Originally from Florence, Italy and raised in California, I've been working in New York City's food and drink service industry ever since arriving in Manhattan over 10 years ago. I've worked every front of house role from host to bar manager, have an up-to-date NYC Food Protection Certificate, and have studied bar design and layout. But my true love is designing personalized cocktails that surprise and inspire the casual drinker.
Fitfully unemployed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I began a cocktail consulting "business," where I offered drink recipes designed around in-home ingredients to family and friends sheltering in place. I've enjoyed the remote drink designing so much that I have opened up my services to anyone who wants to learn more about cocktails, bar culture, and elevating their home bar experience.
This is my main "jam," so to speak, and it's so simple. You have two different ways of engaging my services and elevating your drinking.
custom "pantry" cocktails
What I call "pantry" cocktails are the easiest and cheapest way to get a fresh drinking experience on the fly! With a short dialogue via text, email, or over the phone, I personally design a cocktail based on the flavors and spirits you already enjoy and have in-house. I generally make a point of working a little outside the box (you came to an expert after all), but I never require expensive tools or liquors, and always prioritize fresh ingredients and simple practices.
curated "test kitchen" drinks
Opting for a "test kitchen" cocktail is more work intensive for me, but I really pull out all the stops to make sure I come up with something you'll absolutely love! I buy ingredients, make several different versions of each drink, and email you a detailed description of how to make it.
I've already done specialty mixed drink recipes for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and work happy hours and I have gotten such wonderful feedback! It's an opportunity for folx to try something a little different that is still curated to their taste and/or the event in question, and I just have a blast doing it.
I have a number of virtual or in-person "lesson plans" ready to go for any group, from the most novice of drinkers to seasoned cocktail nerds like myself. These can be interactive, lectures, or anywhere in between!
Some example workshops include:
Setting Up Your Home Bar: Everything You Need for a Perfect Cocktail
I am blessed with a great home bar set up. In this 1 hour workshop I would talk participants through what is worth investing in and why, from hardware to bar "pantry" staples, so that you can both cater to your own whims, and those of your guests!
Essentials of Craft Cocktails
You know Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat on Netflix? Well, there is a similar set of basics for great mixology. Since becoming unemployed in this COVID-19 crisis, I have been coaching beginners through personalized cocktail recipes based on what they have on hand with great results despite never getting to taste some of the liquors involved! Mastering the fundamentals and training your palette will make it so that you can too can unleash your creativity by making original and adventurous drinks.
Flawless Fundamentals: Boozy Basics and How to Make Them
The negroni, the Manhattan, the Old-Fashioned, and the martini, the four pillars holding up most American bars worth their salt. In simple tutorials, I'll walk you through making an outstanding version of each of these drinks, as well as the history behind them and their variations (extra fun for New Yorkers, as there's a lot of NYC specific history to be had here)
events [well, eventually]
I write as the COVID-19 pandemic has lightened its grip on my beloved NYC but while it still rages in most of the United States. In future though, I am eager to discuss designing a whole host of drink offerings for a special event and subsequently bartending it myself! As a one-person outfit, I can almost guarantee that I will be cheaper than that catering service you were considering, even working out liquor licenses and so forth!
why I love bartending
It sounds cliche, but there is such an experience around having a wonderful cocktail, from company to neighborhood to history to complimenting a wonderful meal. As a Florentine, I love the ritual of the careful preparation of fine ingredients, as an artist I love the creativity of combining and presenting flavors, and as sentimental New Yorker I love uncovering the sometimes century-old history behind a recipe.
Perhaps with a little nudge from yours truly, you too can become a hopeless romantic for an elegant mixed drink.
other things I do
How kind of you to ask! You can check out what else I am up to over here.