1. Could you describe your previous bar experience?
Thierry: "Eric has worked in some of the best bars in Paris & London ; he has worked in collaboration with some of the best that our industry has to offer in this area. His best memories I believe will surely be the times when he was working with Nick Strangeway at Che, Mayfair, London. Since he has the joined the EUVS team on the Bandor Island and has specialised on the historic part of the cocktail culture mostly in France while setting up category symposium on the island as he did for Tequila or Gin. He also has made a few guests appearances at the Paris Experimental Cocktail Club. I myself will describe my bar experience as a tester, an aficionados, a discoverer, a supporter! As truly I have spent most of my nights around a zinc!
Eric: " I had a fantastic time at CHE so did I at CECCONI'S, London gave me the opportunity to discover and learn the basics of our industry! Thierry brings a totally different vision as his experience as a bartender is close to non existing! Yes! Thierry has a background of marketers but mostly of event management since he created Paris Whisky Live during his time at La Maison Du Whisky. He can be found at any night of the week in a bar, tasting the latest cocktail listening to bartenders and always searching for the well hidden quality water holes, in fact he is the one who discovered the Paris Experimental Cocktail Club first!
2. What France need to copy from the other worldwide capital in term of cocktails?
Thierry: "I wouldn't say France need to copy anyone, if you look at history and take an example such as Soyer who was a chef in London 1850, he opened the first American Bar in London, in fact The Savoy had one of his concoctions on the list even if the original was is different Punch a La Soyer was truly a memorable creation that a few countries may today serve but I wouldn't use the word copy, merely inspiration. But France consumers I wish could more inspired by their American, German or English neighbours as the French consumers isn't really a cocktail aficionados as the American or English consumer is. Saying that France could learn a few trick in regards to cocktail bars while looking at America and England! Firstly the bar equipment, we need more companies to build proper bars, at the moment France is lacking of companies that know how to build bar, we need more competition in that area ! Brands needs to look at what their competitors are doing in the USA, the UK another countries as brands have a responsibility to educate the bartenders and the consumers!!"
Eric: "I think Thierry is right we need more equipment of quality, the offer here is too poor, the quality too low! But I believe this is changing, look at the Experimental who has bought a Koldraft ice machine but there is not one technician in Paris who can fix or repair it !!!!! It is even a nightmare to found Hoshizaki!! Same story on the brand, it is so hard to source some of the top quality brand !! Exemple, it is a mission to found brands such as Van Winkle or Tapatio in the shops or the wholesalers... Anyway, on a positive side the industry s changing and going to the right direction, this is what we are trying to achieve at Cocktails Spirits, showcasing each different category of spirits, sharing the knowledge.
3. How should Paris inspire the other capital ?
Eric: "Paris inspire individuals as it has a very strong history relative to cocktails, eating and drinking! Paris Absynthe house were as busy as London Gin house in the late 1880's, Paris is a cultural point, an exchange pole, the bar industry has a heavy history which can be found in Harry's Bar. As how Paris should inspire other capital I am not sure I can pin point the exacts areas but without a doubt design, music are some of the few strong points of the capital, concept which someone like Momo's has achieved to carry out to London."
Thierry: I think it is a constant exchange between capital, to a certain extent Paris has sourced inspiration into NY, London, Amsterdam, Berlin when you look at the bar scene. This is all about an exchange of ideas, rather than just trying to inspire other capital Paris stands has a middle ground for travellers to share ideas.
4. Actually which is the best beverage representing the French cocktail culture?
Thierry: "Arguably wine, one would say most certainly a certain sparkling wine invented by the French and named "Champagne" ; now you could say the French 75 maybe ?
Eric: "Maybe a cocktail invented in France, a classic sadly too many times forgotten, a classic that not all bartender can mastered, now would that be the Sidecar which was invented in Harry's NY Bar? Or would it be the bloody Mary? Or simply the Ricard?! I think it would be very hard to illustrate the French cocktail culture with uniquely one beverage but if I really had to I may refer to a cocktail named Punch a la Soyer, a mix of gin, fresh lemon juice, Maraschino liqueur and Champagne which was created by a French Chef in London 1850's!
5. Actually which person is representing the best the Parisian bar scene?
Eric: Ah, the ultimate challenge, now this is very hard to pin point, again the Parisian scene can not be illustrated by only one bartender but we will try!
THE designer: Philippe Starck no hesitation with his latest opening Mama Shelter
THE Bar entrepreneurs: the three owners of the Experimental Cocktail Club and Curio Parlor Cocktail Club: Olivier Bon, Pierre Charles Cros and Romée de Goriainoff
THE bartender: ah, I am surely forgetting a few people but as a hotel bar/palace host I will give you one name: Gildas at the George V, as a bartender I will mention Carina Soto Velasquez at the Experimental, Nico de Soto at the Mama, Emily at the Curio. I am sure I forget a few but these people are changing the Parisian bar scene today !
Thierry: "Well I think Eric nailed it ! I will also mention people like Xavier Padovani who opened Mama Shelter as a consultant and the Soda Bar in Lyon. Worth mentionning the Trigano family and Cyril Aouizerate at fresh spirits in our industry in Paris.
6. What is your favourite tale around the cocktail and beverage?
Thierry: I love the story of the Ramos Gin Fizz! I wish I could travel around the globe by bringing my favourite cocktail shaker in all the hotel I stay and get my favourite cocktails always with the same consistency.
Eric: Ah, must I chose one? I actually love all the tales behind the creation of cocktails, the story, the real facts behind the first of its kind made cocktail! Who named this cocktail? Why? When?? All these details are actually something that I am passionate about! Lately it is the history behind the French Chef Le Soyer. I started to investigate and have shared info with bartenders around the globe to learn more. So not one favorite tale but loving them all!!!!
7. If you have to elect the Ultimate beverage, the one who made the drink consumption an art, which recipe will you recommend?
Thierry: I have been known to have a preference for bitter and very sour cocktails but for me the Manhattan is the ultimate classic!
Eric: True, the Manhattan is a classic, but for me it has to be the creation of the gin and tonic in 1870, and the quote apparently by Churchill: "The Gin and Tonic probably saved more life that all the GP of the British Empire". Classic and a world saver!
8. Do you any other plan for CocktailsSpirit?
Thierry: We are taking the world over, launching in 5 key markets within the next ten years to bring our vision of the spirit and cocktails world.
Eric: Wait and see...
9. Then a full explication of which brands they can find and which events are offer to the visitor will be present with a link via your web site
Cocktails Spirits aims to educate professionals by introducing the industry's rich heritage, demonstrating its spirit of innovation, and presenting marks of quality that exist in the world of cocktails and spirits. A professionals-only event, Cocktails Spirits invites on the tenth and the eleventh of may France's foremost and influential bartenders, sommeliers, retailers, entrepreneurs, and journalists to discover the wideranging world of spirits and cocktail making in a comprehensive, focused environment. Cocktails Spirits is not merely a bar-show event where industry insiders present their products. Cocktails Spirits showcases the heritage, authenticity, and lifestyle position of each represented brand. The modern art foundation, La Maison Rouge, provides Cocktails Spirits with a striking stage and backdrop in which to present the various spirits and cocktails families as works of art, not as simply products. For the second edition, Cocktails Spirits 09 presents the essentials of the bar trade in twelve presentations. The program features familiar faces of our industry and rising stars from the bar scene who come from all over the world to share their knowledge and passion :
Sunday, 10th of may
1. GEORGES V - LE BAR with Johann Burgos, Gildas Lambert & Maxime Hoerth (Paris)
2. DOOR 74 with Philip Duff (Amsterdam)
3. BRAMBLE BAR with Jason Scott (Edinburgh)
4. RUBY with Rasmus Lomborg (Copenhagen)
5. THE MERCHANT HOTEL with Sean Muldoon & Jack McGarry (Belfast)
6. HIGH FIVE with Ueno Hidetsugu (Tokyo)
Monday, 11th of may
1. SODA BAR with Arnaud & Marc (Lyon)
2. LIQUID ALASSIO with Domenico Costa (Alassio)
3. SALVATORE FIFTY'S with Salvatore Calabrese (London)
4. LE LION with Joerg Meyer (Hamburg)
5. PLEASE DON'T TELL with Jimmy Meehan (New York)
6. EXPERIMENTAL COCKTAIL CLUB with Olivier Bon, Pierre-Charles Cros & Romée de Goriainoff (Paris)
7. SURPRISE « There is only one » (thank God for that!)
Program, List of Brands, & Registration on http://www.cocktailspirits.com/
And don’t forget : The Traveling Mixologists Party on the 10th of may
Thanks for this interview and the show, the whole team enjoyed the time in cocktailspirit. It's was such pleasant days, it's a kind of event where I found the frienships I look for when I pop in a bar.