Sergio is a bartender at Kurobota, in Palma de Mallorca. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Rye Whiskey and Campari and the second with Gin and Absinthe.
Sergio introduce yourself
My name is Sergio Toffoli, I grew up in Milan and I started bartending in my cousins bar to make extra money whilst I was studying electronics. My passion for cocktails grew and I decided to change direction with my career. My cousin told me if I really wanted to learn about cocktails I should go to Rita and watch everything they do and how they work. So after working 10 years in various bars in Milan I decided to move to Palma de Mallorca. I started working in Ginbo, then I opened a small bar called Hemingway, got married and had a daughter, so it was a very busy time for me. One day I met the owner of Kurobota and their new project really interested me. The concept of Asian inpired cocktails that could pair with their Korean/Japanese fusion food intrigued me and I knew it would be a challenge. So, I started here and now work really closely with the chef (who used to work with Gordon Ramsey) and am using ingredients in my drinks I never knew about before.
The classic you want to show us
Love in Muskoka
40ml of Alberta Premium Canadian Rye Whiskey
30ml of Conzano Vermouth Rosso
15ml of Campari
1 dash of Maple Syrup
The bar or party you dream of
It would be a very small bar in Toronto, Canada. It would seat 10 people at the bar and be intimate, so you feel like a guest in my house, rather than a customer as I want people to feel special. I love classic cocktails, so the list would be short and seasonal with classics, twists and a few signatures. The interior would be warm, with a lot of wood, interesting lighting above the bar and a hidden gas pipe to serve some drinks (like the scene in Once Upon A Time). Music-wise I would like jazz and swing which is the kind of music to relax people. I also think food is really important and the dishes I serve would be seasonal, fresh and simple.
Generally I chill at home, or if I go out, I go to Ginbo or BrassClub to see Rafa, so we can have a drink together or help each other with new ideas.
The spirit you like the most
My favourite spirit has always been rum. I grew up with it… from shots to various cocktails, there are so many rums to work with. Right now I am using 3 Stars Plantation a lot, but I also love agricole rum.
What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
Using fresh ingredients, not taking any shortcuts and finding out exactly what the customer likes.
Right now I am using a lot of vegetables. I try to source and use vegetables I don’t like and find ways to incorporate them in my cocktails, so it challenges me and my palate.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
20ml of Enriched Simple Syrup (Absinthe, Green Chartreuse and Sugar)
20ml of Lemon Juice
45ml of Dill Infused Gin
Top with Tonic
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
Obviously Steve Schneider at Employees Only, because he is not just a great bartender, he makes you love your job and appreciate it. The other is Edoardo Nono, the owner of Rita in Milan. He is my mentor and he has his own personal way with cocktails.