According to the London Evening Standard, 'one of the world's greatest barmen' Salvatore runs his bar Salvatore at 50 in St James and was also Bar Manager of the Library Bar at The Lanesborough.
Salvatore Calabrese, whose bar is Salvatore at 50 in St James, was also Bar Manager of the Library Bar at The Lanesborough and is, according to the London Evening Standard, 'one of the world's greatest barmen'.
Previously Head Barman at Duke's Hotel, St James's, Salvatore has over the past decade established himself as a world expert on vintage Cognacs, and has spent many years tracking down, collecting and serving some of the world's oldest and rarest vintages. Their dates mark some of history's most important events, and his most memorable experience was opening a bottle of 1789 Cognac, the year of the French Revolution, and selling it at £1,000 a glass! Coining the phrase, 'Liquid History', Calabrese has built up a reputation amongst Cognac enthusiasts who have travelled the world to sample his collection of vintages that stretched back to 1770.
Salvatore's expertise does not rest with his knowledge of Cognacs. Winner of The Campari Bartender of the Year 1993, holder of the Chevalerie du Verre Galant 1993, Chevalier l'Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne 1992 and for many years Chair of the London Area UK Bartender's Guild - Calabrese can mix a mean drink, whatever your poison. He organises all the national cocktail competitions in the UK and he also has a reputation for non alcoholic cocktails, having won national and international competitions in this field. He has worked with the Health Education Authority to develop the non alcoholic and nutritious working cocktail.
He has been making guest appearances on television for the past ten years, with programmes including The Generation Game, Dinner Dates, This Morning, GMTV, UK Living, Carlton Food Network, and many programmes in America. He made several appearances on Terry & Gabi and was a popular guest on Good Food Live for the UK Food Channel. He has also appeared on Classic FM's Masters of Their Art and BBC Radios 2 and 5. He has been profiled in The Independent and featured in the Daily Mail, Decanter and Tatler. More recently, Salvatore's appearance on Something for the Weekend (BBC 2) was so impressive, they have invited him to take a regular slot on the show.
Salvatore's first book Classic Cocktails, containing recipes for over one hundred of the world's most popular cocktails, was published by Prion Books in spring 1997 and has sold over 800,000 copies worldwide. His second book Classic After Dinner Drinks published by Sterling Publishing (USA) in 1999, followed by Summer Cocktails, also for Sterling, and Cognac: A Liquid History for Orion. Cocktails for Wimps and Complete Home Bartenders' Guide (sales of which exceeded 600,000) were published by Sterling Publishing (USA), and in late 2003 Little Books produced How To Cure a Hangover. More recently, Salvatore has authored Cocktails by Flavour and Sexy Cocktails Sterling Publishing (USA). Salvatore’s book sales have exceeded 1.5 million.
At the end of 2003 Marks & Spencer released a CD packaged with cocktail recipes by Salvatore called Time to Celebrate.
Class Magazine featured Salvatore Calabrese twice in their 2005 awards. His bar in St James - Salvatore at 50 was voted Best New Bar and Salvatore himself was voted Best Barman of the Year. The following year Class Magazine awarded Salvatore at Fifty Best Bar in the UK and in 2008 gave him the award for best selection of spirits in the UK. He was also nominated for Mayfair Personality of the Year 2007.
Some other awards include a lifestyle achievement award from the Italian government and an additional lifetime achievement award from Tale of Cocktails awarded in a ceremony in New Orleans in 2008.
His most recent accolade is topping the poll of the Theme Top 100 most influential figures announced at an exclusive event at the Bloomsbury Ballroom – Salvatore beat industry figures such Terence Conran and Nick Jones.
Salvatore has been given the great honour of being asked to be Keeper of the Qaiuch for 2007.
He is a regular on BBC2's Something For the Weekend and has a regular column in GQ magazine. Salvatore also contributes to The Guardian and The Times.