Bar Supervisor Simone Rossi named ‘The Mixing Star UK 2015′

Posted on August 20, 2015

Simone Rossi, Disarono's The Mixing Star UK 2015

For this guest post, Lorenzo Stabile, bar team member in aqua spirit, interviews his colleague Simone Rossi about his recent success in a prestigious international competition.

If you ever wondered how to be inspired to combine flavours for a new cocktail, here is the answer: behind a great cocktail there is always a story that starts its creation. That was the the first step of a journey that allowed Simone Rossi, bar supervisor at aqua spirit, to see his cocktail among the winners of The Mixing Star 2015, a global competition promoted by Italian liqueur company Disaronno.

Moving to London from a little city in Italy, Simone entered the hospitality industry with only a basic knowledge of cocktails but a great passion to develop his skills. A few weeks ago, his passion and determination were rewarded when he was named The Mixing Star UK 2015, one of thirteen worldwide national champions.

Inspired by the charming history of Disaronno, he named his cocktail “Who Was The Innkeeper?”, a question which also aims to explain what the hardest challenge for a bartender is: offering each guest a unique experience. “The question took us back in time to when a beautiful woman, chosen to represent the Madonna of Saronno, out of gratitude created a liqueur that 300 years later turned out to be Disaronno,” Simone explained.

“Along with Disaronno, I added bergamot juice, dry Sherry to soften the sweet taste of Disaronno, Fernet Branca to bring a bit of Italy into my creation, and a dash of passion fruit. To complete the drink, I chose candy-floss as the garnish in order to help the guest travel back to adolescence and escape from routine”.

“However, one of the most important ingredient has been the support that [aqua bar managers] Luca Missaglia and Nikos Peratinos have shown me since I made my first steps into this industry”, Simone added. “This achievement is just the beginning of the journey that I have been undertaking at aqua spirit by working alongside them.”

The competition, conceived to diffuse the art of making the perfect Disaronno cocktail, gave 22-year-old Simone the opportunity to attend a winners’ event in New Orleans, US, along with the other national champions.

“Thanks to this competition, I lived a unique experience. It has been a great chance to challenge myself and a huge opportunity to develop my networking and meet amazing bartenders from all over the world”, Simone said. “However,” he concluded, “I believe we live the real competition everyday by working behind the bar. Excelling in our job is our daily challenge”.

You’ll be able to try Simone’s award-winning ‘Who Was The Innkeeper?’ cocktail on our forthcoming autumn cocktail list. Congratulations Simone, and thank you Lorenzo for contributing this post!