Agostino Schiavone, Head Bartender, The Arts Club, London is a renowned mixologist who swears by the versatility of Beluga vodka, and how it became an iconic global brand in just three years. Bishan Kumar catches up with him in Delhi, where he recently conducted a master class to share what makes Beluga stand out.
His life as a bartender is an everyday adventure. Extremely articulate and insightful, Agostino Schiavo’s recent master class in Delhi on Beluga Vodka was an invigorating experience. By running the Beluga Masters India 2018 Program he wanted to educate bartenders about Beluga vodka and show them how versatile the product is. “During my master class we talked about the brand story and heritage and also dug deeper into production peculiarities and learned what makes Beluga vodka standout in the world of spirits.” To him, speaking in front of 250 people at the other end of the world was as important as making a Beluga vodka martini for his regular customer in the Arts Club. Giving a sneak peek into his past, Agostino shared that he was born in Italy, on the gorgeous island of Ischia, a top tourist destination. As a renowned international mixologist who creates a buzz with his cocktails in London, Agostino has seen it all. Since his family is in the hospitality business, his passion to meet new people, look after them and make them feel at home are all part of his DNA. He graduated from Hospitality and Catering School where he studied everything from accounting and cooking to hotel management and body language.
After a series of jobs in Italy he took the decision to move to London which completely turned his life. In less than 10 years, he came all the way from the barista to the Head Bartender and had experience of working
in the most iconic and luxurious venues of London – Novotel, Pullman and Bulgari. Today, he is Head Bartender in one of UK’s oldest membership clubs – The Arts Club.
He has rich memories of his early memories as a bartender. He revealed that when he came to London in 2009, with no bartending experience, he was determined and brimming with confidence. However, he couldn’t imagine that his career will bring him not only money to support his living but also joy, and an opportunity to travel the world. “At that point in time, I didn’t know I would work with beautiful brands like Beluga vodka and share my love for hospitality worldwide.
Explaining his association with Beluga vodka, he says: “We’ve always stocked Beluga vodka in the venues where I worked, so this wasn’t a totally new brand for me, when I decided to enroll in the first ever bar-tending competition they launched in the UK. It was the very first edition of Beluga Signature bar-tending competition in 2016, which since.
Agostino Schiavo’s signature Beluga vodka cocktail was created in 2016 when he was qualifying for Beluga Signature competition in the UK. The topic was set around art-deco era so he drew inspiration from the famous ‘‘Great Gatsby’’ novel by Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Mr. Gatsby was not only known for his crazy parties in beautiful menschen but also had a beautiful love story. Agostino decided to dedicate his cocktail to it and called it “All My Life For Daisy’’. He particularly loved the moment when Gatsby met Daisy in a room full of roses after many years. So, he used Beluga Noble vodka, rose petal infused vermouth and vanilla syrup to give his drink sweet and gentle notes. As they were having afternoon tea he decided to add raspberries and top it up with champagne. For the final touch, he created a perfume from Beluga Noble, mandarin peel and rose petal.
- Beluga Noble vodka – 50 ml
- Vanilla syrup -10 ml
- Dry vermouth infused with rose petal – 15 ml
- Muddled raspberries
- Top up with champagne
- Method: shake and double strain
- Serve in Beluga martini glass
Essence: Infuse Beluga Noble with rose petal and mandarin zest for 2 weeks.