One of Italy’s most influential bartenders
on the trend that is revolutionizing mixology
If the food world has evolved in unexpected ways in recent times, the cocktail scene has not been less surprising. Low alcohol drinks are the proof. Moving from trend to must in record time, their rise reflects larger sociocultural changes ranging from concerns regarding health and well-being to the passage of legislation requiring rigorous penalties for driving while intoxicated.
A pioneer in Italy’s low alcohol movement, Diego Ferrari transformed an initial limitation into a great opportunity. Accepting the challenge to create the menu for a venue dedicated exclusively to low alcohol drinks, he found himself reconsidering his role as a mixologist. Searching for new ingredients, studying their possible combinations, devising their proper presentations: these were familiar passages. Adapting his selections to an extraordinary architectural context, communicating effectively with the public and the press about this new kind of cocktail: these were more challenging tasks, but certainly stimulating ones.
Convinced that blending the right ingredients is just the beginning of a superior cocktail experience, Diego narrates his complete process, offering his colleagues not only a singular selection of low alcohol cocktails but also a method for facing new challenges.
Diego Ferrari was just seventeen when he began his first mixology course, setting his sights on becoming a barman. At twenty-six, armed with solid experience, he headed for London intent on deepening his understanding of specific trends from the bar chef and molecular mixology movements to the resurgence of Tiki. Since returning to Italy he has embraced many roles, collaborating with major beverage brands, writing for trade publications and affirming his expertise in prestigious national and international competitions. Today he is bar manager at the Rotonda Bistro in Milan where his specialization in low alcohol cocktails has won him international recognition.