Mixologist of the Month - Giuseppe Gallo
- Date of Birth: July 1980
- Birth place: South of Italy (Amalfi coast)
- Height: Enough
- Eye colour: Nothing special (brown/dark)
- Nationality: Italian 100%
Giuseppe Gallo is fulfilling his childhood dream as Martini's Global Brand Ambassador. As the Martini Global Brand ambassador Giuseppe is respected all around the world. His creative mixology skills are being utilised in high profile events across Europe, America and Asia; including training sessions in Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, LA, Sydney, Shanghai and Pessione - the home of Martini.
Giuseppe is Director of Operation for Martini at the Dolce & Gabbana store openings in Milan and London. Also managing the F1 paddock events with Ferrari, Cinema Premier and several different activities in 12 countries around the world.
The 29-year-old hails from the beautiful Amalfi coast in Italy, and although a bartender with international experience, his passion for mixology can truly be connected to his strong Italian heritage. Giuseppe explains: "At the age of 16 I was at school training to do bar work, making MARTINI Bianco with ice. For me I believe that Martini is synonymous with Italian heritage and quality along with the Ferrari and Ducati brands. So it was a dream for me to work in an environment like the glamorous MARTINI Terrazza in Milan. More than a decade later my dream has come true."
After graduating in 1999 from the Food & Beverage Institute in Naples, Giuseppe has worked in some of the finest five-star hotels around the world including the Grand Hotel du Park Switzerland, the Hilton Rome, the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Bellagio and Souvrette Palace in St.Moritz.
In 2004 he moved to New York to extend his repertoire and knowledge of the North American bar scene. He then returned to Europe and continued his association with some of the finest hotels in the world working at the Baglioni as Head of Bartenders and then as Manager at Purple Bar at the Sanderson in London.
His role with Martini began in 2008.
Giuseppe's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Best Technical skills, UKBG National Final, London 2009.
Mattoni Grand Drink, World Final, Prague 2008.
Winner Italian Barfestival world Final 2008, Malaysia, October 2007.
Winner Barfestival Italy, Casco Viejo Tequila Sponsor, May 2007.
Winner Campari London Heat Competition, UK, June 2007.
Cape North Vodka Competition European Final, Stockholm, Sweden.
3rd place at Grand Marnier Cocktail Competition at Millennium Hotel, London UK.
Claim To Fame
Be in the right place at the time and anything can happen!
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer?
I do like beer, but I don't consider myself an expert in this matter, so I believe it's better to be quiet.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Work in same place as long as you can but don't be afraid to change in order to try different working environment.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Bartenders that are stuck in their ways and are not open minded to new ideas and suggestions.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
Before I formulate any kind of proposition, I want to understand the customers/guests as much as I can. The success of my drinks will be judged by them and it is absolutely crucial to understand what they will ask for. From the guest requirements I try to make a suitable proposition for the specific occasion. However, my main goal is always to please the guest and make them happy. I also believe variety and options are essential in putting together a drinks menu, I also take into consideration the following: Different tastes: sweet or sour, sharp, savoury or dry. Styles: glassware, ice and garnish Ingredients: fruit, vegetables and spirits base.
How did you get started?
Probably when I saw for the first time my mamma making Limoncello at home - I was 6-7 years old....
How were you trained in bartending?
At the Food & Beverage Institute in Naples, however, my best training was when I started at a bar at 15 years old. I started making cappuccinos in Italy in a small place in my home town, and continued working during the years in the Restaurant, Club, Pub and American Cocktail Bar.
Did you take any courses?
In the 1995 I started the Hospitality School in Italy until the 1999. I like to ensure I am constantly aware of the changes in the industry; I have also completed the Sommelier Course, Flair bartending course and lately am studying the concepts of the Molecular Mixologist. At the moment I'm studying Marketing and Business development.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Mezcal has a real resurgence recently. From USA to Australia, I find many bartenders proposing different types and variety and mixing up in different proposition, also I find many small quality brands coming out in the market.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
1. Be simple and must be original. 2. I never use more then 5 ingredients in a drink. 3. Good balance between sweet & sour.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink? To make?
I love the Martinez and Negroni. I like to make Molecular Cocktails, it gives me an extra challenge and I must be very precise with measure and ingredients, and most importantly it always surprises the guest or audience.
What are some of your favourite tools?
The Gallone Mixing Glass (3.5 L mixing glass with roaster shape).
What is your favourite mixology resource?
The bartenders community. When I learn the most is when I spend time with colleagues in a bar, forum and web. When I am in a doubt or I am curious about a product, before I do anything, I usually ask colleagues and friends in order to have different peoples perspectives and opinions so that I can compare.
What does success mean for you?
Have a decent life and being respected by friend and colleagues.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
House made ingredients. I don't completely agree with it in terms of health and safety, but I can see a lot of skill, passion and pride in bartenders that make it and using it as the house special by bartenders.
What goes into creating a cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
2/10 of Creativity 2/10 of Imagination 3/10 of knowledge 3/10 of skill Fresh ingredients, I love to walk in a fruit market where I can pick, collect and discover several varieties of fruits and vegetables and build a cocktail recipe on the top of it.
What is your favourite drink to make?
The Dry Martini Cocktail. Looks so simple, but it's the one where you can judge a barman skill.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I find London very suitable for my needs and I'm not planning to change for the time been. The dream would be open my own bar in the capital of the cocktails in the world, of course London.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Any types of sales job....
Your hangover cure?
I never really drink too much and I have only taken Barocca once in my life. I usually suggest a nice Bloody Maria (tequila base bloody mary).
Your biggest career influencer?
No body in particular. The legendary Peter Dorelli is my favourite personality in the industry.
First drink you ever tried?
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
When I was young I had very bad experience with the Blue Angel (mix of gin, blue curacao and lemonade. I guess..?), since then I tempt to avoid Blue Curacao.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Make 5 kids and buy a dog for my girlfriend. Money doesn't make people happy, people do...
Bar or cellar at home?
Cellar, because I believe bar need people/costumers to be alive and have soul.
Red Leffe on draft (Always have one or two during the weekend with my girlfriend...)
Shiraz and Amarone.
Gin and Tequila (Vermouth would be to obvious...).
Martinez, Daiquiri and Tommy's Margarita.
Montgomery Place in Notting Hill.
Locanda Locatelli in London and Le Bazaar in Los Angeles and Cafe Sidney in Oz.
California and Australia over all... for the moment!!
The Gladiator with Russell Crow, but I do love as well The Godfather, Good Fellas and Casino.
Bartending book I find Bon Vivant by J.P.Thomas really inspirational. Also Bar Chef & Molecular Mixologist of Dario Comini has been really helpful to develop different skill.
No one in particular, 80s and 90s over all.
Bob Marley and Jack Johnson, Massive Attack and Coldplay.