Comendatori Cocktail with Wolfsbane Cocktails

Posted by john cozzarelli on

For me life is all about the search of great flavors. There's nothing better than teaming up with friends on that journey. Last week I was lucky to have Dan aka WolfsbaneCocktails stop by and we collaborated on this awesome cocktail, "The Commendatori" featuring Cozzarelli Death Bed Blend! 

How did you become a bartender? When did you realize you wanted to pursue it as career?

I took a job as a barback for the first time at a local craft beer/cocktail bar that was opening up around the corner from my house.  I just worked hard and stuck around long enough, snatching orders out of the service printer before my bartender could see. I knew I wanted this to be my life the moment I starting seeing the shaker as blank canvas. “Make me whatever with gin” became a comfort instead of a stress. Mostly it’s just about the energy in a bar, and all the lives that intersect. 

What are three key factors to creating a great cocktail?

 Balance- i.e. a negroni is equal parts, maintaining that isn’t as easy as it sounds (we’ve all had a weird negroni) 

 Purpose: vision and respect to traditional cocktail values, and thoughtfully manipulating them 

 Nostalgia: drawing from your life is always more genuine. If a guest says “this reminds me of...” you know you’ve done your job, because you’ve teleported them to a different time in their life. They came to the bar to escape

 What are you doing when you aren’t behind the bar? 

 I run a cocktail consulting company called Wolfsbane. I provide creative personal menus for private events. In pandemic times I have shifted to assisting guests at home with what they have in their kitchen to make great cocktails they didn’t think they could. 

 I’m also an audio engineer/ music producer. I’ve been working with music for over 10 years, been playing since I was 14. Something I’ll never give up. 

  Least favorite drink to make? Do you ever refuse to make something?

 Long Island iced tea. It’s garbage. Ask me for a zombie if you wanna get drunk

 Generally I believe in making whatever you want but...

 You won’t catch me muddling bright red cherries into a glass and pouring whiskey over it

 Who or what inspires you to create?

 Slow impending doom. I’ve always had a creative drive and imagination. It’s hard to turn off. I love to see people’s reaction after they watch me build a drink and the first taste. It’s a beautiful moment when you provide someone with “exactly what I wanted” 

 Commendatori Recipe 

  • 1 oz Cozz Coffee Death Bed Blend Espreso
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Pineapple juice
  • 1/2 oz Cinnamon Syrup
  • 1/2 oz Organic Canned Coconut milk
  • 2 oz Cannoli infused Rums
  • Combine ingredients in Shaker seal and shake with ice strain over fresh ice and garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and lemon peel.