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 now enjoys working more closely with his sons and concentrating his interests on his consultancy service and spreading the art of hospitality and bartending around the world with appearances as a judge at international competitions and bar shows.
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.
During the 1980s Salvatore established himself as a world expert on vintage Cognacs, and has spent years finding, 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. He coined the phrase 'Liquid History' and published his book Cognac: A Liquid History in 2001. 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 nutritious ‘Working Cocktail’.
His TV appearances include How The Other Half Lives, This Morning, GMTV, UK Living, Carlton Food Network, Something for the Weekend, many programmes in the USA, and on radio; Classic FM, BBC Radio2 and 5 Live.
Salvatore is often featured in national press 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’, BNIC ‘International Cognac Personality of the Year 2009', and the Italian Bartenders Association (AIBES) 'Outstanding Achievement Award’ 2006 for his contribution to the industry. He is also Past President of the UKBG.