After growing up in a bar owned by his parents in Italy, Cristiano Beretta began working in pubs and bars around London, and honed his skills with six years of bartending at Melbourne’s award- winning Black Pearl. Beretta then made the move to Sydney, where he now manages the bar at The Rook. Beretta loves mixing spicy with sweet, and like most Italians, enjoys a glass of vino.
For the Drinks World’s Top 25 Bartenders Competition you were challenged to make a cocktail with Baron Samedi. Tell us about the liquid and the inspiration behind your creation.
Baron Samedi is a Haitian Spiced Rum. Straight away I thought to create a tiki style of drink, working on spiced ingredients. I used Ocho Reyes for spiciness, a bit of caramel for sweetness and I made a pineapple shrub for fruitiness and acidity at the same time.
The result is an approachable, tropical and spicy drink that works well with Baron Samedi.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the industry.
I was born in Italy and grew up in a bar. I moved to London in my early twenties where I started my career, working in pubs, nightclubs and cocktail bars. In 2006, I moved to Australia where I was lucky to land a job at Black Pearl in Melbourne. Six years down the track I moved to Sydney where I started working at The Rook where you’re still be able to find me.
You’re currently working at The Rook, tell us a little about the venue (theme, décor, cocktail menu).
The Rook is a rooftop restaurant and cocktail bar with burgers, lobsters and creative cocktails.
If you weren’t bartending what would you be doing?
Own a bookshop.
What advice can you give to anyone looking at joining the industry as a profession?
Don’t do it for the money!
If you could work one guest shift with anyone in the world, where would it be and who would it be with?
I would love to travel back in time and be able to work alongside my parents in the bar that I grew up in.
What’s your go to drink after a long shift?
A cider or glass of vino.