Terry Cashman: The Italians are Coming

Did the Americans not say it best? The Eng..*cough* The Italians are coming…

BarLifeUK would like to thank Terry for giving us a tenuous reason to post a picture of Monica Belluci on our website.

OK maybe not… But let’s take a moment to consider our own invasion.

We defeated the Nazi’s, defied the Zulu’s, and destroyed the French at Waterloo. Boom, pats on the back all round.  But those pesky Romans took us over without a whimper a few thousand years ago, and they’re doing it again.

We thought we had learnt a thing or two since they packed up their chariots and strolled out circa 400 and something, but apparently not. Let’s look at the (Completely unbiased) facts.

1. Bartenders

It’s disputable, but to many, Salvatore Calabrese and Peter Dorelli are probably the two most well known ‘English’ bartenders around. But from here on out they will be known as ‘The scouting party’. As two young men in the Central Linguistic Institute for Teaching Observation and Reconnaissance for Italian Spies (C.L.I.T.O.R.I.S), they honed their bartending and personal skills to a point where they could a charm a man with their thumb.

After sailing over under cover of darkness, their training took them to the pinnacle of bartending.. The Savoy and the Lanesbrough Hotels. It’s here that their fiendish plan was born…. What’s that Pinky? Yes, to take over the WORLD (UK bartending community)… Duh, Duh, DAAAAAAAHHHH!!!

Since that fateful day in late 87’ The UK has been flooded with apparently well meaning Italian bartenders, working their way up through the ranks… Have you ever had an Italian guy make you a decent drink? Yea me too… Coincidence?  I think not.

2. Back Bar

How many bartenders these days name an English Liqueur or aperitif as their favourite to work with? Not many. The Italians have a Chicago Bulls 97’ Rosta to pull from. (I’m sorry, but I love a shit analogy). Campari, Aperol, Fernet Branca(Who recently bought Punt E Mes) and Ramazotti to name a few.

The French and Spanish are pulling their weight to stem the tide, but for once, the English have been left wanting. And it’s not even through a lack of quality products, Chase have made an amazing range of liqueurs, Lurgashall make some tasty bevs but how many back bars have you seen them on recently? I have them on mine, but have I used them? Have I fuck. I’ll take my comfort Calzone any day of the week, and I bet most bartenders will do the same.

3. Advertising

Clooney’s doing Martini… Who do we have? A couple of fat lads doing WKD Blue. Cheers Saatchi & Saatchi, obviously in on the Calabrese/Dorelli pact back in 87’.

I know they invented aperitifs, and we don’t really do café culture very well here. And in all honesty, Italian bartenders account for a huge amount of competition entrants over here because they actually care about bartending as much as we do. And they all seem like a decent sort…

But we’re English, let’s just nick it and rename it something cool like ‘Before dinner LOOPY JUICE’ or ‘John Smith’s belly settler’. Someone better do it quickly, before Salvatore is Emperor and we all start working as bar backs under the whip of Gianluca, Pietro and Allesandro.