Simone Mina is the Bar Manager of CH 1887 in Rome. He makes us two cocktails, one with Vodka and Galanga Tincture and the second with Calvados and Fake Raspberry
Simone introduce yourself
My name is Simone Mina, the Bar Manager of CH 1887 which is the cocktail bar of our family’s restaurant Checcino dal 1887. I started to work in the industry, first in a restaurant and discovered the bar world as a customer. I started to learn bartending with the National Bartenders Association and it seemed that I was good at it, but my mother was not very happy with my choice of career. I competed in my first competition for Botran, soon after finishing my course and when I won and moved to the European level, my mum couldn’t say no. I didn’t win, but I was invited to Guatemala and a strong relationship began with the brand. When I returned to Italy, I became the European ambassador for Botran and started to travel more, which allowed me to learn a lot in different bars and understand different cultures. This job definitely made me a better bartender and made me feel like a citizen of the world.
The classic you want to show us
60ml of Stolichnaïa Vodka
15ml of Carioca Dry Vermouth
2 dashes of Galanga Tincture
The bar you dream of
It’s always in your mind when you’re a bartender. It would be something extremely theatrical. It would be like going to the theatre where the bartender is the performer with the drinks, lighting, and ambience the supporting cast. It should feel like the guest is entering the hole of the white rabbit, just like Alice. I love the vibes of Andalucia, so it could be there because the people are very open. Of course, coming from a restaurant background I would have food on the menu. The idea would be to have the chef and the bartender working side by side and serving their creations together.
What do you do in your time off
I am always thinking about my job, but the good thing is I can enjoy the city during the day or late at night when the streets are empty. During my days off I like to go to the seaside with my girlfriend for a lunch of spaghetti a la vongole with white wine.
The spirit you like the most
Rum was the first spirit I ever tasted in my life and people describe me as a pirate, so I guess it’s rum. It is versatile like wine, because of the terroir and has very different flavour profiles. I personally prefer more subtle rums.
What makes a good cocktail
Firstly the satisfaction of the customer and secondly something complex served in a simple way.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Recently I’ve been playing with fruits and fruit liquors for the chemical reaction it can produce. For instance, we recently created a fake raspberry juice, without any actual raspberry in it.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
30ml of Calvados
20ml of Fake Raspberry
10ml of Orgeat Syrup
10ml of Red Clover Dry Vermouth
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You should go to visit Boadas in Barcelona and speak with Adal Marquez, I feel like I am part of their family. Otherwise, go to Milan to Camparino and speak to Tommaso Cecca, (on the ground floor you feel more the real atmosphere of Milan).