Livio Morena: Drink Kong (Rome)

Livio Morena is the Bar Manager of Drink Kong in Rome. He makes us two cocktails, one with Gin and Cointreau and the second with Caper Vodka and Raspberry Cordial.

Livio introduce yourself
I’m Livio Morena and the way I started working in the industry was by dropping my band’s CD into a bar to see if they’d play it. I fell in love with that bar and asked them to teach me all about bartending. At the same time I was studying journalism, but I couldn’t find a position, so I continued as a bartender. I am so lucky because I love this job. After the first bar, I moved to a bigger place that also had a burlesque show. Then I worked at Propaganda, where I met Patrick and we decided to create Drink Kong. Our new menu (New Humans), is focussed on flavours and divided into 5 sections. We worked on a map which connects flavours and emotions, creating different worlds of flavour related to memories. We hope to take people on a journey to a forest, a nordic shore or a Japanese restaurant. Originally everyone has their own emotions and it’s personal, but when they watch a movie or listen to music as a collective, it becomes a shared moment, just like sharing a drink. The name New Humans comes from the fact we look to the past to understand the future. In our case, we twisted classics in a futuristic way.

The classic you want to show us
White Lady
60ml of Tanqueray Gin
20ml of Cointreau
30ml of Lemon Juice

The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be a crowed space for around 300 people in a big city, like New York. I would have live rock music to match the vibe of the place. The cocktail menu would mix classics with some signature drinks. As I am Italian, food is mandatory, even if it’s just bar food.

What do you do in your time off
I play guitar and bass guitar.

The spirit you like the most
I like gin because it’s versatile and with that spirit, it’s easier to please customers. My favourite type of gin is London Dry.

What makes a good cocktail
It’s what’s around the cocktail. When you arrive in a bar, you need to be welcomed with a smile and greeting like you are at home. A good drink is about the entire experience from the beginning until the end, that’s what you remember, not just the cocktail you had. Cocktails need to be good, but for me they are secondary.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Because of the menu, I would say passionfruit. It gives citrus notes and a little bit of sweetness at the same time.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
30ml of Capers Beluga Vodka
40ml of Raspberry Cordial
30ml of Tomato Liqueur
10ml of Citric Solution
5ml of Simple Syrup

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
In Rome, meet our friends from Jerry Thomas, Freni e Frizione and La Punta. Around the world, I would say Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale and all the other Italian guys who work overseas, keeping the Italian touch and adapting it to whichever country they are based in.

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