Angelo Vieira Shakes Up The Regent
As one of the major mixologists at The Regent Cocktail Club, Angelo Vieira knows what it takes to make a solid drink. He chatted with us about the secret to amazing cocktails, and let us know what we should be drinking right now.
Zagat: What does it take to make a good cocktail?
Angelo Vieira: A good cocktail is all about the balance of flavors, presentation and aroma. It has to look appealing, so don't skip the garnishes - most will provide aroma - fancy glasses and nice ice. Follow the recipe exactly and measure every single ingredient - the balance of the drink is the follow through to a visually appealing creation. If one ingredient is off, it throws the entire drink.
Zagat: Tell us about the hottest cocktail you offer right now.
AV: Without a doubt the number one cocktail right now is the "old fashioned." The key to this great drink is simplicity with only three major ingredients. Bourbon is the spirit of choice along with bitters and sugar for the perfect balance of sweetness, bitter and strength. It has an amazing aroma of orange peal - from the garnish - neatly packaged over a huge ice block in an old fashioned glass.
Zagat: Why do you think this is such a popular drink?
AV: I must mention that the TV show Mad Men has contributed a significant amount of popularity to this cocktail recently. It’s a similar phenomenon to as when the hit HBO series Sex and the City put the cosmopolitan on the map.
Zagat: What's your favorite cocktail to make and why?
AV: I enjoy making the mint julep. I adore the presentation of this drink, from the metal cup it comes in to the overflowing crushed ice and fresh mint on top. It’s simply refreshing.
Zagat: Why do you think the drinks at The Regent Cocktail Club are so popular?
AV: Because each drink is crafted with care and attention. Even when we are really busy we don't take shortcuts. The team takes pride in the art, and it shows every time you take a sip from your drink. We have a unique setting to Miami with a product to match and at the moment we stand alone.
Zagat: If you were on a deserted island and could only drink one thing, what would it be?
AV: A Manhattan. Another simple three part cocktail with great balance. I'm a big fan of American rye whiskey for its spiciness and it sits at center stage in the harmonious concoction.
Zagat: How do you prepare the perfect cocktail for an indecisive drinker?
AV: Questions. You have to figure out what the guest likes and what they are used to. Everyone's palate is different and everyone's mood is different. With a few simple questions the professional will figure it out in seconds and have a multitude of options he can choose from to make the perfect match.
Zagat: Any cool new drinks coming out this fall or winter that are a must-try?
AV: I'm sure there will be many, but it's hard to say now which ones out of the bunch will stick around. Since Miami doesn't really have true seasons, the new drinks might have a resemblance of fall/winter, but most of the time these flavors are just a fad, and we'll quickly just get back to making awesome drinks without boundaries, focusing on fundamentals and longevity.