About Salvatore Calabrese

Salvatore Calabrese

Salvatore with his 2018 MAM Award
Imbibe Personality of the Year 2015

Salvatore Calabrese, The Maestro, has been making drinks for more than 40 years. From humble beginnings on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, where he made his first cocktail aged just 12, to a succession of top hotel bars, private members clubs and exclusive cocktail bars around the world. As one of the world’s most well known and respected bartenders, Salvatore has made drinks for the rich and famous, from presidents to royalty and is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the modern drinks industry.

A best-selling author, his cocktail books have sold in the millions and make him the 21st century heir to the first bartender ever to have published a cocktail recipe book – Jerry ‘The Professor’ Thomas – back in 1862.

At 21 he became the youngest Maitre d’ on the Amalfi Coast, where he had 27 people working under him. Salvatore moved to England in 1980 and joined Dukes Hotel, where he came up with the concept of Liquid History and created the recipe for the ultimate Dry Martini, he then moved to the Lanesborough Hotel, before running his own bar at the Fifty St James club, and then Salvatore’s at Playboy in London. The Maestro has created drinks now famous all over the globe – including his renowned Breakfast Martini.

Salvatore now concentrates on his consultancy business, his clients include Rocco Forte Hotels and he can be found at The Donovan Bar, Brown’s Hotel, London

Salvatore is a Past President of the United Kingdom Bartenders’ Guild and  is  busy on the global stage as a consultant for select brands, as well as appearing at competitions as a judge.

The Maestro Challenge, Salvatore’s very own national Bartending Competition is now in it’s 4th Year, he welcomes the finalists to his hometown of Maiori on Italy’s beautiful Amalfi Coast where they enjoy an exciting two day challenge conducted both at sea and on land.

He lives in London with his wife and has three children and two grandsons.



Maestro d’Arte e Mestiere


Industry Legend – The Imbibe Personality of the Year Awards 2015


Professional Excellence Award – Premio della Ristorazione Italiana nel Regno Unito

The Helen David Lifetime Acheivement Award – Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans

Best Bar 2012 – The London Lifestyle Awards 2012
World’s Best Drink Selection – 2012 Spirited Awards, Tales of the Cocktail, New Orleans
Salernitani Illusrti nel Mondo – awarded the Italian equivalent of the OBE
The Worlds 50 Best Bars 2012 – Drinks International, number 46

Class Awards 2011 – Outstanding Acheivement to the Industry

Number One – Theme Top 100
International Cognac Personality of the Year – Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC)
Spirits Personality of the Year – Drinking Out Excellence Awards

Master of the Craft – Australian Bartender Magazine

Keeper of the Quaich

Bar of the Year & Best Cocktail Offering 2006 – Class Awards 2006
Outstanding Achievement Award 2006 – Theme magazine
Outstanding Achievement Award for Contribution to the Bar Industry – Italian Bartenders Association (AIBES)

Class Awards 2005 – Best New Bar

Chevalier du Cognac
Campari Bartender of the Year

Chevalier du Champagne