The world-famous Amaro Obsessed is leading the first Amaro Bar in Europe. In 2018 his challenge on the Roman scene was at Il Marchese: “You can have a cocktail during the meal, but with just one course”
80 Days weren’t enough for him to go around the world. Matteo Zamberlan, aka Zed (no reference to Pulp Fiction) came back to Italy after dominating the international scenario in recent years. Guest with his Pop Up in the best international bars, he flew to Japan alongside the master Hidetsugu Ueno at the Tokyo High Five bar. He then lived in New York working in the emblazoned premises of the Big Apple. The “Best Italian Bartender Abroad” of 2013, according to the Bargiornale Awards, was Bar Supervisor at the Joe Bastianich’s “Del Posto” and Head Mixologist at “Zuma”. Consultant and Operation Manager in the project “Trattoria Ammazzacaffè” in Brooklyn, before returning to Italy he signed a contract as a Beverage Specialist at the Giorgio Armani Restaurant on 5th Avenue. Inspired by personal cataloguing on his blog “Amaro Obessessed”, at Il Marchese he created a cocktail list with 500 different brands and an original “Book of Amari”.
So, why the name Zed?
“A simplification of the Italian Zamberlan during the world competition ‘Bacardi Legacy’ in Puerto Rico in 2012. For the presenter I became Matteo Z., in English of course Matteo Zed”.
How did you become an “Amaro obsessed”?
“Passion. In Italy there is a great alcoholic tradition, especially for the Amaro: we boast a large number of herbs, a wide choice of ingredients, just like our cuisine”.
What does “experience” mean when we talk about mixology?
“When you give your guests an experience just like in high-quality restaurants. Mixology and gourmet cuisine go hand in hand. Be careful: in both, whether the quality is lacking, you will only offer smoke, presumption and experience … but a bad one!”.
Can you have a whole meal with cocktails?
“A course, but not a whole meal. You risk ending up the dinner drunk or disappointed. You might have a Gin Tonic or a sparkling drink with a bitter and citric part to quench and degrease”.
As for the great chefs, do great barmen follow particular mixing techniques?
“In both cases, simplicity. Nowadays we talk about “Bar Chef”, high level of specialization, technical mastery of mixing and dosing, even of food. The current trend is to clarify everything, using agar-agar or the curdling process. I recommend investing in Rotovapor, a powerful technological tool that allows you to redistill everything at very low temperatures, giving new flavours and aromas to existing spirits”.