Mattia Pastori & 1919 – One of Heering´s 200 years

Words by: Fabio Bacchi

Recent generations of bartenders include figures who rise quickly through the ranks of a very competitive career.  The modern bar industry offers opportunities that were unthinkable just a few decades ago.

Today’s bartenders step out from behind the bar much earlier, taking on managerial roles or serving as brand ambassadors for some of the most important players in the industry. Mattia Pastori is a steadfast example of this latest generation of Italian bartender. 

 Peoples’ stories

Born in a small city in Lombardy, Mattia was drawn to bartending from a young age, having spent time in his parents’ bar.  A magical world of shiny, colourful bottles and liquid mixtures created by his father. Mattia did his best to immerse himself in that world, populated by people with stories that were always new, different, never to be repeated. Mattia recalls “There was a group of customers who would come every week for an aperitivo. A man named Ubaldo made all the decisions. Before leaving, Ubaldo would book for the following week, deciding there and then what they’d drink for their next aperitivo. His manner made a huge impression on me. I was working in a hotel many years later when I bumped into Mr Ubaldo again. I was delighted to see this person who reminded me of the start of my career. When Park Hyatt sent me to America, to Miami, I immediately fell in love with surfing. The senior bartenders never let me work the evening shift, which would have allowed me to earn more tips. I had started paying for surfing lesson, but had to tell my teacher that I couldn’t continue because I couldn’t afford it any longer. He thought about it and said “Meet me in the water, I’ll teach you for free! I’ve met exceptional people through bartending”.

 Between present and future – nostalgia for the past

Today, Mattia is the outlet manager at Camparino in Galleria, Campari’s iconic flagship bar in Milan, a place rich with history. It’s a position laden with responsibility, impressive for a young man of barely thirty years of age. “Bartending has evolved at an extreme pace, blending cooking techniques and ingredients with more traditional bartending methods. But I do have a sense of nostalgia for the past. I grew up in a culture of professional associations. Bartending associations were global families, that took care to nurture their young carefully and gradually. They were families that shared everything, creating lasting bonds among people. We all had a mentor who served as a teacher, but also as a father and a brother. They taught me a sense of hospitality, elegance, what words to use in various contexts. Now I think things are far more individualistic. I have a sense of nostalgia for those times. My blog “Non solo cocktails” [Not just cocktails] shares my experiences on professional themes of general interest. I would like cocktail culture to become a common practice at home, like cooking”.

 Heering Amarcord

Mattia was always fascinated by the history of cocktails, those stories that deserve to be passed on. “I remember when I started out, the Singapore Sling was the third cocktail I ever prepared. I was struck by the unique Cherry Heering bottle, but at the time I barely knew what it was. It was one of the first products that caught my attention. History is an essential source of inspiration for my drinks. And this is certainly true of the drink I developed for the Cherry Heering 200 year anniversary, which was inspired by 1919.

In 1919, “Arte Futurista”, a large exhibition, was organised in Milan. Futurismo was an Italian artistic movement founded in 1909 by F.T. Marinetti. He based his own aesthetic concept on dynamism, on the cult of modernity and technique, a controversial contrast with all forms of artistic traditionalism. In 1931, “The Futurist Kitchen Manifesto” was published. It was written entirely by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and also signed by the poet Fillia. It is a collection of Futurist thoughts, convictions and intentions relating to cuisine and gastronomy. As well as advocating for the elimination of pasta, the Manifesto preaches the abolition of the knife and fork, traditional condiments, food weights and volumes and table politics. He calls for the creation of “simultaneous and changing morsels”, inviting chemists to invent new flavours and encouraging the combination of music, poems and perfumes with the dishes. The “Arte Futurista” exhibition took place at 1, Manzoni Street, just two minutes walks from Camparino. Futurismo is the inspiration behind my drink.

Lavorato Amabile

40 ml Campari Bitter

10 ml Amaro Braulio Riserva

20 ml Cherry Heering

40 ml seltzer water

Method: Build ingredients in glass

Garnish: Edible flowers

Glassware: Frosted Camparino

The drink is a traditional combination of Italian aperitivo, bitter, amaro, spices and Vermouth with seltzer water. Today it is fashionable across the world. It represents an important moment involving food culture, where the cocktail becomes a tool for food pairing

Cherry Heering in a mai Tai on

Without a Doubt The World’s Best Mai Tai!
Posted by Shelly Perry (03/29/2011 @ 10:18 pm)

It is no exaggeration to say that these are the best Mai Tais of all time…ever!

With spring and summer right around the corner you may be looking for a special cocktail to celebrate the season!
To quote the creator, “This elixir is to be consummed in Miami, poolside!”
With special friends, I might add!

But if you aren’t in Miami and don’t have special friends, you certainly will be feeling the magic if you make this cocktail!

The recipe:
8 oz dark Gosling’s Rum
12 oz light Mount Gay Rum
4 oz Cointreau or Triple Sec
4 oz almond syrup
8 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
8 oz pineapple juice
4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
Just a splash of Heering Cherry Liqueur
4 oz Key Lime soda if you want
Lots of ice!
Fiddle with the rums. Add more if neccessary to taste.

Heering on the Examiner again!

Finale at the W

Gabriel Orta of Bar Lab brought the night home with two beautiful drinks. Featuring pomegranate molasses and cucumber puree, the W Essential offered a sophisticated, Middle Eastern take on the beaten-to-death Long Island Ice Tea. Balancing spice and sweet citrus, the Hot Mess incorporated lime, Heering Cherry Liqueur, Sriracha pepper and passionfruit. Swept clean by a citrus finish, the spice worked to maximize refreshment not to start a fire in your mouth. If you have shied away from the new breed of spicy cocktails, this drink is the perfect introduction…

Tequila Avión in Miami: The cocktail crawl with an elevated spirit

Tequila Avión in Miami: The cocktail crawl with an elevated spirit

October 25th, 2010 12:20 pm ET

To celebrate its early Florida release, Founder Ken Austin hosted a tequila crawl on South Beach last week and spoke about how Tequila Avión came to be. “I wanted to create a tequila my wife could drink,” he said. “Most people had a bad experience with tequila early on, and now there’s this disconnection with the spirit.”

Looking to redeem a spirit that is often (and mistakenly) slighted, Austin discovered his answer in the mountainous regions of Jalisco where conditions encourage sugar production in blue agave plants, the base for all tequilas. Using these succulent leaves as its base, Avión requires slow-roasting to coax out and caramelize agave’s sugars then insists on 10 filtration cycles to maximize purity.

With Avión’s three expression, Silver, Reposado and Añejo, in tow, the crawl began at Nobu.

Warmup at Nobu
While the bartenders at Nobu were mixing, there was an opportunity to taste Avión Silver in its pure state. Featuring lemongrass and citrus, this smooth silver began with sweetness. Although a slightly sour note in the middle discouraged straight sipping, its medium body and clean, grapefruit finish promised plenty of cocktail possibilities.

With the tequila tasted, Nobu served up two fresh fruit cocktails: passionfruit and kiwi. While the passionfruit variation highlighted the tequila’s grapefruit notes, its strong tart finish meant it would be at its best when paired with spicy or tangy appetizers. Its kiwi counterpart, however, stood on its own. Beautifully refreshing, this cocktail was lush, juicy and satisfying. Its ability to hold up to ice made it perfect for lounging about the Shore Club.

Punch at Prime Italian
Settling into the bar at Prime Italian, tasting portions of Avión Reposado made their way to the table. Rested in whiskey casks for six months, this golden tequila featured caramel notes, a sweet open and subtly spicy finish. Without an alcoholic burn, this darling lent itself well to bar manager Micheal Parish’s beautiful punch creations.

“Modern punch is taking a hold on bottle service,” Mike explained. Far from the spiked bowl of sherbet foam at a 50s junior high social, these elegant punchs were light, well-balanced and worthy of great glassware. The reposado mixed with Aperol (an herbal orange liqueur), pineapple-soaked agave and chipotle puree stole this cocktailian’s heart. With herbal warmth, subtle spice and a light, fresh finish, this darling could pair with Middle Eastern or Indian food to incite fall-off-your-chair deliciousness.

Avión Añejo at the Clevelander
The LA Sunrise was a fair take on the Margarita (although fresh orange juice could have made it take off), the añejo tasting stole the show. Aged for a full two years in whiskey casks, its initial sweetness gave way to intense rich caramel and wood that bloomed into a honey finish. For bourbon or scotch drinkers in the mood for something different, pour this into a brandy snifter for a perfect sipping companion.

Finale at the W
Gabriel Orta of Bar Lab brought the night home with two beautiful drinks. Featuring pomegranate molasses and cucumber puree, the W Essential offered a sophisticated, Middle Eastern take on the beaten-to-death Long Island Ice Tea. Balancing spice and sweet citrus, the Hot Mess incorporated lime, Heering Cherry Liqueur, Sriracha pepper and passionfruit. Swept clean by a citrus finish, the spice worked to maximize refreshment not to start a fire in your mouth. If you have shied away from the new breed of spicy cocktails, this drink is the perfect introduction.


At the W hotel, Gabriel Orta expertly balanced spice and sweetness with an ultra-refreshing sipper.

Credit: Daso Design

The Take-Away
What was most notable about all three expressions was not so much what they had but what they lacked: a strong alcohol burn and that off-putting, diesal-agave note that causes “tequila shudders.” For those of you who axed tequila long ago, try again but this time with an ultra-smooth brand and a mixologist you trust. You may never sip tequila straight, but in the hands of great bartender, why would you want to?

Go have a tequila adventure, Cocktailian!

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Images are courtesy of Daso Design.

At the W hotel, Gabriel Orta expertly balanced spice and sweetness with an ultra-refreshing sipper.

Credit: Daso Design recomends Cherry-Samba

Happy Hour: Cherry Samba


by Paystyle




Since returning from New Orleans it seems like the pace of my life has only sped up, so I was thankful to be able to take a breather last week and have Kayoko fill in for me with an awesome post about Savoy Night at The Alembic in San Francisco. Truth be told, I would have been quite content with having another week off, as it Sloth Season this month. But too much sloth can mean a slow death, so it’s back to the grind this week. But just in case you feel like being slothy yourself, not only will I keep this post short and sweet, but the cocktail recipe’s quite a simple one this week as well.


Last week highlighted the amazing cocktailery going on at the Alembic, so I figured I’d give some Yay Area love this week as well. In fact when it comes to craft cocktailing, SF is probably the only big city that can really give NY some competition, as  LA’s cocktail renaissance is still nascent; Seattle and Portland, as wonderfully creative as their cocktail scenes are, are not big cities; and Miami isn’t even on the map–I think someone in Miami recently discovered bitters.


This week’s cocktail is called the Cherry Samba, a drink born in the Bay. It was created by Neyah White, the former bartender at Nopa in SF, and now brand ambassador for Yamazaki Whisky.  It’s a refreshing and fantastically easy cocktail to prepare  I present it to you here with a minor change that to me improves and simplifies the drink a bit.


Cherry Samba
2 oz. cachaca (Brazil’s version of rum)
1 oz. Cherry Heering
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
5 dashes A.B. Smeby Highland Heather Bitters
brandied cherry for garnish


Tools: shaker, strainer
Glass: chilled cocktail or coupe


Fill a shaker with the ingredients and plenty of ice. Shake well while doing the Samba and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a brandied cherry.


If you’re wondering why my cherry looks a bit off, it’s because it’s homemade, and in the process of slumbering for several months in a mixture of cognac, maraschino liqueur, and sugar, it developed a few wrinkles here and there. But it tastes just fantastic. If you don’t feel like making your own brandied cherries, pick up a jar of Luxardo cherries if they’re available in your area. Under no circumstances, however, should you use those atomic-red abominations we now refer to as maraschino cherries.


I mentioned that I modified this recipe a bit from the original, and the way I did so in a couple of ways. First, I dispensed with the egg whites–about .75 oz or half the whites of an egg to be precise–asked for in the original recipe. After making the drink numerous times with the egg whites, I concluded the egg whites were unnecessary in this drink.  Normally their purpose is to provide a silky top texture, but I felt that it clouded the drink too much, and that the drink was much more refreshing made in the traditional Daiquiri style. Hence there was no need for a dry shake (without ice) to properly aerate and froth the egg white (this is Sloth Season of course), and instead you can save your energy on making seconds and thirds.


Secondly, the recipe asked for 1/2 oz of a smoky Scotch such as Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Lagavulin, and since I had none on hand, I achieved the smoke-flavored effect by subbing in several dashes of the wonderfully smoky and peaty Highland Heather Bitters created by A.B. Smeby.


While I have no criticism of the recipe as originally intended–and you should try both to see which you find preferable–I think the modified version is a bit more streamlined and simplified, two qualities my life could sure use a lot more of.









Heering in Sun Sentinel

Heering was mentioned in the article “Is Your Liquor Cabinet Ready for a Party?” that recently ran in the Sun Sentinel (A Broward, Palm Beach, Miami and Dade County based newspaper). Cherry Heering was in the piece recommended for the Framboise cocktail- check it out!

Excerpt from

Kindred Spirits, the Miami-based drinks importer, has announced that it has added two new liqueur brands, Heering Cherry Liqueur and Xante, to its portfolio.

Produced in Denmark, Heering Cherry Liqueur is sold in more than 100 countries and is known as an ingredient in the famous Singapore Sling cocktail.

V&S Group sold the Heering brand to the Tilander family, which owns Xanté, for an undisclosed sum, last September.
Xante is a liqueur made from pears and Cognac, and is currently sold in 15 markets including the UK and Spain.


WSD briefs:

VIRGINIA EXPANDS SUNDAY SALES. Legislation expanding Sunday spirits sales to cities with populations of 100,000 or more passed the Virginia Senate today-a move the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) hailed as a “significant victory” for both consumers and the State Treasury.

PENN. HEARING ON PRIVATIZING LIQUOR STORES. Pennsylvania legislators reportedly plan to hold a public hearing this summer about privatizing retail liquor sales after Sen. Rob Wonderling introduced the bill last week. The senator wants the proceeds set aside to meet the state’s Medicare obligations. The hearing would be held jointly by the House Liquor Control Committee and the Senate Law and Justice Committee. To read our coverage last week, click here.

KINDRED SPIRITS, based in Miami, announced today the acquisition of two new brands, Heering Cherry and Xante liqueur. Both brands will join the enterprising and premium Kindred Spirits, Inc. portfolio.

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