Mixologist of the Month - Ago Perrone
- Date of Birth: 15th May 1978
- Birth place: Como, Italy
- Height: 1m 73cm
- Eye colour: Dark brown
- Nationality: Italian
Ago has been bartending for 12 years, starting in a small coffee bar in heart of Como (Italy). Ago attended the 3F American Bartender School. After collaboration with them, Ago moved to London in 2003. A short experience in Chelsea brought him to meet leading people in the cocktail industry. During this time Salvador and Amanda opened Dusk under the direction of Dre Masso. Nidal Ramini contacted Ago to move to Dusk and after a short while Ago was promoted head bartender. After 3 years at Dusk, Ago became in charge of Montgomery Place, a cocktail paradise. For 2,5 years Ago attended to and entertained guests and bartenders from all over the world. During these years, Montgomery Place won several esteemed awards including: 'Best Bar', 'Best Night Out', 'Best UK Bartender 2006'. The final part missing on Ago's resume was a 5 star hotel experience which came in spring 2008 when Ago joined the team at The Connaught Bar. Managed by Santino Cicciari (ex Blue Bar), Ago joined the David Collins-designed Connaught Bar as Head Barman and recently won many awards including 'Best UK Hotel Bar' by Class Magazine.
Ago was short listed for best international bartender at Tales of the Cocktail 2008 and 2009. Additionally, The Connaught Bar won Best Cocktail Bar 2008 and Best Hotel Bar runner up in 2009, both part of the internationally recognized Tales of the Cocktail
Ago won the 'Tales of the Cocktail 2010' WORLD'S BEST BARTENDER and WORLD'S BEST HOTEL BAR.
Ago is very proud of Italy, his home country, a lover of fresh ingredients, herbs and spices, and a big supporter of Italian product. During the past 6 years, Ago extensively collaborated with Italian brands including Galliano who asked him to become their new portavoce (ambassador).This collaboration included travel on behalf of Galliano in Europe and America for the relaunch of Galliano L'Autentico. Ago rediscovered and shared his thoughts on this authentic true product which has a genuine heritage. Additionally, Ago created excitement in the bartending community and showcased new ways to present cocktails, always focusing on small details. Ago has collaborated with several other liquor and spirit brands, always promotion Italy amongst the bartending community.
Nowadays you can find Ago mostly at work in the glamorous Connaught Bar. Ago continues to travel the world and give trainings about bartending, cocktails making and people skills as well as up selling techniques.
The international and national press turns to Ago for any bar or cocktail story. The Daily Telegraph recently called him 'The Martini Magician', featuring a double page spread photo of Ago in The Connaught Bar. Ago recipes where including in a-list press including The Times, Financial Times, Vogue, GQ, The Rake, Evening Standard, Wallpaper, etc.
Ago's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
2005 - Best Night Out - (Dusk Bar) Class Magazine
2005 - Best New Cocktail Bar - (Dusk Bar) Theme Magazine
2006 - Best UK bartender - Class Magazine
2009 - Best UK Hotel Bar - (Connaught Bar) Class Magazine
2009 - Best Personal Service - Wall Paper Magazine
2010 - Winner of the Bacardi Legacy Competiion
2010 - Best world Hotel Bar @ Tales Of The Cocktails - New Orleans (Connaught Bar)
2010 - Best International Mixologist @ Tales Of The Cocktails - New Orleans
Claim To Fame
Being able to listen colleagues with more experience and keep their advice always in my pocket...
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
Beer is a very big category to be explored and understand, great for mixing also.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Does not matter what you do , but how you do it...
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus - describe the parts of this process?
Understand the concept of the restaurant. Research drinks and ingredients in order to give something innovative. Look after business need calculating costing and training team. Set standard of service. Follow up.
How did you get started?
Started in a small cafe in the heart of Como, wanted to study photography at university.
How were you trained in bartending?
My training begun in 3F American Bartender School in Milan and still on going on daily basis.
Did you take any courses?
3F American Bartender School. WSET Spirit advanced level. NVQ courses.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Classic with modern interpretation, innovation with simplicity.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail?
Give the right personality depending on the occasion, balance the ingredients and presentation is essential.
What is your favourite cocktail to drink?
My drinks must be sharp and full flavour.
What are some of your favorite tools?
Italian Gallone Mixing Glass and silver bar ware.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
Pick up the phone and get some advice from my great colleagues.
What does success mean for you?
Being respected by guest, colleagues at work and outside work, it's all about the balance!
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Definitely Asian ingredients and techniques.
What goes into creating a cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
Passion, inspiration, innovation, balance, good story and presentation... And don't forget the smile!
What is your favourite drink to make?
Depends on the guest receiving it.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
Photography or some creative job.
Your hangover cure?
Prevent it with plenty of water during drinking.
Your biggest career influencer?
My family supporting me, all my colleagues I've mett in my path , friends from www.Bartender.it and definitely Gaby, my wife is the perfect partner to make me value every situation.
First drink you ever tried?
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
Sharing with my family and help people that are in the need. Get some time to discover parts of the world that I've never been too.
Bar or cellar at home?
Ice cold, a lager... and a small Campari on the side.
My uncle's wine from Puglia
La Capilla (Tequila, Mexico), Fresco Cocktail Shop(Como, Italy).
Hellen Darroze (London).
Como (my hometown) and Mexico.
No particular one.
Anistasia and Jared (Mixxelania) have been an inspiration.
Funky Jazz music keep me happy.