Salvatore Calabrese ‘The Maestro’ has been making drinks for more than 40 years and is reputed to be one of the UK’s most celebrated bartenders. Serious accolades are given to Salvatore for his world class expertise on vintage Cognacs and his work is constantly profiled in magazines such as Tatler and Decanter.
Having first established himself at London’s Dukes Hotel where he created the recipe for the ultimate Dry Martini, he then moved to The Lanesborough, before running his own bar at Fifty club. In recent years he has held residencies at Maison Eight in Hong Kong, Bound in Las Vegas, Mixology 101 in LA, and the iconic Salvatore’s Bar at Playboy Club Mayfair. After five years at Playboy Club, Salvatore left to work more closely with his sons and currently has a residency at The Mule Bar within The Holy Birds, London E1, a new venue by Calabrese House.
A best-selling author, Salvatore’s cocktail books have sold in the millions. Titles include 'Classic After Dinner Drinks', 'The Complete Home Bartenders’ Guide', 'Virgin Cocktails', 'Sexy Cocktails' and 'Cocktails by Flavour'. A new edition of 'Classic Cocktails' was published by Sterling in 2015 for the UK and USA.
Over the past decade Salvatore has established himself as a world expert on vintage Cognacs, and has spent years finding and collecting and serving some of the world's oldest and rarest vintages. Their dates mark some of history's most important events, and his most memorable experience was opening a bottle of 1789 Cognac, the year of the French Revolution, and selling it at £1,000 a glass; coining the phrase, 'Liquid History'.
In 2012 he set the record for the world’s most expensive cocktail, worth £5,500 per glass. ‘Salvatore’s Legacy’ is also the world’s oldest cocktail, containing rare liqueurs with a combined age of 730 years.
Salvatore also has a reputation for non-alcoholic cocktails, having won international competitions in this field, and worked with the Health Education Authority to develop the non-alcoholic and nutritious ‘Working Cocktail’. He frequently judges at international cocktail competitions, including his own event ‘The Maestro Challenge’.
His TV appearances include This Morning (ITV), GMTV, UK Living, Carlton Food Network, Something for the Weekend (BBC2), many programmes in the USA, and on radio; Classic FM, BBC Radio2 and 5 Live. In November 2015 he featured in Channel 5’s How The Other Half Lives.
Salvatore is often featured in the Daily Mail, Decanter, and Tatler magazines and has written for The Independent, The Guardian and The Times, GQ magazine, and 'Cheers! with Oz Clarke and Salvatore Calabrese'.
He has over 20 awards including ‘Industry Legend’ at Imbibe Personality of the Year 2015, 'Salernitani Illustri nel Mondo’ (Italian OBE equivalent), London Lifestyle Awards 2012 'Best Bar’, Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) ‘International Cognac Personality of the Year 2009', and the Italian Bartenders Association (AIBES) 'Outstanding Achievement Award’ 2006 for his contribution to the industry.