Domenico Di Bucchianico, LEGGI IN ITALIANO
from Cahoots London to Ella Canta, my gifts to London guests.How I created my most beautiful and fancy creations , expression of my personal point of view in art, design and passion for whatever celebrates difference and is considered unusual!
(thanks to @CahootsLondon for some of the pictures)
From shops to markets and some of my funniest ideas about years cocktail creation.
My dream to move in the capital city of the cocktails came true in 2012, when I felt my career had to change and turn over to a new leaf.
My only desire was to be one of the most creative bartenders and to share this dedication to cocktails within the best bars of the world and to donate my passion and my creativity, to the best customers and guests that only London can offer, melting pot of incredible variety of multi-cultural influences due to huge flow of tourists and little local communities.
The lifestyle of a passionate bartender in London is certainly not easy but also not disappointing, never boring, and I had the opportunity to explore the sensation of hunting details and new ideas, creating every day in one of the most successful bars, Cahoots.
The place where my bar career had is best, after years of good upscale bars and restaurants in Italy. The ideas of the management was same as mine, make loads of great drinks, and enhance my skills of creativity within the team.
It took me just few days to understand that those guys were the best group I could find and expect as a first experience in a busy cocktail bar, in my new city!
the starting management and my first colleagues, Filippo Previero, Michele Venturini and Leonardo Baggio made me feel proud to be involved in a pre-announced successful project
I’ve learned how to do a cocktail brain storm, how to squeeze you mind to get the best out of your ideas, but just being around a table and copy/pasting/twisting someone else’s menu or other drinks re-invented was not the way I wanted
Heart, ideas, visions and precise target ahead! never forgetting to study your customer and his taste, understanding their expectations and exceeding them.
Trying ingredients sourced locally or borrowed from ethnic markets around the city, finding undiscovered ingredients like sweet potatoes and purple carrots combined to create contrast of colours! just following the theme of Cahoots bar, creating with ingredients from the land and homegrown.
Ploughing the fields, (img.1 with myself) drink created by @michele_venturini
with a fresh pressed juice, bought in a bar and re-invented and recreated with local fresh vegetables such as blended spinach, cucumber, rosemary, celery and green apples! Adding Hendrick’s gin and elderflower, garnished with fresh kale and carrots, to give an idea of contrast of colours! amazing, the best seller in three years !
How much research do we do in shops or museums?
Museums in London are heaven for whichever creative person is making something visually nice or is at then lookout for inspirations, people like us bartenders aiming to express personal vision of art through various forms and manages to make things and thinks come true, museums and galleries are everywhere and so your ideas, must only be sourced and hunted.
“under the counter” cocktail
I created this drink at the British museum, September 2015, watching roman vases and drinking cup from ancient B.C. times at the “Roman Empire design” area.
Questioning myself about how and why Romans invented mixed drinks? which materials and what kind of decorations were they placing in their vessels? they were well known for their luxury, posh activities and lifestyle, so why not to recall those times? and obviously celebrate it with a cocktail in a more modern way?
…..Swimming deep into my crazy dreams of stealing one of those vases, I looked at security and I thought better not to.
Biggest challenge for me was to keep that idea alive and bring it somehow to our bar that had nothing to do about Romans and Roman Empire, but a well decorated rétro British concept?…Well… Challenge was big!! and when your bar manager asks: << how would you see a roman hand painted vessel placed on a table of a cocktail bar of 1940s styled contest?>>.
A bit of study and research brought to mind that we could workout a connection by this and that with part of reality and invented stories, a bit of theatre behind the bar with the shaker rolling the ingredients, and the drink was there in a month time! we managed it, connecting London and Rome, in a link to the ancient time, using fortified wine, Italian Dry Gin and lemonade, along with mulled wine and a decoration of flowers, in a clay-made vessel, shaped as one of those we saw in the museum shelf, but reworked to fit our contest, telling people that the story behind is a celebration of the Roman architecture that in centuries has given some of the best monuments and landmarks, to Britain. The perfect pairing between the nationality of the proud creator and the design inspiring the style, thanks to the wonderful city we live, was there and was all about it.
Some others, more recently have been mastered twisting the classic drinks, some very iconic one, the MARGARITA for example.
“The Lady in Black”
Moved to the Mexican new Restaurant “Ella Canta” at the Intercontinental London Park Lane hotel, where I am actually employed, we create cocktails, making them artistically shaped getting inspired by Mexico and his gift to the world as @laMartaOrtiz, chef of La Dulce Patria in Mexico City, loves to describe… we enjoy dedicating our job to cocktails named after stories, pre-columbian civilisation and modern traditions, and hunting ideas from the beauty of the Mexican culture, antique and modern.
The Lady in Black Margarita was born in November, to celebrate the “PAINTED BLACK MENU”, that makes everything dark, food and drinks, make up on our faces and black painted flowers garnishing the venue, along with coloured “Calaveras” skulls that recall the tradition of The Day of the death, when Mexicans remember their beloved ones passed away on a festive atmosphere with music, drums and parades in the streets of Mexico City, adoring death through life. So we did with some edible charcoal powder, tequila, cointreau and lime juice, adding rose essence and Chipotle, to make it “picante“, translated spicy!
It is all about Art and storytelling.
not only colours, not just ingredients, my vision in cocktail creativity has a long story of passion for Hospitality and making people feel better and happy, don’t we all want this? I decide it to express it by the drinks I do and the stories I tell people, and I love watching them curious for the little time of their life they dedicate with us, be happy with them, don’t be afraid of telling your personal stories and do not hesitate to tell them how you spent your time in private designing ideas and getting them shaped for their satisfaction. behind every corner there is something hidden to help you out. Just find it and give it a story, make it yours and be proud.