Home Is Where The Bar Is

There are heroes, and then there are Instagram heroes who give us some serious #CocktailGoals. Meet Federico Capilli. Better known as Fede, he goes by the moniker @welcometomybar on Instagram. If you click through to his profile, you will see exactly why he inspires us. Fede doesn’t just make cocktails at home, he makes each drink a labour of love, evident from the visual richness and flawless attention to detail. While some of us consider making whisky sours at home a great achievement, Fede goes the extra mile, pushing the envelope, learning more with each drink, and nurses an unquenchable thirst for spirit and cocktail knowledge.

How Fede delved into home bartending is an interesting story. After many years of ‘aperitivi’ and drinks back in his hometown Milan, Fede longed for a full-fledged home bar. This finally happened around about 2 years ago when he and his now-wife bought their first home together. Now he finally had a place where he could whip up some drinks! Things worked out and Fede’s journey with home bartending was off to a great start.

Fede made his advent into the world of mixology through some great drinks in great bars like the Nottingham Forest (Milan, Italy). While he is mostly self-taught, he likes to admit that with the help of the encyclopaedia of knowledge that is social media, he has had the opportunity to network and learn from some of the industry’s finest mixology experts.

When asked if there was there a perceivable gap in the cocktail market when he began cultivating the interest, Fede’s response is measured: “I wouldn’t call it a gap but there has been and is still for sure a need for making mixing at home simple, and the world of spirits more approachable to whoever might be interested. As a novice to the whole category, I had to figure the basics out ground up and I soon realised it is a never-ending learning process given the depth and breadth of spirits out there and all the ways you can whip up great drinks with them. I took interest in learning and sharing the process that I am still going through in my home bar, on my IG channel.”[sic]

Fede’s journey with his home bar had a humble beginning with just the basics in place. On moving into his new house with his wife, he slowly built his stock of glassware, spirits, an enviable copper barware collection, and a noteworthy collection of tiki mugs. His most prized possession is the first cocktail mixing kit he was gifted by his wife, which also happened to be the first kit he ever owned.

Fede claims that he is generally a fairly structured and organised individual, but admits that his creative process when making drinks at home is quite the opposite. “I take a lot of inspiration from all the sources I can get my hands on really. It could be coming from social media or the internet or by having a great drink in a bar or by having a chat with a colleague or by simply loving an ingredient and wanting to try to incorporate it in a drink… I both love to recreate tried and tested recipes as well as creating my own. I mostly end up starting off from tried and tested recipes and making twists on these either to balance them out towards my personal taste or using them as a base for more creative twists with additional or different ingredients”.

While we all have heroes, sometimes even our heroes have heroes. Fede is inspired by the finest of Instagram, but his true inspiration he says, comes from Ewan Gunn (@ewangunn) for all things Scotch, @the_margarita_mum for colourful drinks and margaritas of course, and Josue Romero (@the_garnishguy) for the most perfect cocktail presentations. We were happy to see some of our own inspirations in that list, who have previously graced the pages of Dram Attic.

We asked Fede one of our favourite questions when speaking to an artist like himself: if you were to invite a couple of people home for a drink, who would they be, what drinks would you make each one of them and why? His response made us smile and wish we made the cut!

“I’d love to whip up a couple of Zombies for tiki legends Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic as I love tiki drinks and would love to have a chat with these 2 over a good drink. I’d serve them this drink as it was a staple in their menu and I’d like to understand from them how mine fares versus theirs! I’d also love to serve a classic Old Fashioned to Don Draper from Mad Men, as that’s his favourite drink and would love to have a chat with this charismatic big Ad guy from the 60s. And finally, I’d love to drink a Smoky Sour with my dad because he loves them and there’s no better feeling than drinking a good Scotch drink with dad.” [sic]

Oh and we did manage to get you the recipes for these drinks from Fede. You can thank him yourself on Instagram!

Zombie:

-1 oz (30 ml) 151-proof Demerara (Guyana) Rum

-1.5 oz (45 ml) Dark Jamaican Rum

-1.5 oz (45 ml) Gold Cuban-Style Rum

-0.75 oz (22 ml) Lime Juice

-0.5 oz (15 ml) Falernum

-0.5 oz (15 ml) Don’s Mix (2 parts Grapefruit Juice, 1 part Cinnamon Syrup)

-1 tsp (6 ml) Grenadine

-1 dash Absinthe

-1 dash Aromatic Bitters

Shake with 6 oz (180 ml) of crushed ice. Pour unstrained into Zombie Mug/Glass. Top with more crushed ice. Garnish the drink with a hollowed half lime, fill it with overproof rum, set it on fire and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.

Zombie from @welcometomybar
Zombie from @welcometomybar

Classic Old Fashioned:

-2oz of your favourite whisky

-1 teaspoon simple syrup

-3 dashes of Angostura bitters

-Orange peel for garnish

Stir the whisky, the simple syrup and the bitters with ice until desired dilution is achieved. Strain in a tumbler glass over a large chunk of ice. Express the oils from an orange peel on top of the glass and use the peel to garnish the drink.

Old Fashioned from @welcometomybar
Old Fashioned from @welcometomybar

Smoky Sour:

-1.5oz smoky single malt scotch

-1/2oz limoncello

-3/4oz lemon juice

-3/4oz honey syrup

-1 egg white

Shake ingredients without ice, then shake them again with ice. Strain in a tumbler glass over ice and garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel.

Smoky Sour from @welcometomybar
Smoky Sour from @welcometomybar

We imagine there has been some tremendous learning that has come from building out a passion like this.  But between all the perseverance both at work and behind the home bar, Fede likes to keep things simple every once in a while and kick back with a good Old Fashioned. He recommends you try a version with rum, which is how he currently enjoys it.

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Disclaimer: All content posted on @welcometomybar is Fede’s own and in no way linked to Diageo or its brands. All views expressed are his own.

Follow @welcometomybar on Instagram to stay inspired.

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