Camillo in Xela Cocktail on “The Negroni: a Gaz Regan Notion”

Here I am with my brand new Zacapa Recipe that is coming out in the new book from Gary Regan “The Negroni: a Gaz Regan Notion

The Negroni, an elegant classic that has brilliantly survived the test of time, has always been the great companion of all my journeys.

The drink I made for this precious little book is called “Camillo in Xela” where  Xela is the indigenous name for Quetzaltenango which is the place in Guatemala where the House of Zacapa is located and where this Rum is aged  at 23 .000 metres; of course you all know who Camillo is…

30 ml Zacapa 23

17,5 ml Campari

25 ml Carpano Antica Formula

5 Coffee Beans plus 2 for the garnish

– Glass: Rocks

– Method: flame the coffee beans with a blow torch, add it to the mixing glass and crush them with the flat end of a barspoon.

Add ingredients and stir without ice for half a minute, then stir with ice and double strain over fresh crystal clear ice.

– Garnish: Long Orange peel attached to the rim of the glass, with two coffe beans inserted and flamed with a small blow torch in front of the guest; this to emphasize the coffee aroma mixed with the caramelized essential oils of the orange.

‘Being from Italy where coffee is a very important element of the culture, I was curious to play with the toasted flavour of  this amazing ingredient, matched with the bitterness of the Campari, the complexity of the Carpano Antica Formula and the beautiful hints of vanilla, almond and chocolate of the Rum Zacapa 23 coming from Guatemala, one of the world’s leading coffee producer countries’

You can buy the book here

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The “Pic Nic in Jalisco” Cocktail

Reviewed from one of my recipes dated 2008 let’s bring it to life again through the delicate dark chocolate, vanilla and cinnamon hints found in Don Julio Reposado:

1 1/2 Oz Don Julio Reposado Tequila
3/4 Oz Fresh Lime Juice
3/4 Oz Cointreau
2 Teaspoons Bitter Orange marmalade with peels
Juice of one Passion Fruit

Dissolve marmalade with lime juice in a mixing glass.
Add the other ingredients, shake and double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Serve with a brown-sugar-caramelised passion fruit half.

..I love marmalade drinks, such a nice and velvety consistency on the palate as you drink them!

Or even better..why don’t we serve it on the rocks in a marmalade jar, shaken and opened at the customer’s table?

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To celebrate my recent staying in Rome, let me tempt you with a refreshing drink with a romantic name..Romantic just like Rome

50 ml Home infused Bubble Gum Ketel One Vodka
15 ml Lemon Juice
10 ml Lime Juice
25 ml Agave Nectar
10 ml of fresh pomegranate juice
15 ml Egg White

– Add the ingredients to shaker, vigorously dry shake first, then shake with ice
– Strain into a pre-chilled cocktail glass
– Garnish with a Bubble Gum cut with a nice little biscuit mould

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The “BULLEIT MAN” Cocktail

Dear readers, I’ld like to introduce you to THE BULLEIT MAN COCKTAIL

For this drink I’m gonna be using a Super Premium Bourbon as a base and what is different from other Bourbons is that Bulleit has a High Rye Content that makes it a spicy with a very distinctive character.

My insipiration for THE BULLEIT MAN came from Mr. TOM BULLEIT that in ’87 left a successful carrer as a lawyer and risked everything to fulfill his big dream:

Bringing back to life  his great-great grandfather’s bourbon recipe from 1830 and starting the Bulleit Distilling Company.

This Bourbon is very silky and delicate at the first sip, has a nice vanilla and pralines aroma but with a rich and long finish to it.

I wanted to enhance the spiciness of this whiskey even more, by adding a little bit of cinnamon syrup, muddle the ginger, then balance it out with some fresh lemon juice, and add the egg white to give the drink a nice frothy head that will feel silky on your lips when you drink it.

Now give it a nice smiley shake!!

Always remember to Listen to the Ice, that is the alarm bell that will tell you when a great cocktail is ready!

Since I’m in Italy I decided to use some nice Italian Red Wine and float it on the top.

Then for an extra level of flavour, I’ll grind a Tonka bean on top that will give a nice vanilla aroma on your nose while you drink it.

All you have to do now is smile, relax…and drink    


Max La Rocca

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The “Giant’s Gate” – St Patrick’s Day Cocktail

Here I am with a great recipe for you all to celebrate together (responsibly) St Patrick’s Day:

Bushmills 16yr
Lime Juice
Sugar Syrup (1 to 1)
Guinness Stout
Egg White
Cardamom Pods
Raisins for garnish


The drink combines the warm raisin and caramel hints of Bushmills 16yr with the gentle bitterness of Guinness Stout both enhanced by the freshness of the cardamom.
It is recommended to eat the skewed raisins while sipping the drink in order to experience the amazing burst of flavours provided by this drink.


Max La Rocca

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The “Doctor’s Nightcap” Cocktail

As we know in the 15th century, the European practice of distilling ‘Aqua Vitae’ (Water of Life) was primarily for medicinal purposes; then Aqua Vitae sees its translation in the Gaelic “Uisge Beatha” term, until it became the word “Whisky” as we know it today.

There is an old Gaelic proverb that says: “What whiskey does not cure..cannot be cured“…do you agree?
So don’t you think that every doctor has it’s potion, an elixir that he drinks everyday as a nightcap, before going to bed? I really think so..


A very tasty version of an after-dinner-kind-of Sour, with a smooth smoky aftertaste from the Talisker, a nice thick mouthfeel from the use of a home made bitter orange jam and all the flavours are enhanced by gentle coffee hints.

And a nice aroma from the grated tonka beans, gives fantastic vanilla notes to our drink.

Since our doctor here has a specific time at night to drink it, I provided him with a classy pocket watch (personalized with the Talisker logo) and in case he forgets how to make his potion, I also attached a tiny recipe as a garnish, with a little message at the back of it reminding him that “taken every night, will heal body and mind

(in a responsible way…of course!)

and what about playing “Amélie” Movie Theme as a nightcap song from an old Carillon…really Magic!!

Finish the drink flaming 1 coffee bean and adding it in the middle of the drink, floating over a silky foam created by the egg white.

ENJOY and share only with the people you love and care!

Max La Rocca

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The Blazing “Irish Coffee-less”

Here I have a nice a simple Blazer for your Holidays!

Just a little blazing experiment with Bushmills after fast-infusion chattin’ with former Ireland’s Diageo Brand Ambassador Martin Duffy in Rome to try and re-create an Irish Coffee aroma without actually using…liquid coffee.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey
Coffee beans
Star Anise
Powdered Cinnamon
Simple syrup

I made this drink back in 2009 and then modified last year in Barcelona using Bushmills 10 yrs, Blazing “pots” from Istanbul and garnishing with the same raisins used for Blazing

and sticking with the “Don’t take yourself too seriously” concept, I created this video for you to enjoy:

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“Where is the Turkey?” ThanksGiving Day Cocktail

Happy ThanksGiving day to everyone with my signature recipe:
30 ml. Don Julio Blanco
10 ml. Ramazzotti
15 ml. Lime Juice
15 ml.Cinnamon Syrup
20 ml. Yellow Chartreuse cooked with 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
Swizzle with crushed ice
Garnish with caramelized Kumkuats and sprig of Rosemary
(Foto by George Restrepo)
In a cooking vessel add the Chartreuse and a spring of rosemary. Using a blow torch cook the ingredients until you get an infusion. Strain into a Russian Imperial Mug with Crushed ice. Add all the other ingredients helping yourself with a swizzle stick. Add more crushed ice.
Garnish: with a Flamed Rosemary Sprig and Caramelized Kumquats. “Na Zdorovie”
Inspiration: I made this drink during his visit as Guest Bartending at City Space Bar in Moscow on Thanksgiving Day.
I was inspired by the way people cook their turkeys to celebrate.
When I gave it to try to my first guest in Moscow, after explaining this story he said, so….”Where is the Turkey?

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