Cocktail Philosophy: Interview With Matthew Piacentini of New York City’s The Up & Up

Matthew Piacentini has just returned from the Reykjavic Bar Summit, a global cocktail bar competition. He is the owner of The Up & Up, a cocktail lounge in New York City’s Greenwich Village. I interviewed Matthew about his cocktail philosophy.

SC: How is the experience of drinking a cocktail different to wine or beer?

MP: Unlike beer, wine, and spirits, cocktails have no utilitarian purpose. For example, spirits were originally medicinal and for thousands of years, beer and wine have been considered safer to drink than water. Cocktail drinking has absolutely no purpose other than pleasure. It’s one of the last bastions of acceptable hedonism.

Also, wine and beer are primarily for drinking with food, while cocktails are to be enjoyed on their own. So, cocktails have to be fully formed things in their own right, and they don’t have to play nice with other things that are going in our mouths.

Read the rest of the article – including the story behind and the recipe for the Hailstone cocktail – on The Huffington Post.  


Illustration by Sam Smith of The Pop Heirloom Studios

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