Anthony Caporale is a true pioneer in the beverage world, internationally known for being the first to bring mixology to both YouTube, with his seminal web video series Art of the Drink TV, and then to the New York stage with his groundbreaking Off-Broadway musical comedy, The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking. After graduating from Duke University, Anthony took what was supposed to be a summer job waiting tables at Darryl’s restaurant in Durham, NC, before returning to New York City to put his newly-minted mechanical engineering degree to work. Fate intervened when only five weeks later he was given a position behind the bar, and that summer job happily stretched into a year of full-time work. “I loved bartending from day one,” remembers the long-time actor, “I used to say it was like giving a new performance every night, but only having to audition once.” Although Anthony eventually left Darryl’s, from that point forward he never left bartending.
While managing an engineering team at Underwriters Laboratories during the day and bartending in the evenings, Anthony was asked to lead the opening bar staff of Chapel Hill’s legendary Top of the Hill brewpub during the height of the microbrewery explosion. Soon after, and much to the chagrin of his Duke classmates, he signed a lease for his own restaurant on the University of North Carolina’s infamous main drag, Franklin Street. After gutting and completely renovating the historic space himself, including riding a jackhammer to cut trenches for drain pipes, building walls, and laying floor tiles, Anthony’s Grill finally opened for business. “I did more things wrong than right,” Anthony recalls, “but that project was my working MBA.”
Discovering that his true passion lay in the organized chaos of opening bars and restaurants, Anthony sold his eponymous grill and joined Brinker International‘s newly acquired and rapidly growing Maggiano’s business unit, where he became a member of the Corporate Training Team responsible for opening new locations. Anthony finally returned to his home state of New York when he was asked to be the Director of Operations for The John W. Engeman Theater after designing the bar and lounge during its $5 million build-out. Bloomingdale’s recruited him next to open and manage Flip, the newest restaurant in their flagship Manhattan store and their only restaurant with a full bar. To date, Anthony has been involved in the opening of over a dozen major restaurants in roles ranging from Consultant to General Manager to Owner.
During the more than two decades of his career, Anthony has also served as the Beverage Manager for Bobby Flay’s flagship Mesa Grill restaurant, the Launch General Manager of Forty Eight Lounge in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, and he’s been retained as a Management Consultant for numerous other bars and restaurants. Anthony’s qualifications include:
- Managing Director, Art of the Drink Food and Beverage Management and Marketing Consultants
- Principal Consultant, ICE Consulting Group
- Creative Director, Nuptini DIY Wedding Cocktails
- Society of Wine Educators Certified Specialist in Spirits
- New York State Licensed Business School Teacher
- Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
- ServSafe Alcohol Instructor
- TIPS Trainer for Responsible Alcohol Service
- Certified Food Manager
- MSPA Silver Certified Restaurant and Hotel Evaluator
- MSPA Silver Certified Bar Loss Evaluator
- Level II Certified Master Mezcalier
- U.S. Bartenders’ Guild Member
- Guild of Sommeliers Member
- International Association of Culinary Professionals Member
In addition to fixing struggling restaurants and bars, Anthony is the Director of Beverage Studies for the Culinary Management Program at New York City’s award-winning Institute of Culinary Education. He has also served as the U.S. Brand Ambassador for Drambuie® Scotch Liqueur, the U.S. Cocktail Ambassador for Truvia® Natural Sweetener, and the Managing Editor of Chilled Magazine, one of the leading trade publications for cocktails and spirits.
Anthony is perhaps best known as the Producer and Host of Art of the Drink TV, the first cocktail web show with millions of loyal viewers worldwide and over 90 award-winning episodes available on every major web video site. The series was an iTunes top-twenty-five Food Podcast, was named Best Instructional Podcast by The New York Times Online, and has been nominated for four Taste TV Awards for beverage programming. Art of the Drink TV is frequently cited by many of today’s leading bartenders as a formative influence on their careers and one of the harbingers of the craft cocktail movement.
Most recently, Anthony wrote, produced, and is currently starring in The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking, a new play with drinks and music. Produced at the historic SoHo Playhouse in an authentic New York City speakeasy, The Imbible sweeps audiences along a 10,000-year journey through history and across the globe accompanied by craft cocktails and the vocal stylings of The Backwaiters acapella group. A smash-hit with both audiences and critics, the show enjoyed sold-out runs at both the New York International Fringe Festival as well as an extension at the Fringe Encore Series and is now playing an Off-Broadway run that sells out weekly. Hailed as “remarkably compelling” by Time Out New York and “an absolute must-see” by The Huffington Post, The Imbible treats audiences to a completely original and thoroughly enjoyable evening of theatre utterly unlike anything they’ve ever experienced. The next chapter of The Imbible, Rum Shanties and Pirate Drinks, will be playing on Hornblower’s Alive After Five New York City harbor cruises through September. Be sure to catch both of these remarkable productions when you’re in New York City!
Anthony is also a popular speaker at cocktail shows and industry conventions such as The Manhattan Cocktail Classic and Portland Cocktail Week, and he is a favorite guest on many TV and radio shows including:
- The Dr. Oz Show
- The Better Show
- FOX Money
- Good Morning New Orleans
- The WPIX-TV Morning Show
- The WDSU-TV Weekend Morning Show
- Martha Stewart Living Radio
- Bloomberg Radio Taking Stock
Additionally, Anthony has spoken as a whisky expert in the Talks at Google lecture series, and he has appeared in a number of national television commercials including as a judge in The Food Network’s Chopped: Open Basket series and as a Chef Instructor in KitchenAid’s Diamond Blender commercials. Working with IBM’s Watson supercomputer, he created the cocktail recipes for the groundbreaking cookbook, Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson: Recipes for Innovation from IBM & the Institute of Culinary Education. In 2008, Anthony was commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Steven L. Beshear for his work promoting and educating consumers about Bourbon.
In his free time, Anthony sings with Voices of Gotham, an award-winning acappella chorus, and serves as the Artistic Director for Broadway Theatre Studio, a new play development workshop he founded in Manhattan. He is an avid middle-distance runner, competing in a half-marathon each month on average, as well as a ballroom dance enthusiast with a particular affinity for Argentine tango. Anthony is also an active member of The Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, and can often be found at community outreach events guiding views through his prized Meade LX200 telescope.