Chris Militello, Monzu Italian Oven + Bar
Originally from Cleveland, has been living in Las Vegas for the last 20 years. I grew up in the kitchen with my Mother and Grandfather learning all the family recipes and getting a real passion for food.
My first bartending job was at the old radio city pizza on Fremont street, where we had an amaro bar in the back. That's where my love for Italian Spirits really took off. Everything was so unique to what I've had before, and it became a challenge for me to make drinks using these spirits and to learn as much as I could. So when we opened Monzu, and chef said "I want you to make this bar as Italian as possible," I was in! I was able to take my passion of food and my love of Italian spirits and blend it together to come up with some of my own creations. The way I see it, whether you're making a delicious dish, or a refreshing cocktail, it's all about complementing flavors. I think of myself as a cocktail chef. The "grape thymes" encompass everything that I love. A challenging spirit in Grappa, a deliciously unique Italicus, our grilled lemon sour, fresh grapes and thyme.
Created by Chris Militello at Monzu Italian Oven + Bar
1 ½ oz Grappa
1 oz Italicus
1 ½ Grilled Lemon Sour (homemade)
Muddled Green Grapes and Fresh Thyme
2 dashes Lavender Bitters
Fever Tree Sparkling Lemon Soda
Method: Muddle grapes and thyme together. Build over fresh ice the grappa, Italicus, lavender bitters and lemon sour. Stir and top with lemon soda.
Garnish: fresh grapes and a thyme sprig.
Chris wanted to try something fun with grappa. He finds it very versatile and very underused. The Grape Thymes cocktail has been on the menu since they opened the doors 2 year ago and is so popular, they do not see it changing any time soon. The grilled lemon sour is made in the restaurant by grilling fresh lemons and then juicing them. This family owned business has the owner, Gio in the kitchen and on the weekends, the wife, Nomi serenades the guests. The pizza dough's yeast starter comes all the way from Ischia, Italy!