Sergio Leanza

Meet the wheeler-dealer of funky vibes in Peckham


Who are ya, and where are you currently working?

I’m a bartender that moved from Italy to London in 2009, worked a lot of bars and events and finally opened Funkidory in 2018 with wife and partner in crime, Anna Fairhead-Benitez. You’ll find me there most nights.

Tell us something about the industry we might not know!

Owning a bar forced me to learn some new practical skills and plumbing may be one of the most useful I own at the moment.

What’s the best thing about working in the drinks industry?

The bar community as I experienced it is pretty sick, especially in the UK the sharing of free knowledge, support and cool events has no equal. 

What is your favourite cocktail and where’s your favourite place to order it?

I love a good Manhattan. We’re spoilt for choices of good bars in London but Side Hustle at Nomad Hotel is on top of my list at the moment.

Ever had a bad-ass/rock n roll bartending moment?

A lot to be honest. One of the best was been taken back to the hotel on a speedboat from a private island off the coast of Positano after working the final event of a three-day birthday party of a famous fashion entrepreneur (with a champagne bottle in my hands...) Those vibes & sunrise colours will stay with me forever.

Where will we find you on your nights off?

Most likely enjoying the comfort of my sofa with the family.

What’s your party trick / super-hero power?

Choosing the right music, always!

What’s your favourite cocktail to make?

I always loved making Martinis or any classic that has only 2 or 3 ingredients. They seem simple but they’re actually the easiest to fuck up if you’re not careful and balanced.

And what’s your least favourite?

I don’t really have a least favourite. As long as I’ve got the ingredients and I’m all prepped I’ll make you the cocktail of your dreams come true;)

Who in the biz do you always hope you’ll bump into when you’re out for a drink?

Anyone I worked with at Sweet & Chilli (top global drinks agency around town!) I’ve shared a lot of great experiences with them and It’s always a vibe when we get back together.

If you weren’t tending bar, what would you be doing?

Working in the music industry and spending more time drinking in bars.

What is your desert island bottle?

Puszta Libre by Claus Preisinger - a super juicy peppery delicious Austrian natural wine I can’t get enough of.

What is your hangover cure?

Lucozade Original and a Vietnamese PHO always does the trick.

We’re thirsty. If you were gonna create a cocktail for BarChick, what would you make?

It has to be a Rye Lane from our menu (I heard rumours of your team loving a few of this) It’s a play between a Manhattan and a Dirty Martini: Rye Whiskey, Amber Vermouth, Fennel seeds syrup & Olive brine served with a big fat Sicilian olive. Our best-seller at Funkidory and the cocktail I’m most proud of.