Class speaks to Scarfes Bar’s Arturo Burzio, winner of the UK elit Martini Masters, as he prepares for the global final in Athens later this month.
Arturo, you are going to be representing the UK at the global elit Martini Masters final, how does it feel?
I feel excited and extremely honoured to represent Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London and the UK at the global elit Martini Masters. In this country the culture for cocktails and bars runs very deep and there is a heartfelt community. The people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had during these past five years in London have shaped and empowered me as a professional bartender and for those two reasons, I am grateful to this country, and I will do my very best in Athens.
This year’s competition had an emphasis on sustainability, can you explain how you introduced sustainability into your winning cocktail?
I asked myself what sustainability means to me and took inspiration from a few sustainable concepts that I see every day working at Scarfes Bar.
Being sustainable means to avoid waste and reuse and recycle whenever possible. Ingredient choice is key, I chose to incorporate things that I knew would be disposed of at the end of the service such as leftover lemon peels and dried olive leaves. I also used Rosewood London’s honey collected from the hotel’s roof and champagne tannins, obtained by distilling flat champagne. I also wanted every aspect of the cocktail to be sustainable, with repaired glassware and a coaster made from recycled plastic. Each element of the cocktail comes back to the core of being sustainable.
The judges loved your Pika-Tini, what was your thought process when creating it?
The main inspiration of my Pika-Tini came from the brilliant partnerships between Elit Vodka and the Formula E. I wanted electricity to be the key and the connection between the brand, the cocktail, and the concept of being sustainable. I choose the name Pika to title my cocktails because Pika Pika in Japanese means bright, shiny and bold exactly like my Pika-Tini.
What do you look for in a great martini?
A great martini requires attention to detail and certain rules should be followed which make a huge difference to the result. Temperature and the dilution are key for a great Martini, there is a meeting point between these two factors which allows you to serve the absolute perfect Martini, cold enough but not too watery. Additionally, this balance allows you to create texture and complexity in your glass.
If you are making a classic Martini or one with a modern twist, keep in mind these rules but also be clear about your original idea and inspiration with what you put in the glass.
In Athens, you will be going up against some of the best bartenders in the world, what would it mean for you?
I already feel very honoured to be a part of the global final standing next to some of the best bartenders in the world. I am really looking forward to making great connections with people who share the same passion. If I was to become the global champion, I would humbly continue my career in this beautiful industry, keep learning from others, share all my experience and of course focus on the concept of sustainability and how to adopt it properly to keep the same or improved benefits, that I was lucky enough to have, for the future bartending generation.