Matteo Zed: The Court (Rome)

Matteo Zed is the Bar Manager of The Court in Rome. He makes us two cocktails, one with Vodka and Frangelico Liqueur and the second with Gin and Matcha Green Tea.

Matteo introduce yourself
My name is Matteo Zed and I grew up in hospitality. My father was a concierge in 5 stars hotels and I started working in a club more than 20 years ago. I began my career in Italy, moved to London, then Spain and came back to Italy to work in cocktail bars. My career really changed when I was the Italian finalist of the Bacardi Legacy in 2012, the year Shingo Gokan won. Afterwards, I had the opportunity to move to Japan and work with Ueno San where I learnt Japanese techniques and service. I moved to the US to work in a Michelin Star restaurant, before the opening of BlackTail in NYC, then moved to Zuma and Armani as Beverage Director. I missed Italy so decided to come back and consult for the opening of the first amaro bar in Rome. That’s when I wrote my book about amaro and launched a website on the subject. Now I work as the Bar Manager at The Court, where I share all my experience from years in the industry.

The classic you want to show us
Expression Martini
45ml of Grey Goose Vodka
60ml of Espresso distilled with Frangelico Liqueur
5ml of Simple Syrup

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be a bar like this one, or like Amor y Amargo in NYC, but with more space to eat. I really want Rome to become a cocktail destination like London.

What do you do in your time off
Most of the time I play football with former professional players. I played football when I was younger with the hope to turn pro (which didn’t happen), but I still love to play.

The spirit you like the most
Gin is aromatic with a lot of personality. It can be sweet, strong or dry, it’s up to you. I am very classic, so prefer London dry, but for a good gin and tonic, I use Monkey 47 as it’s like an amaro.

What makes a good cocktail
Firstly is passion. You have to create each cocktail like you were making it for the one you love. You’re looking for perfection and for people to feel the emotion in the drink.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
It would be amaro of course. It’s the future of cocktails. It’s well known as a digestive in Italy, but it gives so much to a drink. It can change the whole flavour profile of a cocktail… sweet, fruity, or bitter. Plus amaro opens your stomach if you have to eat afterwards. I like amaro that makes me feel an emotion. For instance, there is one that tastes like a mojito, so you have a woohoo effect. Every amaro is an emotion if it’s made with natural products.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Rising Sun
60ml of Bombay Sapphire London Dry Gin
22.5ml of Alta Verde Amaro
4 Fresh Grapes
22.5ml of Honey Syrup
15ml of Yuzu Juice
1 barspoon of Matcha Green Tea

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You should go to visit Giacomo Giannotti in Paradiso, Barcelona. I really like the way he manages his bar and the wow effect he produces. Otherwise, Dario Knox in Singapore from the Other Room and Roman Foltan who is now at Barbary Coast. In NYC go to the Dead Rabbit to interview Jill Vose as I really believe that women add something extra to a bar. That’s why my head bartender and assistant bar manager are women.

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