This is not a cliché.

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Thursday,
12 September 2019

A day at the Connaught Bar in London

London on a spring day, and I am here in the company of Valentina, who works in the Stüa de Michil and Stefano, the head Barman of La Perla. Thanks to arrangements made with the Costa family, I have the chance to meet Agostino Perrone. I am a both nervous and excited, for he is of the world's most famous bartenders. I have to pinch myself to make myself believe that I am going to spend a day with him. What thrilling opportunity to take advantage of! I am outside the Connaught Bar, a place more than famous, mythical I would say. I finally get the chance to shake hands with Agostino. A pleasant surprise is mine - he is so kind and friendly and straightforward that I am taken aback. Of course, my time at La Perla has helped me appreciate many things, but it is undeniable that Augustine lives with simplicity and humility his role as a star of international bartending. Thus begins an exciting journey to a fascinating place accompanied by a man who expresses passion in everything he does. He shows me the enormous ice cube that he and his collaborators work with mastery every day. He tells me how everything they use to create is homemade and studied in detail. He tells me about essences, aromas and combinations. He tells me about his Negroni designed to celebrate its centenary birth and to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Connaught Bar. And then in next to no time, we are out walking like two old friends. Yes, simplicity is a great thing. it certainly helps all to live better together. He tells me how nice it is to walk around the rooms of the bar with the gueridon, the magic trolley, and prepare the Negroni right in front of the guests. By the way, Agostino proposes four variants, each with a different essence. And then we are joined by Valentina and Stefano: Agostino shows us the hotel, the cellar, the two bars and tells us a lot of things. Finally, it's aperitif time, which Agostino prepares for us in person. We are also served snacks and I realise that they are not the same as those offered at other tables. We enjoy special attention. And as it's time to pay, I approach the counter and an employee hands me the receipt. I look at it and discover that instead of numbers, there is a handwritten note. "Thank you for visiting, from the staff of the Connaught Bar. What can I say, the note which surely remain as one of my most treasured memories.

Ps. This kind of experience teaches that with love, passion and humility you can achieve great things and reach important objectives. As I am an ambitious sort of guy, I want to always try to give my best in what I do, trying to improve always, day after day. My thanks again go to the Costa family.

Antonio, Barman