Interview with The Maestro

Name: Salvatore Calabrese

Where do you work: “The Maestro” aka the man in charge at Salvatore at The Playboy Club.

Where do you live: London

3 Favourite London bars and why:

Dukes, where I invented the perfect Martini. That place is what it is.

Hoxton Pony, my sons bar. It's one of the few bars managed that has great quality drinks, music and buzz.

Nightjar, I love how the drinks are made and presented with extra effort. It is just how I would do it.
We have a duty with what we do, but we need to remember it’s about hospitality too.

3 Favourite international bars and why:

Best tequila bar in the world, Tommy Bar, Mexican restaurant with Mr personality Julio Bermejo in San Francisco.

Barcelona, Bar Mutis. I love the whole concept of the place.

There is a small bar in Berlin that only serves gin and tonic, plays with the British national anthem with the British flag everywhere, ran by a crazy German. I forget the name, but Philip Duff will know the one I’m talking about!

Introduce us to a great London bartender:

My best friend Peter Dorelli. He's retired now but he has been my idol for years.

Best part of your job:

Making people happy.

What’s next for you:

Creating my own limoncello, although I may call it a lemon liquor. That and to create my own brand of bitters.

What did you want to be as a kid:

Although I started working behind the bar at 11 years old I actually wanted to be the captain of a ship. I got a hot temper at 17 and had an accident on my left eye and therefore failed the physical test. I then joined the army but the same thing happened, I failed the physical test. While this was happening I was still behind the bar so I carried on with that. However, today I'm the captain of my own ship so my dream came to reality.

If you were going to make a BarChick cocktail what would you call it and what you be in it?:

After meeting you it obviously has to be trendy, cool and fun but with heritage and a twist. It’s got to be very London just like BarChick, so would be a gin based cocktail. Not too sweet, feminine and masculine at the same time.
I would take a bottle of gin and infuse it with white rose petals for a week in a warm ambience; this would add a natural aroma into gin. Then, I would take the petals out, bubble filter the gin and put in the freezer, it has to be super cool. The flavour’s got to be delicate so I would add a dash of Creme de violet, this would be for colour and flavour. Then I would mix, then strain and add a tiny bit of champagne. I would name it “The Ultimate Chick”