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Meet NY Cocktail Expo's Resident Bartender

Updated: Jan 16, 2019

“There is no greater gift than the gift of hospitality.”

When NYCE first met Peter Roccaforte, it was over cocktails and sandwiches at Dutch Kills. What’s your story we asked: “I’ve been running a speakeasy out of my apartment for the last 5 years. I keep over 200 bottles in my apartment…”

We had to see this for ourselves. On a quiet street that borders Woodside and Astoria, you walk up the steps to an apartment where the walls are lined with books and booze. On display are two bookshelves lined with bottles ranging from an extensive amari collection to cubbies of rum and whiskey...and then the rail bottles kept in the kitchen where dishes should be stored. As we sipped from our steel straws and admired the spear ice in our collins cocktail, we knew that this wasn’t the ordinary ‘drinks at an apartment’ experience.

Since then, Peter has established working professionally at Kill Devil in Brooklyn and at select events. He’s also competed in several cocktail competitions earning accolades as a semi-finalist in Herradura Legends, Northeast Regional Winner for Gentleman Jack Whiskey Sour Classic, and semi-finalist in the upcoming Bacardi Legacy competition of February 2019.

Now, 2 years later, his passion for cocktails and love for the industry has brought him into the fold at NYCE as our resident bartender. His style frequents drinks with amari and aperitivi, #bitterisbetter. However, Peter is also fascinated by the theme of Tiki and it’s resurgence. This is evident in his Gravedigger cocktail featuring a blend of rums, pineapple, lime, orgeat, and allspice.

He looks forward to collaborating with brands and bars in the industry as NYCE continues its goals to be a thought leader for our community and provide hospitality to all.

Hometown: Point Pleasant, NJ

Spirit of Choice: Averna

Favorite Bar: Dutch Kills, NYC

Go-To Classic: Negroni

Gravedigger Specs:

1 ½ jamaican rum (Appleton or Blackwell)

¾ spiced rum (Foursquare or Chairman’s)


1 ½ pineapple

¾ lime

½ orgeat

¼ Allspice dram

Angostura bitters

Whipshake with a couple pebbles of ice. Pour into a swizzle or pilsner glass. Fill with crushed ice and swizzle. Layer crushed ice, ango bitters float and more crushed ice. Garnish with mint and fresh grated nutmeg. (Banana tombstone & flowers optional)

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