18 July 2015
18 July 2015
A story to drink
Some stories are beautiful because of their linear development. This is about evolving stories, which start from way back and get concrete day after day. Bright. Worth telling. Just like the story of Emanuele Broccatelli, who started washing glasses knowing well that he wouldn’t limit himself to it. Handling the glasses, deeply breathing the bar air, gleaning its secrets and charm, he understands that it’s not possible to stand still.
“Rome’s Majestic Hotel barman spent a few days with us recounting how even memories can turn into essential ingredients for sublime cocktails.”
Young and full of hopes, he leaves Rome and goes to London where he learns the sublime art of the blended drinks. He starts handling boston shakers, stirrers, cocktail measures and soon turns himself into a wizard of plant essences, perfumes and alcohol manipulation and blending. Emanuele is so talented that today he’s considered one of the best bartenders around. Chef Massimo Riccioli wanted him to manage the Rome’s Majestic Hotel cocktail bar in Via Veneto, to renovate the hotellerie concept: the bar opens to the public, not only to the hotel customers and turns into a quality street bar with affordable prices. To see him in action is a real spectacle. We in the Perla Hotel were very lucky because we saw him up-close, very up-close. In fact, Michil was struck by his informal approach and his simple smile, so he offered Emanuele an internship in our bar. Emanuele spent three days with us revealing disarming openness and sincerity without any arrogance. For a couple of hours in the morning he told us stories, disclosed secrets and gave us some precious advice concerning applied mixology techniques. He told us about his Sweet Dream, a memories-based cocktail, yes just memories-based. He recounted one of his memories concerning the Gentilini biscuits dunk in milk, a Rome classic his mother gave him every morning for breakfast. He showed us how some cooking techniques, as the oxidation, can be applied in a bar. He revealed that he sometimes lets certain ingredients refine in a decanter for more than a month. And together we studied the opportunity to use local products such as pino mugo (mountain pine), speck (speck ham), erba luigina (lemon verbena), lupino selvatico (blue lupin), in order to add another touch of mountain to our bar and make it a place where it’s possible to find the dolomitic aromas and fragrances even in a glass. And he spent one night behind the counter with us. What do you think? Did we have fun? A beautiful story, that of Emanuele. Above all, a beautiful person. One of those artists who have the innate gift to teach and share their knowledge with humility and pleasure. If you want to know how this story ends, you just have to visit him in Rome and to let yourselves be bewitched by his fine movements, while you sip one of his sublime cocktails. Otherwise you can come over when he will be here again. Because I hope that this bar artist who turns memories into liquid experiences will be back soon.