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Meet Max, our Master Mixologist


15 April 2016

It’s nearly the weekend! Have you got that Friday Feeling? It’s time to relax and Max, our mixologist, is on hand to help. 

Max is from Rome and is totally passionate about cocktails and liqueurs and has brought all his Italian knowledge to Contini Ristorante in the hope of learning a little about Scotland (and its amazing whiskies) along the way. How lucky are we?

Like so many of our team, Max is from Italy, is industry-trained and so passionate about his profession. We’re delighted to have him on our team and every day he’s designing a new and totally delicious cocktail at Ristorante to tempt us. Last night, for example, we had a Cynar Spritz. We’ve all enjoyed the classic Aperol version, but this is slightly drier and a more elegant version. It’s made with a classic italian liquor distilled from artichokes of all things and you really have to taste it to appreciate how refreshing and how perfectly Italian it is. Think Prada in Pisa or Gucci in Genova – elegant and always well-matched.  

There are many classic Italian drinks that we are yet to really get to know in the UK. The whole concept of taking time after work (or anytime really from 5pm to 7pm) to sit with friends and enjoy a little aperitivo has been enjoyed for generations. Sitting in the piazza with a wee Campari and soda and watch the world go buy is as much a right of passage as making your first pot of sugo.  

When I was at university in the late 1980’s, I spent a few Friday nights in the Black Bull sipping a Campari and orange. Looking back, it’s as funny as the Haribo advert when the hairy biker likes wearing the rings. (If you’ve not seen it, my children can reenact every second of it and they just love the squeaky voices.) Anyway, I digress, the orange with my Campari came out of a Britvic bottle and the glass was as thick as tartan tammy but it was my drink. Nowadays I’ll only drink it with freshly squeezed orange, and preferably blood oranges in season, but I still love the flavour and I love the sentiment that comes with it. It’s classic, it’s Italian, it’s healthy and it’s absolutely refreshing – perfect to set me up for dinner a little later on. It’s my Sunday lunch time tipple and when I’ve not been well it’s as good as a tonic to pick me up. Now Max has let me taste a new cocktail every day that are as classic as the Campari Orange and I must admit I’m loving them all.  

Please come in and speak to Max. Our new cocktail list, created with Max’s expertise, is now available to try. We look forward to sharing with you.  

Check out our cocktail menu here.

Salut!