Luca Milano is a bartender at Silk & Grain in London. He makes two cocktails for us, the first one with vodka, the second one with gin and manzana verde.
Luca introduce yourself
Hi, I’m Luca Milano and I’m a bartender at Silk & Grain in London. I am from Southern Italy and I started in this industry 14 years ago in Rome. Even in the beginning, even though this job was for paying my studies, I really knew I wanted a career in this industry. I later moved to Barcelona, Spain for a couple of years and after that, England. I started as bar-back in London and it was a useful step to learn how things worked here. I even started training at a school in West London named Drinks Motion. I am very happy because for me London along with New York are the two best places to work in the cocktail industry.
The classic you want to show us
50 ml of barrel aged vodka
15ml of lime juice
2dashes of whisky barrel
Top with ginger beer
The bar you dream of
It would be an evening bar from 5pm to 2am, dedicated to cocktails and spirits with no beer. Just a friendly place to come, have fews drinks and chat with the bartenders.
If I want to go for a nice drink I’ll go to Artesian, Nightjar or Happiness Forgets. What I love about Happiness Forgets is that it looks like a chilled, easy bar but it’s a top bar.
The spirit you like the most
I love gin with its botanical taste. You can really play with it in the creation of cocktails.
What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
What makes a good cocktail is related to the environment and vibe you can feel in a place. Even the way the bartender serves and makes the cocktail. The dilution is also important and of course the garnish too. Products can make a cocktail but it is the ambience and other factors too.
At the moment it’s about moonshine whisky for me, like White Dog for instance. Because we use a barrel aged process, it’s useful to use it to clear the spirits.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
Apple and pepper Sour
45ml of gin
20ml of manzana verde
20ml of lemon juice
20ml of apple juice
5ml of orgeat
Top with black pepper
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
You should go to High Five in Tokyo, because it’s very far and the japanese way they do the job focusses on the details.