Above: Paradiso’s creative-in-chief and co-owner Giacomo Giannotti, and Paradiso’s interior
All photos © Andre Sousa and OVERPROOFmedia
We wanted to create a comfortable place where the customer feels at home and an inclusive environment open to experimentation. We make cocktails thinking about innovation, creativity, and sustainability – one of our most important values. This is why we opened the Paradiso Lab and, recently, the Paradiso Waste Lab, a new space where recycling waste from the bar will be possible to raise awareness in the industry.
“At Paradiso, we always try to be at the cutting edge and never stop learning and creating new techniques. Creating each new drink list is a long creative process involving the entire team, with all ideas being tested until the final cocktail is shaped. Our current ‘The Evolution’ drink menu aims to represent the progress of humanity as a collective. This menu is one of the most complete and surprising we have ever created.
“To create a menu that can also be paired with food, it’s essential to consider acidity, fat content etc. Typically, there are two ways to combine a dish with a drink: by affinity or by contrast.
“By affinity, for example, we can take some of the dish’s ingredients and propose a cocktail with similar or matching elements. An example of cocktail pairing by contrast is a combination we created with a three-starred restaurant, Hermanos Torres. We paired Paradiso’s sweet notes of Evolution Negroni (a smoked twist of a Negroni with Campari, whiskey, vanilla, vermouth, and tonka beans) with a meat dish with strong flavours.
“For a good pairing, neither element, cocktail and dish, should overpower the other.”
“On Fire is a cocktail to share, presented with two glasses and placed on a glass tray with garnishes: edible flowers, yucca cooked in umami broth and squid ink, a bonbon filled with sweet potato mousse covered with cocoa butter, and a very crunchy, dehydrated sweet potato skin. This smoky, sweet and toasty take on a Milk Punch is inspired by the discovery and domination of fire by Homoerectus.”
“Inspired by the invention of scripture, Legacy is a twist on a daiquiri with Mediterranean notes. Ingredients include rum macerated with olive oil, Italicus Bergamot Rosolio, caper honey and lime. Presented inside a closed antique book waiting to be opened, and from which a scented smoke of an antique library is released. As a garnish, an edible rice leaf is placed on top, one side of which is decorated with ancient scriptures, while the other is covered with a thin sheet of baked caramel with dried fennel and capers. To finish, a steam bubble with ancient, floral flavours.”
This classic cocktail from Paradiso has been on the menu since opening day. Inspired by my home city, Marina di Carrara and my Mediterranean roots, I am probably most attached to this cocktail, and it has definitely brought me the most luck. In fact, perhaps my whole journey started from Mediterranean Treasure. The cocktail is smoked with Mediterranean flavours, so you have all the aromas coming out of the treasure box. The drink’s flavour is a mix of sea and land with the unique oyster leaf ingredient and is served in a seashell-shaped glass; all the elements are individual and stimulate each of the five senses.”
“Our Paloma style, tequila-based Fleming, was inspired by the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. With this as a starting point, we started researching fermentation and decided to use this method for all the ingredients; miso, beer syrup, kefir, and grapefruit water. The most exciting part of this cocktail is that the fermentation doesn’t just stop with all the ingredients; we have even created a fermented glass decorated with a ring of agar-agar and grapefruit fermented with tempeh spores. After careful research into new possible techniques never used before, we came up with the idea of creating the first fermented glass.”
To find out more about Paradiso, visit the links below…