Industry Legends: Meet Federico Riezzo

Where are you from?

Aprilia, a very young city between Rome and the sea.

Who would play you in a movie?

Peter Sellers, because he was an incredibly versatile actor. Although mostly used in comedy he also played dark, and down and out characters. I have had my fair share of ups and downs but mostly my life so far has been a good laugh!

If you weren't a bartender what would you like to be?

I am seriously obsessed with flavours, ingredients and textures so it would have to be a chef, though I don’t particularly enjoy the actual service time in the kitchen. That was one of the reasons why I gave up working in the kitchen to focus on mixology. I am also a big music geek and love to play records so I guess I would be a radio DJ if the former fails.

If you could make a drink for one person dead or alive who would it be?

It has to be Charles Bukowski for the lifestyle he led and for the amount of great stories he would tell. Although I don’t think one drink would suffice.

Top chefs have their guilty pleasure food, what's your guilty pleasure drink?

I apologise in advance but it has to be a really cheap banana flavoured milk.

It's the end of the world in 24 hours what would you do?

Eat, drink and party. Is there anything more important?... Not in my universe!

Desert island bottle?

I never drink by myself so it has to be sparkling water.

Tell us about some of your favourite bars in the world?

I don’t have favourite bars but I have favourite bartenders: William Oxenham, Russell Burgess, Jayde Toit and Charly Egan. Their knowledge and professionalism are only inferior to their capacity of entertainment and creating an energy that is a major factor in a bar, restaurant and so on. They are the bar ultimately.

What are you most excited about at this year’s House of Peroni?

I think that the house itself will really amaze visitors. They will certainly understand the genius behind some of the most creative people in Italy right now. There is a very little worldwide that can gather so much style, flair and passion in so many creative fields.

What should we expect from the cocktails you're creating?

They will be innovative, original and flavoursome, with great understanding of balance. We have been working hard in creating a list that will be both accessible and surprising for the guests at the House of Peroni. All the drinks on offer will feature Peroni Nastro Azzuro and they will complement the fantastic food served within the house. I will also be hosting a mixology masterclass in which I’ll be showing participants how to balance tastes and match flavours in food with the right cocktails.