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Elephant People: Brand Ambassadors, Matteo Corsalini
We are proud to present one of our London brand ambassadors – and in this case, Matteo is one of the best in the business. Growing up in the small Le Marche village in Italy, he moved to London in 2006 and is currently the head bartender at China Tang at the Dorchester.
In 2002, Matteo first learnt his skills in a bar in Le Marche, “and along with a job at the local ice cream parlour allowed to earn enough money for the season. It was though in Riccione that he really fell in love with bar tending, and eventually attending the bar tending school at Planet One.
Since then Matteo has worked in a number of bars across Italy and in London, notably as part of the team behind the opening of the bar at the Corinthia Hotel and 34. It has been at China Tang, however, that Matteo has really made his mark.
Naturally with all that experience, the man makes a mean cocktail. “My favourite is a classic, the Negroni. When it comes to creating my own cocktails I like to take inspiration from the classics, but always using fresh and seasonal ingredients, as well as the many new techniques, many of which have evolved in the kitchen rather than the bar, that are now available to bartenders.”
Of course, working behind a bar brings its own adventures. Matteo can recall any number of extraordinary moments, from “shaking pineapple martinis until the early hours for Jennifer Lopez and her team, to the surprisingly unmasculine preference for lychee martinis for “the gladiator” Russell Crowe.
But what about when it comes to Elephant Gin? “Elephant in particular because it stands out from the other gins, it is unusual with a distinct blend of botanicals from Africa and with a great story to tell to customers. It makes a damn good Aviation – a classic but easily ruined with the wrong gin.”
We say thank you for being part of the Elephant family and all the wonderful work and cocktails that have been created along the way!