Interview: BoozeMaster, John Cocchiola and the art and history of the Manhattan Cocktail.

 

A visit with John Cocchiola and a lesson in the legend and making of a Manhattan Cocktail.

I was formally introduced to John Cocchiola about 5 years ago while his family was running the fabled Stango’s Restaurant in an area of Glen Cove, New York known as the Orchard. I had known the Cocchiola family from visiting the restaurant through the years, but was never formally introduced.

In the early 1900’s, the area where Stango’s is located was inhabited almost exclusively by Italian immigrants. Virtually every family planted fruit trees in their yards in such density that it resembled an Orchard, hence the name…and it has stuck for over a hundred years. Locals still reference this area as “The Orchard.”

John managed the bar in the family restaurant and poured drinks there as a young man starting in 1979, the same year my family moved into a nearby neighborhood. Stango’s was arguably the best family-style Italian restaurant in the area and certainly made one of the best tasting Neapolitan pies on Long Island.

John has always had that special gift that is given to those who choose to stand behind the bar. He is also famous for his social media witticisms and outrageous observations of colorful characters that inhabit the local bars.

John also was kind enough to share the rich (and infamous) heritage of the family bootlegging and moonshining business during Prohibition. It’s easy to see why John earns the BoozeMaster title.

Timothy Kelly

Timothy Kelly

Timothy Kelly is the Co-Founder of BoozeHunters.com. He is a regular contributor and writer for BoozeHunters.

In a prior life, Tim held a Series 3 and Series 34 CFTC registration and formerly was a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA). He is also an expert and specialist in Ichimoku technical analysis. Tim was licensed Property & Casualty; Life, Accident & Health Insurance Producer in New York State. Clearly, Tim had some time on his hands and could not decide what he wanted to be when he grew up...so he stopped trying and started BoozeHunters.

In addition to writing about the Artful Pursuit of Libation, TK writes commentary on Politics and Social issues. This really pisses-off some family members and friends...but TK does not really care.

In the early days TK was a Bartender at a few of the Iconic, Long IslandMega-Clubs such as Spit and Sprat's on the Water. Growing up, his family owned and operated 5 liquor stores throughout the five boroughs of New York City...so as a kid he got free booze.

TK attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art.

Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he Established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes, he has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years, Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York.

Prior to creating BoozeHunters, TK was a team leader at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine with an initial circulation of over 7 million copies monthly.
Timothy Kelly

Timothy Kelly

Timothy Kelly is the Co-Founder of BoozeHunters.com. He is a regular contributor and writer for BoozeHunters. In a prior life, Tim held a Series 3 and Series 34 CFTC registration and formerly was a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA). He is also an expert and specialist in Ichimoku technical analysis. Tim was licensed Property & Casualty; Life, Accident & Health Insurance Producer in New York State. Clearly, Tim had some time on his hands and could not decide what he wanted to be when he grew up...so he stopped trying and started BoozeHunters. In addition to writing about the Artful Pursuit of Libation, TK writes commentary on Politics and Social issues. This really pisses-off some family members and friends...but TK does not really care. In the early days TK was a Bartender at a few of the Iconic, Long Island Mega-Clubs such as Spit and Sprat's on the Water. Growing up, his family owned and operated 5 liquor stores throughout the five boroughs of New York City...so as a kid he got free booze. TK attended Boston College where he studied English Literature and Economics, and also attended the University of Siena, Italy where he studied studio art. Mr. Kelly has been a decades-long community volunteer in his hometown of Long Island where he Established the community assistance foundation, Kelly's Heroes, he has also been a coach of Youth Lacrosse for over 10 years, Prior to volunteering in youth sports, Mr. Kelly was involved in the Inner City Scholarship program administered by the Archdiocese of New York. Prior to creating BoozeHunters, TK was a team leader at Bloomberg Financial Markets, where he created Bloomberg Personal Magazine with an initial circulation of over 7 million copies monthly.

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