Alessandro Longo and his colourful cocktails, served with a smile at the Bristol Palace
1. Do you remember your first day working at the Due Torri Hotel?
2. In your opinion, which cocktail captures the soul of the Bristol Palace, and why?
I’ve focused not on designing a new cocktail menu but on creating attractive aperitifs and appetisers. These consist of dry snacks (crisps, peanuts, crackers) and the chef’s selection, which changes according to what’s available day by day, but invariably involves cured meats, cheese and fruit. It’s a trio you don’t often find served with hotel aperitifs.
At the moment we’re serving a house cocktail which I’ve called Summer Bristol whose ingredients are vodka, liquidised apricot, Galliano and prosecco foam. It’s bright yellow in colour and it serve as the base for forthcoming house cocktails. It will assume many other seasonal “guises”: orange for the late summer, say, or red for the winter.
3. You must travel sometimes yourself. What is the first thing you notice when you walk into a hotel bar? And what do you like to order?
It may sound banal but, basically, the first thing to pay attention to is whether the bartender or the waiter greets clients when they enter. I have worked in catering and hotel bars for a long time and I can say that the first thing you have to learn is to greet and smile at clients, offer them a proper welcome and take them to their table, serve them a glass of water immediately and, depending on the number of orders you have to clear, provide a swift, precise service.
As a customer, I love ordering dry cocktails – simple Campari Spritz, say – or, if I have time, a good bottle of wine, maybe a local Ligurian Vermentino!
4. What’s your typical day?
5. What could you never do without in your workplace? A smell, a spice, a specific utensil …
I’d have to say my buvette, a selection of local beers on one side and white wine and prosecco on the other, all in ice buckets. It’s a trick of the trade that allows guests who can’t make their minds up or who are in a hurry to enjoy a nice quick thirst-quenching drink.