Spirits Platform’s latest addition to the Brand Ambassador team is Danny Migliorini – who represents Tia Maria and Disaronno – two iconic liqueur brands – each of which have their own long histories. His appointment by Spirits Platform is key as he will focus on helping to showcase these great liqueurs and their importance as key cocktail ingredients for many cocktail bars, clubs and restaurants.
Tia Maria dates back to the mid-17th century, when a beautiful young Spanish aristocrat fled the turmoil colonial war brought to the island of Jamaica. Her maid saved one family treasure, a small jewellery box with black pearl earrings and an ancient manuscript with the recipe for a mysterious liqueur. The recipe was named after this courageous woman and Tia Maria was born. The recipe lay dormant for many years before being rediscovered in the 1950s by Dr. Kenneth Leigh Evans, who began to produce and market it. From this day forward Tia Maria has been a favourite for coffee cocktail lovers the world over. Incidentally it was even used in the very first Espresso Martini recipe discovered over forty years ago.
As for Disaronno it has a lineage dating back to one of the most romantic and creative periods in Italian history – the Renaissance. Since 1600’s Reina family has closely guarded the secret formula, passing it from one generation to the next. At the beginning of the twentieth century, Domenico Reina opened a store and workshop which took the name of “Domenico Reina Coloniali”, situated in the heart of Saronno. It was here that the Disaronno Originale was produced and sold commercially. Today, the headquarters are in Saronno, Italy and still owned by the Reina Family. Its velvety smooth taste and unmistakable aroma is largely attributed Disaronno’s reputation as the “world’s favourite Italian liqueur”.
Danny grew up in the vibrant city of Milan Italy. He got his start in the hospitality business waiting at his parents’ restaurant. Early in the hospitality industry he realised he wanted to become a bartender. He recalls “Curiosity and creating new things was the main reason, and just because I liked it. When I first got my certificate as a bartender, my passion and interest increased, the more I practiced, the more my passion grew.” He attended Bartending School in Milan and obtained his certification in Advanced Bartending. At the age of 21, he got his first bartending job at ‘LIVE MUSIC CLUB’ – a large venue with 3000 capacity, combined with an exciting music scene and loads of cocktails. Several years later he decided to come to Australia, to learn more about bartending and to improve his English.
In Australia, Danny initially worked in Italian restaurants in Sydney’s western suburbs. Once he was confident with his level of English, he focused on working in the city and began working for LIL’ DARLIN in Darlinghurst as a Bartender. Within a year he was their Bar Manager. Shortly after he took a job at the prestigious venue, EAU DE VIE, Sydney whilst at the same time accepting a role of Brand Ambassador for Montenegro, which gave him the opportunity to expand his network and meet many like-minded bartenders. This ultimately led him to his current role as Tia Maria/Disaronno Brand Ambassador role – Australia and New Zealand.
Danny explains “The Australian bar scene is one of the best in the world, and every year the standard is improving. More local bartenders are learning more than ever before and now there are bartenders coming from all over the world who want to come and work here. With these bartenders coming here, it created a healthy exchange of knowledge between the overseas bartenders and the local ones, thus lifting the standards even higher”.
Danny’s role will be to ensure he shares his knowledge and skills in cocktail making as well as the history behind Disaronno & Tia Maria with other bartenders as well as help a bartender or venue grow their business through new and exciting cocktail lists.
Danny is very excited to be in his new role and passionately explains what makes Tia Maria coffee liqueur so unique. He says, “It’s the unique mix of the Jamaican spiced rum, combined with quality Italian coffee, and the vanilla from Madagascar that work perfectly with each other to create the unmistakable taste of Tia Maria, and this is the ultimate base for amazing coffee cocktails.
He continues, “As for Disaronno, it’s the kind of liqueur that everybody likes due to its sweet after-taste that makes it so easy and pleasant to drink. It’s also such a versatile liqueur and can be used as a key ingredient in a cocktail or enjoyed on its own Disaronno is experiencing a growth trend because more bartenders are discovering and adding it to their menus, and its proving to be quite a popular choice”.
For several years now Disaronno has been involved in sponsoring fashion events and has a strong history and association with Fashion brands like Moschino, Versace, Cavalli, Etro, Missoni and Trussardi, creating limited edition bottles each year. This year Disaronno will announce yet another limited-edition bottle with another iconic Italian fashion brand to be revealed in late September/early October.
We challenged Danny to answer 3 questions in 30 seconds. Here is what he had to say.
Why does Tia Maria make such a good tasting espresso martini?
Tia Maria’s unique ingredients when combined with good coffee makes a very well-balanced espresso martini. It’s that simple.
What is the one thing that you would like Australian bartenders to know about Tia Maria and Disaronno?
I would like them to know the history behind these brands as their stories are quite fascinating. Having recently visited Saronno I had the opportunity to meet the owner of Disaronno & Tia Maria who was down to earth and made me feel like part of the family. Although its an international brand, and the world’s favourite Italian liqueur, the company is still a family-run company who cares about its brand, product they produce and their employees.
What’s your favourite cocktail to make and what’s your favourite cocktail to drink?
My favourite cocktail to make is also my favourite cocktail to drink – the Tommy’s Margarita, with Mezcal because I love the smokiness and the sharp contrast of flavour provided by the lime juice. It’s quite a popular drink with the bartender community.
If you’re a bartender, bar manager or venue that would like to train your staff on making some amazing Tia Maria and Disaronno Cocktails, or host a Trade or Consumer Masterclass, then be sure to get in touch with Danny Migliorini on 0419 225 285 – the latest member of the Spirits Platform Team.