Posted on | September 5, 2012
Written by | Alia Akkam
Adam DelGiudice, Beverage Director, Noir, NYC
Although New York–bred, it was in Miami, at The Florida Room and the pop-up concept The Broken Shaker, where Adam DelGiudice made his mark behind the stick. DelGiudice went to school in Brooklyn with Leo DeGroff—and grew up with King Cocktail as a mentor. Now he is back, instilling Midtown imbibers with a reverence for classic cocktails as beverage director of Noir.
THE BEVERAGE NETWORK: After years in Miami you have returned to New York. What excites you most about working here again?
ADAM DELGIUDICE: It feels good to be back home in the city I grew up in and first developed my craft. I loved my time in Miami and all the great friends and people I worked with down there, but it was time for a new challenge, and I think that was to return to my roots and leave my imprint on New York.ere again?
TBN: What do you think you learned in Miami that was most useful to you as a bartender?
AD: I definitely learned to really let personality come out in both my drinks and behind the bar. We had a great crew at The Florida Room, and we were all a little bit wild and all had very big personalities. We would definitely feed off each other’s energy to create an amazing environment that led to a great experience for the guests and a great place to come and work every day. John Lermayer and Josh Wagner did a good job cultivating that.
TBN: You are behind the bar program at Noir. What are you trying to accomplish there?
AD: At Noir I really want capture the spirit and design of the place and the neighborhood in the cocktail list. Knowing that it’s in Midtown, an area not known for being on the cutting edge, and that the vision of Noir was this very classic Art Deco era opera house, I want to feature classic cocktails that I feel are enhanced by signature twists—instead of going too far outside the box and making drinks that don’t really match the concept and can alienate the clientele that maybe hasn’t been exposed to as much in terms of craft cocktails. I feel it’s very important in any bar or restaurant to create a synergy between the drinks, the kitchen and the decor.
TBN: What are some of the more popular cocktails?
AD: So far the Garden Variety, a sort of cross between a gimlet and a salad that features vodka, lime, strawberries, basil, balsamic vinegar and white pepper. Also, the Manhattan en Noir is very popular. The vermouth is taken back a bit and a barspoon each of Tawny Port and Grand Marnier are added to create what I feel is a bolder, more round interpretation.
TBN: What ingredients or styles are you experimenting with now that you’re most revved about?
AD: I was lucky enough to have been chosen to do a Masters of Mixology event in Hong Kong. It was an amazing experience and really fun to hang out with and work alongside bartenders from different parts of the globe, and to be influenced by their different styles and techniques. I’m looking forward to the fall and winter here in New York after the endless summer of the last four years in Miami. I imagine myself falling back in love with the dark spirits of America that maybe I overlooked a bit during my time on the beach.
TBN: In addition to Noir, you put in shifts at The Daily, and for the summer you are at Soaked, the seasonal rooftop drinkery atop the Mondrian Soho. Is it interesting working at several different venues simultaneously?
AD: At Noir I’m there more in an advisory role, with some bartending involved but more managing the program and keeping a standard of quality across the board. At The Daily and at Soaked I get to let my hair down more and just do what I love, which is make great drinks and provide the guests with a great experience.
TBN: You’re in a work-centric neighborhood that’s big on the happy hour crowd but light on weekend evening drinkers at Noir. Is that a big change for you?
AD: It’s definitely a bit of a departure—especially after the late night mania of South Beach.