At The Local Pizzaiolo, pizza is, of course, the star. But that doesn’t mean menu items playing a supporting role aren’t equally as extraordinary, innovative, or delicious. Enter our cocktail menu, featuring four kegged cocktails (yes, you read that right!) created by a world-renowned mixologist.
When we decided to embark on this crazy adventure, we had a vision for our fast-premium, flavor-driven restaurant that included a specialty drink menu. And because we have a globally-acclaimed Master Pizzaiolo at the helm, it seemed obvious to us to enlist an award-winning bartender—from a speakeasy repeatedly named the World’s Best Bar—to design our “fast-craft” cocktails.
Go big or go home, right?
Luckily, Giulio and Bratislav Glisic had already met. Born in Serbia, Bratislav (or “Braca” as he is known to his friends) is one of the principal bartenders at , a celebrated speakeasy in New York City’s West Village, where he has worked since coming to the U.S. in 2006.
“Giulio invited me into his restaurant nearby and it was seriously one of the best pizzas I have ever tasted in my life,” says Bratislav. “It had the flash-fried dough that literally earned Giulio his Green Card, and it blew my mind.”
Many years later, when we were ready to launch The Local Pizzaiolo, Guilio reconnected with his favorite barkeep and invited him to lend his expertise to the mix. “I immediately said yes,” Bratislav says with a laugh. “So, I came to Atlanta, and Giulio made me pizzas I had never tried before—they were on a different level. I was totally hooked.”
The same mantra with which we approach pizza-making—an obsession with tradition and inspired by innovation—has guided Bratislav in his creation of a cocktail menu that met the triple-threat requirements of Italian-inspired, totally delicious, and fast. Kegging simple, refreshing, and classic-inspired recipes became the perfect solution.
If you’re new to the concept of cocktails on draft, we’re excited to introduce them to you!
“The negroni is a simple, classic, and sophisticated apéritif,” says Bratislav. (An apéritif is a cocktail typically taken before a meal.) The drink is equal parts gin and Campari, a deliciously bitter Italian liqueur. Sweet vermouth and an orange zest garnish take the edge off the Campari, making it the perfect drink to prep your palette. Spirit-forward drinks like this one are ideal for kegging, and the result is concoction that’s perfectly balanced on every pour.
An aperol spritz is another iconic aperitif “and a very popular drink in Italy in the summertime,” says Bratislav. Aperol is also a bit of a bitter liquor, but when paired with Prosecco, it goes down light and easy. Keeping the Processo bubbly until the bitter end is the perfect task for a keg, and TLP has perfected the Co2 science.
Bratislav is especially proud of the Neopolitan storm, a refreshing drink inspired by the popular Dark ‘n Stormy. However, Braca’s spin on the ginger beer, dark rum, and lime libation includes hand crafted ginger beer. “We perfected a recipe for fresh ginger syrup and combine it with very fresh lime juice and sugar. It’s also topped with Angostrura bitters, which gives it that Neapolitan flair,” says Bratislav. “You want to drink something carbonated when you have pizza. This is very refreshing … and with that hint of ginger, it’s a really good pairing.”
If espresso is not involved somewhere, somehow, it can’t really be Italian, right? Our espresso martini combines Italian-roast espresso with Kahlua and Vodka and is served keg-cold and “straight up” in our traditional Italian glass tumblers. “We top it with what I call Branaca Menta Cream, made from heavy cream, a little sugar and the Italian liquor Branca Menta, which gives the drink a hint of mint flavor and balances out the sweetness of the Kahlua and coffee.” The pick-me-up cocktail is also a perfect post-pizza “digestif.”
There is an art to crafting the perfect cocktail—and a science to properly kegging them. Bratislav has trained our ATL team well and will continue to provide seasonal recipes. We look forward to pouring you the perfect libation on your next visit!