hate arrogance and cockiness, just goes nowhere.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Is important to understand first witch kind of guest this environment has and the price of the cocktail list.
How did you get started?
I finished my studies in 1999 and I always worked in hotel bars, first as a waiter, I decided to do this job at the maximum level working with bartenders that could teach me how to deal with important and powerful guests.
How were you trained in bartending?
I did my catering college in my home town and than I chose to work for really good bars managers learning as much as I could.
Did you take any courses?
I follow the A.I.B.E.S. (Italian association of bartenders and sponsors) training.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
I can see now the Negroni cocktail getting more popular and popular is the now trendy cocktail to order at the bar.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
When I create a new recipe I always put the base spirits in the middle and I try to respect it as much as I can modifying the flavours.
What are some of your favourite tools?
I love vintage shakers.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
I like to travel a lot and I always visiting bars, trying to learn from others cultures.
What does success mean for you?
It is when you are satisfied and happy with your life and you get the respect of the people that surround you.
What goes into creating a cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Creating a new cocktail is like doing some art you leave a piece of you, personally I get inspired from the big classics.
What is your favourite drink to make?
I like to make Old Fashioneds, every time is a challenge.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I'm ambitious and I want to see as far I can go, my dream job is to work as a bar consulter.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I will probably be a dj or working in the music industry. I m very a fascinated about any kind of music.
Your hangover cure?
It will be Berocca and a lot of water.
Your biggest career influencer?
His name's Francesco Lanfranconi an extraordinary mixologist and a charming person. He cames from my hometown and now is working in Las Vegas, is always been an inspiration for me.
First drink you ever tried?
It was an Americano cocktail I still remember it clear.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I'm not a really good drinker and I try to avoid shots of vodka.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
I would open a beautiful bar in Mayfair London. A classic cocktail bar with a modern hint .
Bar or cellar at home?
An interesting bar as well as an discrete cellar.
By the bottle Bitburgher and by draft everything that is a really cold in hot weather.
I really do like Pinot Noir.
I do like grappa a lot as well as scotch whisky, so much history inside every bottle and so match variety of flavours and character in every brand.
I belive there is one favourite cocktail for every occasion.
There are so many beautiful places and magic's bars but still the perfect is my bar into my living room I get what I want and the way I want it without regulations and policies.
Definitely 'Locanda Locatelli' in London.
Cuba, I love it, is still a virgin country with a beautiful culture and music.
Is still 'Forrest Gump'.
Jerry Thomas 'How to mix drinks' is been written more than one hundred years ago and is still on date.
Achtung Baby by U2.
Bono and U2, I find so much energy in every song and Bono is just the perfect artist to deliver this energy.