Alessandro Geraci is our next interlocutor. We spoke with him after the Masterclass lecture he had at the Wincentive weekend at the end of last year. Alessandro is the global brand ambassador for the famous Italian liqueur Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto. The Italian with a London address is a bartender and enjoys his job, and he does not hide his enthusiasm for Croatia.
What motivated him to become a bartender, how the collaboration with Italicus came about and what is the secret of that refreshing, citrus liqueur that can be read in conversation.
“My name is Alessandro Geraci and I am an in-house mixologist for Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto. I am a former bartender and Italian. I’ve been living in the UK, specifically in London, for the past eight years. I moved to London in 2014 when I started to work in a high-volume cocktail bar in Aqua Shards. This is where I started to develop and improve my career in the cocktail and mixology world. I’ve done many cocktail competitions, like Amaro Montenegro, Bombay, Johnny Walker, Jaguara Khasa and so on. This is what helped me to improve my skills and knowledge in the cocktail world.”
“I like to push and keep spreading the word about bartenders, because it’s a very interesting professional and profession. I started back in Italy at the age of 15 as a barista and then as a waiter and then finally behind the bar. It was actually luck because when you are 15 years old you don’t know what you want to do in your life. The first job that I got was in a bar and, after that, I saw the bartender was the coolest person everyone wanted to speak with, so I said, that’s actually what I want to be. I want to be a bartender. Because we take care of people’s free time and everyone trusts the bartender. And this is how I started.”
“The founder of Italicus is Giuseppe Gallo and, basically, since the release of Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto I liked the final product. And that was September 2016 when I firstly tried the liquids and discover more about the history. I fell in love because it definitely represented the perfection of Italian products. Let’s say that if you’re Italian, you must know Italicus, and that’s what helped me to be part of this project. And then, during the pandemic, I had the opportunity to join the team. So, it definitely has been a dream since 2016 and this has happened in 2020.”
“So Italicus comes from a Latin word. This is out of the gladiator language. That means Italians. So Italicus, you translate as Italians. And that’s why actually everyone Italian is proud to pronounce the word Italicus.”
“Italicus Spritz has been designed to be the simpler but the most unique aperitivo cocktail. He has let’s say three ingredients, because you have the garnish. You have one part of Italicus, Rosolio di Bergamotto and two parts of Prosecco, sparkling wine, and then we garnish with, three green olives. As Aperativo, you serve your drink with foods. So you have one one sip and one bite. Olives because the saltiness of the olives help to reduce the acidity and help you to reduce the perception of alcohol into your body. Three Olives because three is the perfect number.”
“My biggest supporter is my family indeed. Thanks to my family, who helped me and trust in it because I left the country when I was younger. And definitely, if you don’t have the support of your family you can’t succeed in business. Family is definitely the most important part of success, together with my wife as well.”
You use some very rare and special ingredients from Italy for making Italicus. Can you say something about them?
“To make Italicus, we source all natural ingredients from Italy, from the south to north of Italy. The most important and most predominant one is the Bergamot. It comes from the Calabria region from a D.O.P. protected area. The Bergamot is classified and takes the name as a golden green of Italy because it is specially harvested at a certain time of the year – from November until February only. The bergamot is a kind of citrus. There is a mix between the shape of an orange, the color of a lime, and the taste of a lemon. It contained lots of essential oil, and that’s what we’re using to make Italicus.”
“Italicus, it got inspiration behind a forgotten recipe called „Rosolio“. Basically, in 1400s monks and monasteries were going to harvest those botanicals to extract the flavor and the liquids to make the elixir. But they realized that by adding sugar they could actually make it drinkable and enjoy liquids. The monks were going to harvest botanicals in the early morning and what they could find was morning dew. As the only language spoken in Italy back then was Latin, the name of the morning dew is Rose Olis. After that, this category disappeared and, thanks to our founder Giuseppe Gallo, back on the 1st September 2016 the Rosolio category was reborn. So our slogan was Italicus Rosolio di Bergamotto l’aperitivo Italiano reborn, because we brought back a forgotten category.”
“I went to Croatia when I was a kid, just for holidays, but definitely it is beautiful and it makes me feel at home. And yes, I would say loud and clear. Yes, I will come back to Croatia. It’s a nice population, a nice bartender community and nice people.”
Thank you Alessandro for your time.