Bar manager and brand owner
Meet Giulio Amodio
Giulio Amodio has been running the bar at Chinatang at The Dorchester 2007 and has been seen popping up at Cocktails In The City as a member of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild educating people on heritage Japanese spirits and serving up delicious cocktails.
He is now also the proud owner of Seatrus Gin, Acqua Di Mare, a Mediterranean Gin made in his homeland of Calabria in Italy incorporating two unique ingredients, seawater and cedro to create a great gin that is also deeply personal to Giulio…
Calabria in the boot of Italy is surrounded by the sea on three sides and I was probably in the water more than on dry land.
Calabria is also famous in Italy for having the best Cedro".
Why and how do you incorporate sea water into the gin, what affect does it have?
The seawater is purified and distilled before being added as an ingredient to make it drinkable, it adds a more complex salinity than you can achieve with just salt. Any chef or bartender will tell you that a touch of salt really amplifies flavour and mouth feel and in Seatrus it produces a longer-lasting finish and stands up nicely in a Gin and Tonic which is the most common way to enjoy gin.
It also adds aroma and many of my guests tell me that when they uncork a bottle they get this strong sense of being by the sea which I really like, it’s very visceral and reminds me of my childhood.
And what is Cedro
Ask any Italian and they will tell you! It’s a large citrus fruit and all the flavour comes from the oils in the skin as there is no juice inside, just a thick pith that creates a bitter flavour when infused in alcohol and creates a really complex citrus flavour that Italians around the world will recognise at once as it’s included in a lot of our recipes, be it food or drinks.
In Italy many regions are known for being the best at producing a particular product, pesto, olive oil etc and where I live it’s Cedro. When you visit Santa Maria del Cedro you will see the sea and a high range of mountains which trap the sea air as it blows over the land to create a blanket of sea mist over the citrus groves and produces Cedro that you just can’t find anywhere else.
And how do you balance launching a brand with a full-time job?
It's hard work and long days but they actually help each other. The gin launch is a new challenge which energises me and I bring this energy into my bar work. I have been at The Dorchester now for 15 years, we have a great team here and many regulars and so I think it’s important to have new challenges to inspire you.
The Dorchester has been really supportive, it’s a great brand association for myself and the product and you can enjoy Seatrus in Chinatang whenever you visit 😊
And has it been difficult launching in such a competitive marketplace?
I think because the gin is so strongly connected to my personal self I find bartenders are attracted to the authenticity and attachment I have with the brand when I present it so getting people to stock has not been so difficult.
With so many years in the industry, I’m lucky to have a good network of great bartenders in a lot of fantastic bars. I also understand the value of great presentation that’s why I went the extra mile with the packaging the embedded compass was difficult to execute but certainly worthwhile.
It’s been difficult don’t get me wrong and investing everything you have into the project is a little scary but the reaction in the market so far has been very positive.
And where can people enjoy Seatrus now?
The new Vesper bar at the Dorchester, 45 Park Lane bar, Il borro Restaurant, Boisdale club, Donovan bar at Brown's Hotel, Hush Mayfair and Velvet Bar at the Corinthia hotel is a few examples.
The strong association with the sea has helped me launch in partnership with fleets of luxury yachts and a lot of beach clubs which have great brand value and positioning.
And what are your hopes for 2023?
The challenge is definitely the UK market, competing in a strong gin market with an Italian gin is probably the key to the success of Seatrus. If guests appreciate the taste and flavour of Seatrus here, I believe that it will do well in the rest of Europe