Salvatore Tafuri


This week we stirred up a few cocktails with Circolo’s mixolologist, Salvatore Tafuri. The spot just opened up on Noho’s iconic Bond street, and after tasting a few of Tafuri’s cocktails, we wouldn’t leave without pilfering a few recipes off of him (here and here).

Tafuri is one of the guys behind Tulum’s Posada Margherita Hotel and Bar. The elegant getaway has a huge following, with New York’s industry influencers jetting there constantly for the holidays. The team behind the spot decided to create a sister restaurant (Circolo) here in downtown New York that captured the homey, comfortable essence Posada has. We personally aren’t able to jet to Tulum anytime soon, so we’re pretty excited for this addition to be right in our backyard. Tafuri mixed us up a few cocktails, and sat down with us to be this week’s Epicurean…

Describe your ideal food day…

Breakfast at La Colombe (espresso and brioche); Brunch at B Cafe; Aperitivo at Pegu Club; Dinner at Gramercy Tavern

Whats your drink?

I prefer the classics – a gin martini with a twist.

What would your last meal be? What drinks would you pair with it?

My mother’s homemade lasagna with a glass of Barolo.

How do you start your day?

Every morning is different, but the routine is typically the same. Breakfast, followed by a reading session in my living room (I choose from my selection of cocktail and spirit books) then it’s off to the gym before I clock into work at Circolo.

What’s your favorite place to travel for food?

Palermo, Sicily – my hometown. I also love New York because it’s a place where you can find so many different cuisines within one city. When I go back to Palermo, it’s like I’m in a different world, where everything is incredibly flavorful and delicious. But, the next best thing to those flavors and my hometown is Circolo!

The farthest you’ve travelled for a drink…

An eight-hour car ride, one way. I was living in Liguria and after work one night three of my friends and I decided to drive to Lloret de Mar, near Barcelona, to get a beer. We got there and spent the entire time bar hopping, then slept three hours and drove back to go directly back to work. After a total of sixteen hours of driving, I have never been so tired, but it was completely worth it.

Where do you go for inspiration?

In NYC Central Park inspires me. Traveling also inspires me, as does reading – especially books pertaining to the history of liquor and where classic cocktails were invented. Other cocktail lounges also inspire me; I am always interested to see what other cocktail menus look like, from hand-selected cocktail ingredients to the design of the lounge.

What ingredient are you convinced always makes a drink better?

I grew up in Sicily with the best oranges; it can be the zest, a slice, juice or liquor.

What ingredient is overrated?

I think you need to try everything as least once; you never know what you’re going to like.