f l a i r
Beginning in 1995, a new trend originating in London, has paid
more attention to gourmet creativity. Melbourne, New Yorkand Tokyo have lost no time in following the British capital.
Mixologists are using fresh fruit to reinterpret traditional
cocktails in a style that is more luxurious and sophisticated
and which also uses the best quality ingredients. Thesedifferent ingredients have to harmoniously complement
each other so that no one dominates the others and so that
each of them enriches the overall mixture. An importantrecent trend has been the cocktail world’s increasing
attraction to women. In 1998, the TV channel HBC showedthe series
Sex and the City
which explores the lives of four
single women in their thirties in New York each of whom
has a taste for Cosmopolitans.
Today the foremost barmen or mixologists work asconsultants or spokesmen for different brands. This isthe case of Ben Hehir in London who creates cocktailsfor Belvedere, 10 Cane and Glenmorangie. The extremely
creative and experienced Australian mixologist has worked
for prestigious London establishments such as Met Bar
Rockwell, and Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier in Paris. His principle
is to remain faithful to the spirits he works with allowingthe natural elements that compose them to express theircharacter. He has invented the Glenmorangie “serves”,
various different ways in which to taste this Scotch whiskeywithout denaturing it. The best known mixologists, such asJonathan Pogash or Toni Abou-Ganim in the United States,are almost as well known as the great chefs with whom they
work increasingly closely. Their new slogan has become
“drink less but better”. The Hennesy brand, with its historic
presence on the United States cocktail and long drink market,proposes through its program “Art of Mixing” ultra premium
cocktails prepared by house oenologists working alongside
More than just a fashion, the cocktail’s comeback is a
serious trend that involves an entire market “segment”. Barprofessionals, through their unavoidable inuence, exercise
a central role in brand marketing and communication.
An important recent trendhas been the cocktail world’s increasingattraction to women. Mixtures aregetting more ophisticated.
claire smit and ben heir
Mixologists who are as creative as the cocktails they make.
Molecular mixology analyses the physical properties ofingredients and the reactions that take place when theseare mixed to create mousses, gels, vapours and cocktailsthat blur the boundaries between drink and food. Thetechnique encourages “fresh thought about the mannerin which tastes and textures, and above all traditionalmixtures,” can be combined. Three techniques aregenerally employed to obtain mousses with nitrous oxidein a gelatine solution; caviars and pearles obtained byspherication; this barbaric word is used when a liquid —inthis case a spirit or a liqueur— has its chemical componentsadulterated to create a gel that is poured, drop by dropinto another chemical substance with water added toit. As if by magic small semi-solid spheres are formedwhich resemble caviar. Finally, deconstruction makes itpossible to decompose traditional mixes and to discoverthem in a different light. For instance the three “solid”cocktails proposed by Tailor’s in New York: the Cuba Libre,a gelatinized cube —hence its name— of rhum and coca.The Ramos Gin Fizz Marshmallow, a marshmallow with aGin Fizz base and the White Russian Breakfast Cereal, RiceCrispies soaked in Kahlùa liqueur then dehydrated andmixed with vodka and sugar!
When he rst started, Ugo practised the profession ofbarman on the trendy party circuit, where appearanceis more important than content. He exercised his
, juggling behind the bar to create cocktails. He did nothowever wish to remain at this supercial level, anddecided to get to know every aspect of the profession,its recipes, serving techniques and dosages. He travelledto all parts of the world to discover unusual habits ofconsumption. In London he discovered that when it cameto bars the English were very much ahead of the French, inboth the creation and serving of exciting avours.An epicurean and lover of good things, Ugo developeda passion for mixology which he was one of the rst topractice in France. “The profession requires a constantlycreative state of mind. We practice the art of nding newcombinations and alliances between harmonious avours,working like a chef composing new dishes. Mixologyrequires fresh products and premium alcohols. Knowinghow the latter are prepared favours inspiration. Mixologyis the gastronomy of the cocktail,” he explains.Among the best Paris addresses he includes: L’Éclaireur,Bouddha Bar, L’Expérimental, Le Tourville and Le Rival.A good barman needs to listen to his customers and askthem questions about their preferences and tastes. Thecustomer must feel that he is being listened to, advised andrecognized. He is prepared to undergo an unforgettablepersonal experience if the exchange is worth while. “Agood barman must know how to communicate and haveempathy,” he says. “The profession is based on 20%knowledge, 20% technique and 60% state of mind!”Ugo Jobin and Moët Hennessy are often partners. At the barof L’Éclaireur, which he created with MH, three quarters ofthe drinks served are Group products. MHD, Millenium andHennessy hold events there. Ugo Jobin employs a team ofnine people in France, and a further two people in Shanghaiwhere he has just opened an ofce, the Asian marketbeing extremely promising. He is resolutely positioned inthe world of luxury, premium products and taste. The eldis one that it is longer and more difcult to conquer, butit also provides the means to differentiate himself and tocontinue exercising his profession with passion. One of UgoJobin’s main projects is to create a training school, madepossible through the support of Moët Hennessy.
L’Éclaireur, 10, rue Boissy-d’Anglas, Paris 8th, tel. 01 53 43 09 99.
Bouddha Bar, 8-12, rue Boissy-d’Anglas, Paris 8th, tel. 01 53 05 90 00.
Experimental, 37, rue Saint-Sauveur, Paris 2nd, tel. 01 45 08 88 09.
Le Rival, 1, rue Marbeuf, Paris 8th, tel. 01 47 23 40 99.
Le Tourville, 43, av. de la Motte-Picquet, Paris 7th, tel. 01 44 18 05 08.
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