There is no better time to enjoy the Madison rooftop than in the early evening golden hour, and that’s exactly what we did when chatting with Bar Manager, Alex Munteanu. Alex has been key member of the team at Madison since July 2015 and has been Bar Manager since 2019.
We caught up with Alex about Madison’s latest rooftop resident, Italicus. This Italian liqueur has transformed our terrace into the ultimate Amalfi-inspired scene, as we’ve decorated with green foliage and lovely lemons. We were so keen to find out more about how to best enjoy the unique taste of Italicus, and Alex was just the man for the job.
Alex, can you tell us a bit about Italicus?
This is a liqueur made in Italy, straight from the Almafi coast. Combining citrussy Almalfi lemons with Italian bergamot, Italicus is a unique but very drinkable liquor with a refreshing and spritzy flavour it is best drunk in the summer. A stylish drink, even the bottles are designed to look like Roman architecture.
Can you tell us about the exclusive Italicus menu?
So the menu boasts five new cocktails, with two summery spritzes and some signatures. I designed the menu drawing flavours and inspiration from Italy, and of course drawing on the special Italicus flavour.
For instance, one of the signatures is our ‘Summer G&T’. This is twist on a true classic features a local gin mixed with Elderflower tonic, Italicus, and a hint of clarified lemon juice, complete with an olive for garnish. The olive and lemon really compliment the signature flavours of Italicus.
What are some other highlights on the menu?
Another of our signatures is a twist on the classic Negroni. Our ‘Bergaroni’ is a white Negroni, where we replace the Campari with a bitter Bianco. then balanced by the botanical Italicus.
Our Spritz menu includes our ‘When in Sicily’. This uses a combination of Italian flavours, complimenting Italicus with Amaro, an Italian bitter, Sicilian lemonade, and garnished with grapes. We also have the ‘Italian Sunset’ – a sweet spritz using a Pink Strawberry gin, Italicus, Chinotto liqueur, with hints of bitter orange, and then we compliment this with a slice of blood orange.
Which is your favourite cocktail on the menu?
I would probably have to say the Summer G&T. It is so classic and fresh, and the lemon juice explodes the Italicus flavour.
How do you decide what to garnish the cocktail with?
It is all about the balance of flavours. The olive from our ‘Summer G&T’ is salty so it makes the drink taste smoother. Whilst the grapes from our Spritz match the flavours of the prosecco. We of course add a flower for aesthetic and real Instagram value!
Are there any particular foods suited to Italicus?
The menu is really designed to be an aperitif. But the Spritz menu suits any white meat, and the Negroni is better with a steak as it is a digestive.