Bartender Tony Conigliaro | Grain Store - Find. Eat. Drink.

Bartender Tony Conigliaro, 69 Colebrooke Row, Grain Store, The Zetter Townhouse, Bruno Loubet, Chef, Bartender, Barman, Where Bartenders Drink, Cocktails, Bars, Spirits, Recommendations, Shopping, Eating, Drinking, Best Bars in London, Insider Recommendations, Where Chefs Eat, Chefs Feed, Food and Cocktail Pairing, King’s Cross Station, Granary Square, Parsons, New Restaurants, London, Roman Wine, Martini, Bellini, Food and Drink Pairing, Where to drink in London, Where to eat in London


Grain Store, 69 Colebrooke Row, Zetter Townhouse - London, UK



Q. Tell us about the Grain Store.

A. When we created Grain Store it was about having food and drink / cocktail pairings. It’s a bit of a long love story with Bruno [Loubet] and I. We worked together 14 years ago at Isola, when he was head chef and it was my first ever bar manager job.

Without sounding too biased, I think Bruno is one of the best chefs in London. He really is phenomenal.

Communal table and open kitchen at Grain Store

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Q. How do you collaborate with Bruno to create cocktails that pair with his food?

A. My personal bugbear has always been that you go to a Michelin star restaurant and you ask for a Negroni and what you are served is not really a Negroni. They've spent months and years creating a food menu and then they can't give you a decent drink. You'd never do that with wine, so I've always given chefs a hard time for this.

I’ve learnt a lot from Bruno. He was one of the first chefs who taught us how to cook things that we could use in the bar. It's an incredible full circle for us to be working together. We bounce ideas off each other: the lobster dish came from the Bloody Mary idea; the Pumpkin Ravioli inspired us to make the Pumpkin Bellini.

Tony talking cocktails at Grain Store. Clockwise from far left: Hay Water, Pumpkin Bellini, Butter & Hay Champagne, Greco Roman Wine, Granary Martini

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Q. What are some of the cocktails you’re featuring on the menu?


The Pumpkin Maple Syrup Bellini

We’ve cooked the sweetness out of the maple syrup to just get the flavor. The sweetness just comes from the pumpkin. But just when you think it is going to get too sweet, it stops and disappears. It’s actually listed in the savory section of the menu.

The Butter & Hay Champagne

We are making a Kir Royale with a butter and hay liqueur. We make a butter with the hay in it, put that into the vodka and fat wash and make a liqueur from that. It taste like a vintage champagne.

The Granary Martini

It’s a distillate of mustard seed in vodka then stirred down in the martini.

Greco Roman Wine | Fennel Pollen Vinus Lupus (Herb)

This is a version of a Roman drink we found and it’s made with fennel pollen, clover honey, mastic, verjus, stirred down with sauvignon blanc and gros manseng.

Hay & Grass Water

Water with hints of hay and grass and we’ll serve this all the way through the meal.

Q. Do you think cocktails should be enjoyed throughout dinner?

A. Not necessarily, they should be of a standard that the food is. I would like to see more drinks that you could have during a meal. And by drinks I don't necessarily mean cocktails, I mean different things that the bartender has made that you have during the meal.

One of the things we have done at Grain Store is to make a whole heap of hyrdosols that we add to water. What you get is a Hay Water or a Silver Needle Tea Water and they are very subtle and soft, but it’s far more interesting than just having plain water. There are people that don’t drink, can’t drink or don’t want to drink, why do their options just have to be orange juice, apple juice, tonic water or water? That just doesn’t make sense to me. They want something they can have all the way through the meal.

At the lab, we distill the water. We are literally adding concentrated hay hydrosol to water. It’s a subtle hay flavor that comes through and works well with some of the dishes. Bruno’s been cooking with hay, so it ties into the food. The Silver Needle Tea has been very nice, because it’s so super subtle, but it has these tannins in it that clears the palette perfectly.

Q. Are you using sherry in a lot of cocktails?

A. We have been for awhile. It’s really lovely and it gives it that other dimension to the drink. The Woodland Martini we have at 69 Colebroke Row has gin, amontillado and our Woodland bitters which has shiitake in it, so it has an extra boost of umami flavors.

Q. Your book “Drinks” is just being released in the US. Are the recipes a combination of your 15 years creating cocktails at your bars?

A. One of the biggest misunderstandings about me is that I’m all about molecular mixology and it’s all science-based. It’s not. What I do is take inspiration from everywhere and anything. Some of the drinks I’ve created are because someone asked me to make a version of a daiquiri and I’ve made something different and it stuck. Another example will take years of research to arrive at a drink like the Rose.

Some are really accessible that you can make at home, but others you have to have a certain degree of technical knowledge. I wanted to give a whole span of possibility rather than say this is a really technical book or just for the layman. It’s all jumbled up and it’s fun at whatever level you want to enter. It can be sophisticated or not, it doesn’t matter. I think bartenders need to get over themselves a little bit and not look at it from the sense of ‘I am great and this is what I am going to make you.’ Just make stuff that is fun. The science stuff can be fun and the basic stuff can be fun. If someone asks you to make them a Cosmopolitan, make them a bloody Cosmopolitan. Make the customer happy, first and foremost. The customer is the most important person in the room. The moment you forget that you might as well shut the doors.

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Tony Conigliaro | 8 Things London

Drink | Cocktails

Balthazar London

Go to Balthazar because Brian Silva works here. God damn he’s good. He’s part of the older generation of bartenders. Boston born, but he’s been over here in London for 25 years. He ran the Connaught, then Rules and now Balthazar. He’s so much fun and a lovely guy. It’s very buzzy.

4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)20.3301.1155 |

Happiness Forgets in Hoxton

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Happiness Forgets

It’s a bartenders bar and they make great drinks. Alastair Burgess worked at Pegu Club with Audrey Saunders for years. He’s rude and makes great drinks. And he won’t mind me saying that either.

8-9 Hoxton Square, London, N1 6NU, United Kingdom

Paul Tvaroh creating his Campari & Soda

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Lounge Bohemia

Owner and barman Paul Tvaroh is doing molecular cocktails. His menu changes quite often. He’s got a great sense of humor that is very dry and very funny.

1e Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3EJ, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)7720.707000 |

Drink | Wine

Bar Pepito

Photograph courtesy of Bar Pepito [Photo Credit: Matt Cheetham]


It’s a good wine bar serving natural wines. It’s a little tapas-type bar. I like going out for sherry quite a lot and they have a good selection of sherries.

3 Varnishers Yard, London N1 9DF, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)20.7841.7331 |

Eat | Restaurants

Duck Soup

They have great food and the wine is brilliant. I am a really big fan of natural wines and they have a great selection. It’s one of Mark Hix’s old head chefs, but it’s a lot more French than Hix, and it’s a lot of fun and really buzzy. It’s a tiny place. They have a record player in the corner and someone just walks over and changes the record every now and again.

41 Dean Street, London W1D 4PY, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)20.7287.4599 |

Article August 2012

Fino Tapas Bar / Restaurant

Photograph courtesy of Fino


It’s a Spanish restaurant and bar that’s really great fun and a bloody great restaurant. It’s not quite tapas, but not quite a full meal either.

33 Charlotte Street, London W1T 1RR, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)20.7813.8010 |



Photograph courtesy of Morito


It’s phenomenal, one of the best restaurants in London. It’s Moroccan tapas. It’s on Exmouth Market. Try anything and everything. It’s by Sam and Sam Clark who own Moro. They are quite a staple on the food scene here. It’s their little sister restaurant next to Moro. It’s super fun.

32 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)20.7278.7007 |


This is a big bone of contention, but I think without doubt that Zaffrani is one of the best Indian restaurants in the whole of the UK, let alone in London.

47 Cross Street, London N1 2BB, United Kingdom

T: +44.(0)20.7226.5522 |

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General Information

Grain Store

Granary Square / King’s Cross

French / Cocktails

1-3 Stable Street
London N1C 4AB, United Kingdom
T: +44.(0)20.7324.4466

Make a Reservation





69 Colebrooke Row

London N1 8AA, United Kingdom
T: +44/(0)75.4052.8593





49 - 50 St. John’s Square

London, EC1V 4JJ, United Kingdom
T: +44/(0)20.7324.4545




Bar Le Coq

10th Arrondissement


12 Rue du Château d'Eau

75010 Paris, France







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The Cocktail Menu at Grain Store | Tony Conigliaro | The Green Martini at Grain Store [Photo Credits: Find. Eat. Drink.]


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Drinks / the cocktail Lab

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