Top 50 Cocktail Bars

Get to know: Valentino Girotto

We are as creative in cocktails as much we are in jokes, and I find that beautiful

Charli Tomney | 15/03/2024

Nicknames: Vale / V

Pronouns: He/Him

Job title: Bar Manager 

How long have you worked at Crossroads: 3 years

Favourite drink: Negroni

Any awards or accolades: My mom is proud of me 

Key skills: I guess I’m funny + Prep-master 

What got you into cocktail bars? 

I have chosen Hospitality school back in Italy simply because my brother and my best friends were going there. At 13 years old it’s hard to know what you want for your future, but it turned out to be a great choice. My F&B Professor is the person who got me into cocktails, supported me and believed in me since day one (still today). Moving to London back in 2017 was the change that made me fall in love with this industry

How many years have you worked in the industry?

I started working in the industry when I was 14, which makes it around 12 years now. My very first job was as a waiter in a fine-dining restaurant in Treviso, which made me quickly realise that was not what I liked.

What makes a great cocktail bar?

tmosphere and Service. There is literally NOTHING more important. Cocktails are a big point, obviously, but guest experience comes first. A bad service can ruin the most interesting cocktail you have ever tried but an incredible service can make a mediocre drink the most fun you had in a long time. It’s hospitality 101

What do you enjoy most about the industry?

It does sound like a cliche but I do love the sense of community this industry can create. The love, the respect, the support and the good vibes the bar industry has (Top50 awards ceremony was a beautiful example of that). Great people make a great industry, and there’s plenty of them 

What’s a signature drink of yours?

Pear, one of our current best sellers. Incredibly tasty but simple (less is more) spirit and mixer, cognac based with a homemade sherry wine and pear soda. Simply a slapper (I have to say though, it’s never a one person job but the whole team get involved so this is “our signature”)

What does being a Top 50 Cocktail Bar mean to you? 

What really is important to me about the list is the love and the appreciation we received from the industry. Being on the list means people are looking up to us and love what we are doing but it also gives me the sense of responsibility to be a positive leading example, promoting a healthy hospitality and showing it’s possible to manage a successful business without toxic behaviours and impossible hours. We all deserve to be respected and appreciated and everyone one the top50 must be an ambassador of that.

Favourite drink?

I am a boring Italian bartender, and my absolute favourite drink is Negroni (anything campari based really) even though recently I am obsessed with Highball and Bubbles. Doesn`t matter which cocktail bar I am visiting, I’ll go for the highball in their menu

What is the best cocktail bar you’ve ever visited?

I feel like it depends on the mood I am in. It’s also very hard to define THE BEST one.

At the moment I am madly in love with Wacky Wombat, the team, the venue, the service and OH MY GOD the playlist.

I also have this romantic memory of Barro Negro in Athens during the Athens Bar show.

The energy the team had really impressed me end the “summer party vibe” was just perfect

What do you enjoy most about working at Crossroads?

The GANG and the CHALLENGE. I am the kind of person that constantly needs stimulation otherwise I get bored, and in 3 years I have never got bored once at Crossroads. We keep pushing each other for improvement and we constantly work on new projects making it a stimulating and dynamic environment.

But most importantly I love my team, it’s always fun to be on shift with each one of them.

We are as creative in cocktails as much we are in jokes, and I find that beautiful 

What’s a fad in cocktails that you hate?

Flat Highball….why?

What does the future hold for Crossroads?

Future for Crossroads is brighter than ever, we are strong and full of energy.

There’s going to be a lot happening this year (like our book “Bubbles” coming out) so stay tuned and you won’t be disappointed