Portrait of Alessia Bellafante: “my inspiring muse has gone from being Zaha Hadid to Ada Coleman”
She is one of the 20 finalists of the Confinement Bartender Contest- Best Confinement Tuto. Aspiring architect, she fell in love with bartending leading her to switch paths along the way.
Alessia Bellafante @gin.gerale is a gin lover, trying to build a new world in mixology blending two passions: architecture and bartending. While she takes time to develop this ambitious idea, Alessia creates cocktails behind the bar at Memà Milano bar in Italy. Know more about her here on our interview through seven questions.
Spirits Hunters: 1. Where are you originally from?
Alessia Bellafante: I was born and raised in Brianza, not far from Milan.
2. How long have you been a bartender?
I have been an (aspiring) bartender for about 4 years. I got my first certificate in 2016.
3. What brought you to the world of bartending / what inspired you to become a bartender?
My path had a rather unusual and random start: after I graduated from the art school I was not clear what turn to make for my future. I took a gap year to decide which university faculty to attend. In the meantime I started working in some bars in order to earn some money. There were several people who suggested that I should take a bartending course. So I did.
This famous sabbatical year has lasted for four years now because the passion that my trainer has transmitted to me and the opportunity to exploit all your imagination pushed me to approach this world with so much curiosity and interest. This for me is first of all a passion and then a job. Architecture, and art in general, have always remained two of my great passions even though over time my inspiring muse has gone from being Zaha Hadid to Ada Coleman. My biggest dream is to be able to create a perfect combination of architecture and mixology, it will take time but it’a a nice goal.
4. What have you discovered about yourself being a bartender?
I have always considered myself a very shy and introverted girl. The first few times behind the counter I was so agitated at the thought of having to talk to customers that my voice was shaking.
Time has allowed me to understand that there is nothing more beautiful than being able to share your passion with customers, and this has allowed me to acquire much more self esteem in myself.
5. How is the situation in your city/country regarding Covid?
In Milan right now there is an air of hope. Pubs, lounges and bars have gradually resumed their activity and now I can say that it is going great! The restaurant world, on the other hand, is having a slightly slower recovery. We are all ready to go anyway, Milan is a very dynamic city and aware of its potential.
6. What inspired you to make the video you’ve sent us?
This quarantine was an absurd experience, very or perhaps too boring. I was terribly lacking in experimenting, mixing and drinking good drinks. One day I published the photo of a Negroni on my Instagram profile and a friend of mine suggested me to make videos to show anyone who wanted to drink an aperitif how to make it. From this idea, my brother Franco (an aspiring director and screenwriter) and I have combined our passions with what little we had available at home and we started to create a series of videos including those that I sent to you.
7. Is your bar open today?
Memà Cafè @memamilano is now open and going very well. It was great to see our dearest customers after months of stopping. And it was even more rewarding to see new faces sitting at our tables!
Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.