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29.08.2013. Le Sirenuse
Born: Vienna, 1967.
Job: Bar Manager, Le Sirenuse.
Working hours: 10am to 1.30am most days from mid May to mid October.
Languages: Italian, English, German, French, a little Spanish.
Family: Married to Pina from Castellamare di Stabbia; they met in Tenerife on one of Robert’s rare holidays. They have two daughters.
Hobbies: Tennis. His proudest moment was taking four sets from a player who had qualified for Wimbledon.
Barmen he admires: Jerry Thomas, a great original. And Mohamed Ghannam, who worked at Annabel’s in London for 44 years before going into semi-retirement in 2011.
Philosophy (1): You can’t make great drinks unless you have great ingredients.
Philosophy (2): KISS – Keep It Simple, Stupid.
A wine to treasure? Dom Ruinart Champagne Rosé Millésimé 2006
A spirit to discover? Sernova, an Italian vodka made from the best Po Valley wheat and pure Alpine water.
A favourite cocktail? The Old Fashioned – which has come back into fashion recently because of its association with Don Draper in Mad Men. The neat thing with this whisky-based cocktail is that the time it takes for the cube of ice you use to melt is the time it takes for the flavours to blend. Patience is a virtue.
A cocktail recipe? Like many barmen, Robert doesn’t like giving his mixology secrets away. But watch this space: we’re hoping to persuade him to talk us through one of his signature creations, the Positano, sometime soon.