A Friday Chat With Searcys Mixologist Alessio Aufiero15 January 2021
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I come from a small town just outside Naples, on the Amalfi Coast. In Italy, I never worked in bars and started as a restaurant assistant manager. I wasn’t a drinker – I had one pint a month before I came to London. I have always been in love with London. The Gherkin is my favourite building. Even before I started working at Searcys, my first tattoo was of a London skyline, and The Gherkin was in it. In October this year, I am celebrating 5 years in London.
I joined Searcys two years ago. Started as a bartender, then a supervisor and then the manager at the Gherkin. I was honoured to win Best Mixologist of the Year in 2019 – and now I am a Mixologist for the entire company.
WHAT INSPIRES AND DRIVES YOU?
I learn as much as I can and teach as much as I can. I am inspired by the people around me. When you serve a guest, serve them as you would like to be served yourself. The bartender is like your friend. You go to a bar when you are happy and when you are sad, so our job is to make each and every guest feel at home.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING WITH YOUR TIME DURING LOCKDOWN?
I was one of the first mixologists to start online tutorials back in March. Check me out on Instagram @aacocktail. I used my time during lockdown to read a lot and learn about tastes, flavours, techniques. I am trying to translate my emotions into my creations – I think now is the perfect time to be open with ourselves and people around us, and let our emotions speak.
WHEN INSPIRATION BECOMES A COCKTAIL
This new cocktail is called the Old Hunter or Negroni del Cacciatore in Italian. It is inspired by my lovely father, an avid hunter, and his funny routine before and after each meal. His glass of wine cannot go amiss on the table, red of course! And what about dessert? Obviously! Never without it! Every night before he goes to sleep, he does a short pit stop in the kitchen to have a spoon of Nutella with a shot of grappa. It may sound strange, but is delicious!
I was thinking about how to mix all those ingredients to have the same taste and create a great drink with cocktail royalty – the all-powerful Negroni!
OLD HUNTER // NEGRONI DEL CACCIATORE
3 dashes of Chocolate bitter
Garnish: Orange & PT4
Frangelico is a substitute for Nutella and gives the same flavour of hazelnut.
– Campari is infused for 24 hours with lapsang tea and coffee beans. Everything works to give an additional flavour at cocktail and the intensity of the taste.
– The PT4 is a chocolate dessert made by our amazing Searcys pastry chef. During the process, the chocolate will melt slowly and free up the grappa taste. Keeping half for the end, the alcohol will go true inside the chocolate and leave an amazing flavour in your palate.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS TIPPLE?
My perfect drink for this season is Espresso Martini with a twist – made with a dash coffee liquor, Baileys, vodka, sugar syrup and freshly ground espresso beans to unleash the flavour. It is also a good digestive to enjoy with a meal.