Lorenzo Antinori, Beverage Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, Shares His Top 5 Bartending Tips
Since Lorenzo Antinori moved to Asia in 2017, he has been shaking up the continent's cocktail scene. From overseeing the prestigious Charles H. bar Four Seasons Hotel Seoul to his current Hong Kong position as Beverage Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong – which launched Argo last year, a beautiful concept bar – Antinori has made his mark as one of the most notable personalities in Asia's F&B scene. We speak to the drinks aficionado, who's also Beverage Ambassador at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific, on his top five bartending tips for all occasions.
This article is also available to read in Chinese (HK).
1) Stay curious and master your craft
The power of knowledge and curiosity is what drives us in being better professionals and what keeps us excited. Whether it's about discovering new ingredients or techniques or simply learning about cultures and traditions from around the world, this information can be used in any given situation, either during the cocktail creative process or with our guests. Be the best at what you do, and master your craft.
2) Be inclusive
Most of the time, customers pick their favourite bars based on the human connection they’ve established with the bar team. Connections are more powerful than cocktails; creating a warm and welcoming environment and being a gracious host, and a great listener to guest needs, is the key to success.
3) Learn your classics
Practice makes it better. Being confident and comfortable with classic cocktail recipes is fundamental to being a better bartender. Once we master the basics, we are able to let our creativity shine and can push boundaries.
4) Keep it consistent
Consistency is what keeps people coming back for more – people want to experience the same drink, so make sure you follow the recipes that you have crafted previously. But consistency is a concept that needs to be applied to the daily operation and the mise en place of the bar as well. Having a well structured and consistent set-up allows a smooth and successful service. As Sun Tzu wrote in the book “The Art of War”, “every battle is won or lost before it is even fought”.
5) Keep it together
Bars are environments where the pressure can feel sky high. Being able to control it and manage it, will have a positive impact on the team, the guests and in general the environment. The best way to control the pressure is to be organised and well prepared for the shift, and even if things are going bad, take a deep breath and smile!