The Little Barman: anecdotes, reflections and some cocktails

“Sometimes smaller dreams turn into something big. Do not be fooled by the apparent simplicity and lightness of this book: it is much more than it seems and, like all the best things, it hides its most precious beauties between the lines. So it was born, simply, from the reflections and some anecdotes about my job exchanged with Claudio Gallone […]. It is the celebration of a world made up of knowledge of the subject, listening to the customer and awareness of knowing how to identify needs. That sometimes means putting aside inspiration, ego and ability and serving the glass of wine that the person on the other side of the counter perhaps has a real desire for. “

This is a cut from the introduction that bartender Flavio Angiolillo wrote in his own hand in the recently published book (Giunti Editore), “The Little Barman“. Those of you who have not read one of the most famous literary works of the 20th century and among the best-selling in history, “The little Prince”By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry? Well, we start right here (also through the colors of Serena Conti who took care of the illustrations) but with a more real setting, that limbo between dreams and reality that is hidden behind the counter of a cocktail bar, which in the end is the soul of every bartender.

Maybe a gamble to dare so much? Bring the bar world closer to a work of this stature? “I reread the book, the Little Prince traveled through space knowing different characters who taught him a lot. In my case it was the people who came to my bar, and so I met them. Those who are friends with me know what the journeys in my head are capable of, I associate the many people I meet and in my “box” – the same as the original version that the aviator designed on request by the child – I make them live together. They become my characters and I talked about them for a long time thinking: they must enter the book! “.

This is where the journey of one of the most famous bartenders in Italy starts (in Milan, together with his partners, he built an empire of five venues including Mag, Iter, 1930 Secret Cocktail Bar, Backdoor, Barba, as well as Farmily producer of distillates and not) who, together with Elena Ceschelli (Futurist Cortese Drinks), had the right thought of tell the world of the bar, increasingly “labeled” and misunderstood, in a different way, in full Angiolillo style.

Unlike de Le Petit Prince, dedicated to the friend (child) of the author, Leone Werth, this book is aimed at everyone, so that they can understand what happens in the places they frequent for their drinks, young people who want to take this path, the “sailed” bartenders who every now and then they should put the ego aside and focus more on the requests of those who order, and sometimes want, only a simple American.

Claudio Gallone, journalist and philosophical consultant who practically dealt with the drafting, chose to start from Backdoor 43, the smallest bar in the world on the Milanese Naviglio. From here, stories of real and non-real characters are born and intertwined, from the doctor to the woman manager, from the politician to the vain, and up to theArtemisia, which is actually the absinthe seedling used in cocktails, which replaces the beloved rose of the Little Prince.
“The character I care most about is perhaps the ideal client (for another real but whose name I will not say) because he knows exactly how to behave, understands when we are under stress and must not distract us, and when yes, he is of few words and only after two years did I know what work he was doing, ”says Angiolillo.

It might seem trivial and sometimes taken for granted but ordering and having a drink has a feeling, the writer attends cocktail bars all over the world and the (never equal) empathy that a counter is able to establish among those who live it, is few other moments of our busy life.

“It comes out of the book the essence of our profession, the desire to work, everyone thinks that we have a beautiful life but sleep little and take planes continuously. There is a lot of love and a lot of effort, being able to explain it properly is not easy and only someone with a disproportionate and arrogant ego like Gallone could do it. I am happy with what we have done! ”, He concludes.

Are you curious now? Let’s not reveal more, the beauty will be to browse and enjoy the Little Barman as you would with your favorite cocktail …

From Little barman The inspiration for the cocktails that will attend the upcoming drink list, in March 2020, has also sprung up. Here are two.

Vesper del Vanitoso
a part of gin
a part of vodka
half part of Pineau des Charentes (to replace the Kina Lillet)
lemon zest

Negroni del Marinaio
30ml Campari
30ml Professor’s Vermouth
10ml Mezcal Bruxo
10ml Old Sailor Coffee

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