Where did you learn your craft?
I studied at the catering college “Stringher” in my home town of Udine in Italy. I then worked under the wings of some of the best bartenders in the area before moving to London and working at The Bar at The Dorchester.
Name a few of the places you’ve worked
I have worked in various hotels including Cipriani Hotel in Venice, Four Seasons Park Lane, One Aldwych London, The Dorchester, and I am currently Bar Manager at Bar 45 in Dorchester Collection’s latest London hotel, 45 Park Lane.
Who’s the most inspiring person you’ve worked with and why?
Francesco Lanfranconi who is now in charge of The Bartender Academy in the United States. We worked together at the Cipriani Hotel in Venice. He has the perfect balance of knowledge, simplicity and charm.
What makes a good bartender?
The most important thing for a bartender is to be able to understand the needs of his guests. At Bar 45 we have guests who might be visiting to enjoy the evening and looking to be entertained, in which case you will need to be a good comedian and a good entertainer. Other guests will prefer to talk, at which point you will need to be a good listener. Ultimately, every guest will want to enjoy a drink, in which case you will need to be a superb alchemist.
Which bartender do you admire and why?
I have great admiration for Andy Pearson. He is a genius of his kind, has a great sense of humor and a great personality.
What’s your proudest moment as a bartender?
Being a bartender brings a lot of great moments. In 2010, whilst I was working The Bar at The Dorchester, I was announced winner of the UK Bartenders Guild National Cocktail competition and went on to represent the UK in the global final in Singapore. That was a particularly amazing moment.
Shaken or stirred?
What’s your favourite drink?
A classic Daiquiri
There is one favourite drink for every occasion; it depends on my mood.
On your menu:
Bar 45’s Pepino’s Revenge – a mix of 7 Leguas blanco tequila, Japanese cucumber, fresh basil and lime.
What’s your definition of a bartender and a mixologist and where do you fit in?
I would have to say that a mixologist and a bartender complement one another. A mixologist has the highest expertise in cocktail-making. A bartender has the knowledge of drinks and spirits, as well as the skill to entertain his guests. He adds the human touch to create the ultimate bar experience.
What’s your favourite ingredient?
Where do you drink off duty?
The Bar at The Dorchester is a great choice for reinventing the classic cocktails, otherwise I go to the Loft bar in Clapham Common.
What’s your essential piece of bar kit?
What’s your failsafe recipe to mix at home?
I love to make fun spins on the classic Negroni; and I will always make a Cosmopolitan for my girlfriend.
If you could mix a cocktail for anyone alive or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to create a drink for Bono. He is my role model, an inspiration as an artist, an activist, but also as a family man.
Find Stefano at Bar 45, 45 Park Lane, W1K 1PN. T: 020 7493 4545. 45parklane.com.