- Leonardo Leuci, Rome, 5 June 1976 – Jerry Thomas Speakeasy - Rome
I started work as a bartender like many young Italians, at 16 years old I was looking for a job for pay my first holidays alone and for buy my first vespa.
For about two years until the end of high school I worked all the weekends in bars as a Barista or as Comis, washing a lot of glasses and preparing a lot of shaken coffee, this was my first encounter with the shaker.
With the money saved, I decided to do a trip to Cuba before the University begin, it was my dream since I was a child… I was fascinated about the history of Cuba, the Cuban revolution with its legendary characters, and all the legends about the magic island, but I could not imagine that visit to the Island would have had such a great importance in the choice of my life's work.
Get in touch with that tropical reality was amazing, for the first time in my life I realized the social importance of cocktails and Bartenders, I started to be really passionate about the world of mixed drinks in particular for the tropical side, but also for this different image of the bartender.
For the next 4 years during my studies, I continued to work as a bartender in some clubs and hotels in Rome in winter time, mostly on the weekend and during the summer I moved from Rome for 3 or 4 months to work in some resort around Europe (Greece, Turkey, France, Spain).
I was realizing that the job of the bartender was turning in my real passion .
At the end of the study, at 23 years, although a degree in Business & Administration, I decided to start working like Bartender with an international Chain of Hotel & Resorts and use this job to discover the world.
I worked in several Caribbean countries (Cuba, Martinique, Mexico, St. Lucia Island) a lot of my friends call me the “Globetrotter bartender”.
I returned in Rome to work as Bar manager and start - up manager for the project called friends, a new trany cocktail bar in rome and after for “Supperclub Rome” of one of the most important and innovative club company in the world (http://www.supperclub.com/), in the first year the Bar of Supperclub Rome won numerous national and international awards, like “Conde Nast World Best Bar” and others.
Finished the work at Supperclub Rome I decided to restart to travel around the world, moving from a Relais & Chateaux in the south of France to a cocktail kiosk on the beach in a small fisherman village in Turkey, up to a Luxury Hotel on a greek island.
I still want to discover new things, new cultures .
I ran away from Europe again to move on a small island in the Caribbean called Providenciales, part of the Turks & Caicos islands, for join a Luxury Resort as Bar manager.
In 2009, I returned to Italy where I start a new project “Jerry Thomas Project Rome” with my friends Roberto Artusio, Antonio Parlapiano and Alessandro Procoli, a consulting and professional training company.
In April 2010 we open the Jerry Thomas Speakeasy Rome and after only 2 years we were on the list of 25 Best Bar at Cocktail & Spirit Paris and in 2013 we were included in the prestigious “50 Best World bar List” celebrated in London .
I’m also a professional Sommelier and part of A.I.S (Italian Sommeliers association), like a lot of bartenders one of my hobby is to collect rare bottles, rare books and rare tools.
I speak fluently 4 language (Italian, Spanish, French, English) this is the result of my travelling and working around the world for almost 10 years.
My absolute favourite drink is the Daiquiri.
I’m really passionate on researching about cocktails and spirits history, especially about Italian cocktails and spirits culture, and I like to do that in a real independent way.
In 2012 we started the Vermouth del Professore Production, a small and really artisanal production of one of the Italian classic products, the vermouth Del Professore is now exported in 10 countries and considered one of the best artisanal products in the world.
In the last 5 years I was invited to present my work and my research in the most important Bar Show and event all around the world, Cocktail Spirits Paris, Berlin Bar Show, Moscow Bar Show, Imbibe Bar show London, Boutique Bar Show London, Mixology trend Madrid, Athens Bar Show, Warsaw Bar show, Venuez Rotterdam, Venuez Belgium, La Coruna Spirits Show, Superbar Milan and other Bar events all around the world.
I'm also the protagonist and main judge of the Talent show for bartenders on DMAX CHANNEL called Mixologist.