As a bartender at officially the best bar in the world, the Artesian Bar in West London, Simone is known the world over for his imaginative drinks. He’s come a long way since turning up in London with a suitcase and just €2,000.

Occupation

Bartender. I work at the Artesian bar in the Langham Hotel in the West End, London. It’s been listed as the best bar in the world for two years running in International Drinks Magazine.

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Born

1986. I grew up in a small village in the north of Italy on the lakeside of Lake Como.

Current hometown

London. I came here in 2009 on a one-way ticket with just hand luggage and €2,000 – which is nothing like £2,000 so I wish I had brought more! I knew that London was the capital of the cocktail world. There is such a great drink culture – the exchange of flavours and the mix of so many cultures in London makes it the perfect place to create and experience things in a glass.

Why bartending

I started bartending in 2003 because I was fascinated by not just the cocktails, but also by how magic the environment of the bar or a party can be – particularly with cocktails.

The first cocktail I made

A mojito. I remember it wasn’t the best cocktail though, because they made me muddle around 200 or 300 glasses with the lime. That was the preparation I had to do every day for the bar in Lake Como.

Favourite cocktail

The Negroni, with Martini Rosso. It’s iconic; the status symbol of the Italian aperitivo. Perfect before a meal, and great afterwards for digestion.

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The Team

Giuseppe

Guiseppe was born in Italy but has travelled and lived all over the world to learn from each country’s best bartenders. He’s now considered one of the world’s best mixologists.

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Camille

Camille was born in France to a family of artists, and studied art before she fell in love with bars while on a gap year in Australia. Now she now travels the world to discover new flavours, recipes and brilliant bars.

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