Nicolas Medicamento

From bartending at some of the finest bars in the world, such as the American Bar at The Savoy and China Tang at The Dorchester, to educating and mentoring hospitality staff to excel their expertise, Nicolas Medicamento’s knowledge, and dedication to the industry, is overflowing. In an intimate interview with Dr Cocktail himself, we learn a little more about his innate passion and his strong values as a key and admirable figure of the industry – the very qualities that make him a true ‘Hospitality Hero’.

Nicolas, please tell us about your time in the industry. Where did it all start?

I really enjoy working in hospitality, from hotels, bars, to restaurants. It’s something that runs in my family; my dad used to have a pizzeria, and my uncle still has his pizza place. Even my relatives in Italy and Switzerland work in hospitality, so it’s like a family tradition – that’s why it felt so natural for me to be a part of this amazing industry.

I have this funny memory from when I was really little. I must have been about three years old. Even though I didn’t know how to write yet, I would go up to the tables and write down what people wanted to eat – even if it was just scribbles – and then I’d go back to the counter and tell them the whole order. I’ve always loved taking care of people, and I think my happy and positive attitude makes a big difference.

You’re clearly very passionate about your craft. Where does this come from?

Making things better and going that extra mile is something I’m really passionate about. I think it’s important that, as hospitality professionals, we always try to find new ways to make our team work better together. After all, when people do their jobs well, it makes the guests’ experience more seamless.

What do you love most about the UK’s hospitality sector?

When I moved to London, I was amazed by how many different cultures there were – it’s like a big mixing pot of people from all over the world, and I felt like I could learn something from each of them, whilst helping them too. The UK, specifically London, is a fantastic place to grow and get better at what I love doing.

What, in your opinion, have been the key elements to your success?

I have three main factors that help me excel. First, I’m good at understanding how other people see things. We all have our own way of looking at the world, so it’s important to talk and understand where others are coming from. Second, I’m always curious. I really like learning new things, and if there’s something I don’t know, I ask lots of questions, and look up more information on my own –knowing things helps me do better. Third, I believe in myself and work hard every day to progress. I enjoy challenges, and I always want to be a better version of myself.

What does a typical day for Dr Cocktail look like?

My day usually starts with meditation around seven in the morning. After that, I read a book and, while I am having breakfast, I listen to a motivational audiobook or podcast. I love exercising, and I do it in the morning or later, depending on what I have scheduled that day. Before I start working on emails or other tasks, I make a plan for the day: I decide what I want to achieve, and divide my big goals into small, achievable pieces, which I find really helpful. At the end of the day, I look at what I accomplished, plan what I’ll do the next day, and write in my journal. I like to read some more before I go to bed, and I make sure not to use my phone or computer for at least two hours before sleeping. Also, I only spend about 20 minutes on social media each day. This routine helps me relax and feel motivated, and positively effects my role in the hospitality sector day-to-day.

What advice would you give to any bartenders or mixologists looking to make waves in the industry, and follow in your footsteps?

Always be curious, not just about work-related stuff, but about everything around you. Talking to people and making them feel comfortable is really important for what we do. Also, if someone above you in the hierarchy, or simply more experienced, isn’t nice to you, remember not to treat others the same way. Instead, learn from their mistakes, be kind, be compassionate to your colleagues and make this industry a better place. Taking care of yourself, mentally and physically, is also a must. Everything starts within us, and if we can’t look after ourselves, we can’t take care of others. I strongly believe that hospitality is the best industry to work in because we are in service of others and that brings a lot of happiness, fulfilment and satisfaction.

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