Giorgio Santambrogio: Officina Milano (Milan)

Giorgio Santambrogio is the owner and Bar Manager of Officina Milano in Milan. He makes us two cocktails, one with Campari and Gin and the second with Vodka distilled with Panettone and top with Champagne.

Giorgio introduce yourself
Hello, I’m Giorgio Santambrogio and I’m 27 years old. I started in the industry four years ago as a joke and with a dream. Originally this bar was a workshop for cars and motorbikes that we customised. One day a guy from Christian Louboutin asked to rent the space for a fashion show and asked if we could put a little bar in. Then people at the event asked us if we were a bar, and as a joke, we said yes, from today we are. None of us had a bartending background, but it was summer and it worked very well. So we decided to continue all year long and we built a real bar just in front of the workshop of the car park, with vintage finds from various markets. Since last year we have decided to promote Officina globally and we started to travel and learn more and more with support from the industry. Here people feel like they are at home, it has a real soul and people like that. In 2019 we received 30 guest shifts, and after each guest, we changed something and progressed. We started very slow but we are so happy with what we have achieved so far.

The classic you want to show us
Negroni
60ml of Cocchi de Torino Vermouth
30ml of Campari
15ml of Tanqueray Gin

The bar you dream of
It’s a big bar in an ancient cathedral and we are working on it right now. It will have a proper dining room and capacity for 250 people. We have learnt with this bar (Officina) that eating on a sofa is not ideal. The idea is to keep the mood and soul of the cathedral, because for us what’s important is authenticity.

What do you do in your time off
I love skiing (especially freestyle) and last Christmas we skied in Japan. I also enjoy riding motorbikes and playing football. Sport is definitely the way I relax.

The spirit you like the most
Rum, because of pirates and the daiquiri is my favourite drink. Rum is easy to work with and you can do a lot of different drinks with different flavour profiles. Agricole rum is my preferred type of rum, even if it’s not very famous in Italy compared to France. It has an authentic strong flavour, which reminds me of this place.

What makes a good cocktail
I think the cocktail is a maximum of 30% of your night in a bar. Don’t focus all your energy on the drink. You need to create an ambience, make people have fun and share something with people. Your drink can be just simple and elegant and that’s enough. I prefer to go to a place where the drink is 6/10 and the service 10/10 than the opposite.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I like to use fresh fruit for my juices as they really make a difference to the flavour of a cocktail.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Prestiné
35ml of Vodka distilled with Panettone
20ml of Rich Syrup
5 dashes of Citric Acid Solution
Top with Champagne

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
My favourite cocktail bar in the world is The Clumsies in Athens, so you have to go there. And one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had was at Copitas in St Petersburg, where there is a massive wow effect. And for the interior design Atlas in Singapore is just incredible.

Thank you to Blue Blazer for inviting us to Milan and making this interview possible.

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