There is no such thing as 'under age' in [my native] Maiori on the Amalfi Coast. I started working as a commis bartender when I was 11. My dad had passed away and it was a way to keep off the street.
Signor Raffaello, the bar owner, was like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. He knew everything about everybody. He knew how to interact in different languages, he was a charmer. I wanted to be him.
You have to read the mood of the customer. Does he want me to greet him with "Good afternoon, sir," or to cuddle him?
When I see someone, I interact. When I was invited to serve at a party the Queen was attending, my general manager said, "Please, please, no kisses." I'm a typical Italian guy: I kiss the lady, always.
One of my most magical moments was at the Lanesborough when Stevie Wonder came in. I made him a special cocktail and after a few, he performed for 20 minutes. At the end of the evening, he stood up and applauded. I asked him why. He said, "Salvatore, from one artist to another."
There is no miracle hangover cure. It's whatever gives you a jump-start. My mamma once made me her "magic cure": raw egg yolk, a little chilli, a squeeze of lemon juice and a shot of marsala wine.
I wanted to be captain of a ship. I grew up by the sea and I love adventure. But an incident when I was young left me half-blind, so I failed the physical to join the Navy. But today, I am captain of my own little boat, which I sail around Maiori.
Maiori is where God stopped and made the world. There is nothing more beautiful. I've been in this country longer, but I will never lose my Italian heritage.
All Silvio Berlusconi does shows he is human. He is what he is: a very successful businessman with passion, charisma. He loves women and he doesn't hide it.
Salvatore Calabrese is president of the UK Bartenders' Guild. He tends bar at Salvatore at Fifty, 50 St James's Street, London SW1Reuse content