Meet Your Mixologist: Len Fragomeni
Len Fragomeni, owner of SpiritHouse and founding president of the Toronto Institute of Bartending, has been involved in the business of cocktails for more than half of his life. He founded the institute, a full-service bartending school teaching everything a good bartender needs to know, in 2001 after the realization that there was a serious lack of qualified bartenders in the Toronto area. It was something that he intended to resolve – and would excel in.
In April 2012, he launched SpiritHouse, a cocktail haven where the robust menu can entertain even the most experienced cocktail aficionado. Société Perrier caught up with Len while he was behind the bar to ask him about his personal tastes and preferences.
Len shared that his biggest source of pride is his family, followed by his two businesses. The next step is a well-deserved vacation, after which it will be right back to work for Len, who's currently planning to present a cocktail show at SpiritHouse. [I’m anxious to see what's in store !]
What's your inspiration when developing cocktails?
Simplicity, and allowing good ingredients to shine through on taste. In terms of spirits, I prefer working with gin and whiskey.
What are the latest cocktails that you've created?
Actually, the entire menu at SpiritHouse is brand new! We now have many summer cocktails that call for sparkling water. Perrier is highly versatile, so it can be used to add a touch of effervescence to just about every spirit and flavour.
What's your favourite cocktail?
At the moment, it's the Boulevardier.
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. Campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth
Orange slice, lemon twist or cherry garnish
Combine the ingredients and stir long and well in a shaker; strain into a cocktail glass. Enjoy!
Alright, we know you're on the clock… Tell us the three drinks that every person should try at SpiritHouse?
The Boulevardier, the Sazerac and the 1988 Cosmopolitan. [Definitely worth a try before summer’s end!]
As a final note, we asked Len for some words to live by and he came up with six words that I totally agree with: Don’t drink a lot. Drink well!