Simone Caporale: Life in the fast lane

Simone Caporale is one of the most decorated bartenders on the planet, yet one of the most personable.

He rose to industry fame alongside Alex Kratena during the golden era of Artesian in the early days of The World’s 50 Best Bars, and now the Italian is continuing to thrive on the backside of the pandemic.

Having won an unprecedented four consecutive 50 Best titles spanning to 2015, Caporale started out in humble beginnings in a coffee bar in Como, Italy, back in 2003. He then moved to London with just €2,000 to his name to pursue a career in hospitality, a move he wouldn’t regret after landing a bartending role in Borough Market. From there, Caporale went on to thrive in the UK capital and joined Kratena at Artesian in 2012. However, Caporale’s startender status isn’t limited to the trade.

In 2014 he was introduced to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who was looking for a bartender to lead his new Youtube channel, Drinks Tube, a sequel to his highly successful Food Tube. Together with Oliver and his deal with Bacardi, Caporale had become one of the most recognisable faces in the industry to people on both sides of the bar, which meant his departure from Artesian in late 2015 was a seminal moment.

Since then Caporale has worked alongside business partners Kratena and Monica Berg to build the most formidable trio in bartending. Together they’ve launched their liqueurs range, Muyu, and not-for-prot industry platform P(OUR), among a host of other products and initiatives.

After a significant hiatus from behind the bar, Caporale opened his own venue, called Sips, in Barcelona this summer alongside industry heavyweight Marc Alvarez. He bought the space back in December 2019, but progress was delayed by the pandemic. However, after a busy opening period Caporale seems confident. 

“Sips is doing well. There are only nine tables serving 35 people, so it’s not a big bar,” says Caporale. “Sips will serve drinks that make people feel comfortable. Whether you want to have a glass of wine while you read the newspaper, a nice cold beer or a spritz, you can have anything you want.

“Sips is a cocktail bar for everyone and it’s in L’Esquerra de l’Eixample, a neighbourhood I feel very attached to in Barcelona because it’s where most of the city’s iconic bars are located, such as Dirty Martini.”

Sitting at the very top of the industry has allowed Caporale to work closely with some big brands, most prevalently with Peroni over the past seven years, and its latest project, Servito Con Stile, has given him a new licence for travel. The Asahi-owned brand is now a key sponsor for Aston Martin’s Formula 1 team, meaning Caporale has landed a cushy gig following the F1 circuit around the world, showcasing Servito Con Stile in some of Peroni’s key markets.