As the Founder of Doctor Cocktail, Nicolas Medicamento combines a passion for cooking & bartending with years of experience and knowledge from working in the hospitality & events industry to create unique cocktail concoctions and flavour profiles.
We catch up with Nicolas to talk about all things mixology.
How did you invent Doctor Cocktail?
Nicolas Medicamento: Doctor Cocktail came to life after I left The Savoy. In my last role there I was a Department Trainer, a role that was important for me as I really care about people in terms of feelings/emotions and how can we be productive and efficient, keeping the attention and level of service high in difficult times. I have a huge amount of experience in the hospitality trade, working in high end bars to others that are perhaps less well known. I’ve worked in a hands on capacity but also at a strategic and planning level. Doctor Cocktail allows me to lend that experience and expertise to other businesses. You could say that I simply made a personal business out my previous roles.
What is Doctor Cocktail all about?
Nicolas Medicamento: There are three different sides to Doctor Cocktail which are aimed at three different markets:
Bar Consultancy is about unlocking the best version of you to offer the best Hospitality service to your clients. That could involve training the staff of a hotel or bar. It might involve revising or creating a drinks menu, or looking at the layout of the bar and how to create the best ambiance. It could be advising on suppliers. If you want to run a better bar, I can help.
Cocktail Masterclass could be offered as an event to corporate clients. It is also a moment to learn, have fun and discover the behind the scenes on how to make cocktails at home, where I bring out the story of the cocktails we are making in an engaging and fun way. And of course it can be delivered at a venue or online.
Luxury Drinks Experience is all about taking the best spirits, the best ingredients the best glasses and equipment and creating something extraordinary, something that the participants didn’t think was possible, it’s a unique experience to live and discover flavours of high-end spirts.
Can sustainability in mixology ever become the norm?
Nicolas Medicamento: It will take time to be the norm. In the top bars it is, but is just a small part of the vast industry we are. But I am sure in the future sustainability will be common alongside the use of local ingredients. One point to bear in mind, though, is that the pandemic has hit the hospitality industry harder than most, so the priority for many businesses, at least for the next 12 months, will be to just to survive rather than to “build back better.”
What about non-alcoholic cocktails?
Nicolas Medicamento: Oh yes! One of my favourite topics. Of course, being a “Doctor”, I must offer this service. Last year I took the opportunity to study and go more into details about nutrition and healthy food, and with that in mind I offer healthy cocktails keeping in mind the nutritional values, but making sure that each drink is delivered with the same panache and flair as their more traditional cousins.
No&Low drinks are booming, and it is exciting to work with new products. I am barely drinking now, so every time I go out, I tend to have a non-alcoholic cocktail or something low alcohol.
Which bartenders inspire you and why?
Nicolas Medicamento: I don’t just want to see someone shaking and serving. I want to see the personality behind the bar. I want to see great human beings. I have been lucky enough to meet and work with fantastic examples like Declan McGurk, Erik Lorincz, Maxime Schulte and Angelo Sparvoli in The American Bar at the Savoy, Alessandro Palazzi from Dukes, a humble and unique person. Giulio Amodio from China Tang at the Dorchester has such a nice paternal manner with the team. Paolo Perrini from Claridge’s is someone you don’t notice but is really good at what he does. There are way more people I do like observing and taking inspiration from but the list would be really long.
What are your top tips for home bartenders?
Nicolas Medicamento: Choose the best quality ingredients for you, try the cocktail step by step and always taste it before shaking. The key is in the balance (for your personal taste) and to make sure that you enjoy the outcome.
If you could award a Michelin star for mixology, who would you award it to and why?
Nicolas Medicamento: For that we do have the “50 Best Bars” awards and “Tales of the Cocktails.” Maybe one day I will be part of the judging panel. The bar industry is so versatile that is not easy to choose one, but I tend to prefer more classic, elegant style of place/bartender, but I have had incredible experiences in places you would never expect. It is all about the people and how they let you live the moment.
Tell us about the cocktail menu at your new project Itaku?
Nicolas Medicamento: The cocktail menu is a concoction of Italian culture with a Japanese touch so we will offer elegant, colourful, and vibrant flavours that you can also try to pair with some of the delicious food. The drinks must match the food in presentation and aroma and taste, so the pairing is carefully planned.
What is next for Doctor Cocktail?
Nicolas Medicamento: Doctor Cocktail is already working on collaborations in Europe and UK. There are some exciting projects with alcoholic and non-alcoholic brands, and planning Spirits Luxury experiences. Can’t say much but what’s coming is thrilling so watch this space!