S.Y. Kitchen Key Mixologist / Real McCoy Rums – Brand Advocate
1) Who is Alberto Battaglini?
Native of Verona, Italy Alberto Battaglini dreamed of a restaurant career when he was still in elementary school. Attending Scuola Alberghiera he learned the fundamentals of cooking and food service. He quickly learned that being a chef was not for him. From there he started an ardent love affair with spirits which took him to London where he met his mentor, Ian Slater. Alberto further honed his mixology passion and skills in Brazil, Spain and Mexico before opening the bar at S.Y.Kitchen.
As the official mixologist of The Real McCoy rum l have been privilege to be able to promote the history, versatility, education and future direction of the rum industry on a national scale.
3) What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?
It happened at One of my first trip outside Verona-Italy, l was 16-17 years old and l flew to Cuba in order to play baseball. l probably did everything except playing. l still remember the fresh smell of pineapple coming out from regular bars in the street. Rum was (and still is ) a big cultural part of those people. it is anchored so deep inside their culture that every where you go you will find it. l was shocked to see how such a prevalent thing like Ron can be so important for a nation.
4) What is that thing that makes you want to continue in the rum industry?
Rum it is a different animal from all the other spirits. More complex then Bourbon and Cognac. In rum you can find the history a Nation and more (basically the whole south america + caribbean see + usa ). Rum required a different knowdledge in order to be mixed well. Rum come from different islands so it has a different terroir – set of different environmental factors that make the sugar cane different within each islands. Rum it is a challenge, it s not for everybody but still, everybody drink it.
5) Favorite Rum Drink + Recipe?
1 oz McCoy 12
1 oz McCoy 5
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse infused with vanilla bean
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz honey syrup infused with mint
10 – 15 mint leaves
Spank the mint and place it in a mixing glass, add all the other ingredient, shake virogusly for 30 seconds, double strain in a french coupe glass.
6) Where do you see the rum industry today and in the next 5 years?
Today’s people are discovering rum, where it come from, how to drink it, how to appreciate it. We still have a lot of work to do because there is a rum drink for everybody on this planet but they don’t know it yet because they are focus on their comfort zone with beer and vodka. in the next 5 years l see Rum taking the right place it deserve. l see people asking for specific style of rum rather then ask for a brand name. l see rum getting deep into others people culture!
7) Share some (2-3) of your mentors and how they have help you.
Ian Slater , London ( my GM for the Kronic Group, he helped me growing in this business) and Mac Jones, Santa Barabara (The Real McCoy Rum, he helped me to develop further my recipes and skills towards the rum industry)
8) What 3-5 things do you have in your bucket list for the next 12 months?
- definitely a sailing trip on the caribbean.
- open the best bar in the U.S.A
- improve the knowledge about drinking and working behind a bar exponentially
- be the first mixologist on the moon ( this will take more then 12 months!)
- finish my bar book!
9) Any last words?
You can find me at S.Y.Kitchen in Santa Barbara county and on instagram at albertosykitchen.