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Claire Smith is a mixologist. After long experience

acquired behind the bar, she joined Millennium as head
of communication for the brands Belvedere, Chopin and
10  Cane. A seminar on cocktails held in Paris by the Moët
Hennessy MIS team (Marketing Intelligence Team), gave
her the opportunity to present the cocktail world as it goes
through this revolution.
A brief look at the past. The etymology of the word cocktail
contains so many interpretations, legends or weird inventions
that we can not be certain of much. One thing that is certain,
however, is the American origin of this many faceted drink.
In the 1800s, the term designated a mixture of spirits,
sugar, bitters and water. Among the earliest creations that
experienced a moment of glory, should be mentioned a
cocktail with absinthe and orange bitters and the Martini,
Julep, Mojito and Daiquiri, all of which have remained great

A significant trend in classics.

One thing is certain: the American

the last twenty-five years,
origin of this many faceted drink.
cocktails are making
a strong come back In the mid nineteenth century the fashion for cocktails
became an absolute craze. New forms of transport were

in consumption habits on the rise and journeys by train or steamer provided the
opportunity for elegant and fashionable society to share a

for wines and spirits. way of living in which cocktails found a natural place. It was
equally during this period that the first ice machines and

This phenomenon is shakers appeared.

The entry into force of the 18th amendment of the American

explained by the arrival Constitution on 16 January 1920, establishing the prohibition

of alcohol, ironically led to the cocktail’s real consecration!
Trade in alcohol made at clandestine distilleries and the
of a new type of barman! simultaneous sale of bootlegged spirits prospered alongside
secret consumption. The best solution to disguise the taste
Known as a “mixologist”, of spirits that were often of mediocre quality was to add
ingredients with more agreeable aromas, hence the new
he or she creates new craze for the cocktail. For the first time, women participated
in this new mode of consumption which, after its birth in the
mixtures based on spirits United States, spread to Europe via the United Kingdom.
By 1933, at the end of the period of Prohibition, the attitude
and different ingredients, towards alcohol consumption had become more relaxed.
Bar accessories, such as the shaker, became fashionable
combining, like a chef objects, which appeared in films or could be bought for
the home. In the 1940s, the cocktail dress, less formal
in a restaurant, than an evening dress, made its appearance. In the 1950s
and 1960s, cocktails became ever more inventive. During
traditional recipes the following decade, however, the cocktail lost ground to
beer, before making a come back in the 1980s. In 1988, the
and the most inventive film Cocktail, by Roger Donaldson, starring Tom Cruise,
explored the barman’s profession. This revival in the
Photos Stéphanie Lacombe

cocktail’s popularity was nevertheless more an expression

of style than a gastronomic process.
Molecular mixology
The science of cocktail hype

Molecular mixology analyses the physical properties of

ingredients and the reactions that take place when these
are mixed to create mousses, gels, vapours and cocktails
that blur the boundaries between drink and food. The
technique encourages “fresh thought about the manner
in which tastes and textures, and above all traditional
mixtures,” can be combined. Three techniques are
generally employed to obtain mousses with nitrous oxide
in a gelatine solution; caviars and pearles obtained by
spherification; this barbaric word is used when a liquid —in
this case a spirit or a liqueur— has its chemical components
adulterated to create a gel that is poured, drop by drop
Beginning in 1995, a new trend originating in London, has paid into another chemical substance with water added to
more attention to gourmet creativity. Melbourne, New York it. As if by magic small semi-solid spheres are formed
and Tokyo have lost no time in following the British capital. which resemble caviar. Finally, deconstruction makes it
Mixologists are using fresh fruit to reinterpret traditional possible to decompose traditional mixes and to discover Ugo Jobin
cocktails in a style that is more luxurious and sophisticated them in a different light. For instance the three “solid” Premium mixologist
and which also uses the best quality ingredients. These cocktails proposed by Tailor’s in New York: the Cuba Libre,
different ingredients have to harmoniously complement a gelatinized cube —hence its name— of rhum and coca. When he first started, Ugo practised the profession of
each other so that no one dominates the others and so that The Ramos Gin Fizz Marshmallow, a marshmallow with a barman on the trendy party circuit, where appearance
each of them enriches the overall mixture. An important Gin Fizz base and the White Russian Breakfast Cereal, Rice is more important than content. He exercised his flair,
recent trend has been the cocktail world’s increasing Crispies soaked in Kahlùa liqueur then dehydrated and juggling behind the bar to create cocktails. He did not
attraction to women. In 1998, the TV channel HBC showed mixed with vodka and sugar! however wish to remain at this superficial level, and
An important recent trend the series Sex and the City which explores the lives of four decided to get to know every aspect of the profession,

has been the cocktail world’s increasing single women in their thirties in New York each of whom
has a taste for Cosmopolitans.
its recipes, serving techniques and dosages. He travelled
to all parts of the world to discover unusual habits of
attraction to women. Mixtures are Today the foremost barmen or mixologists work as consumption. In London he discovered that when it came

getting more ophisticated. consultants or spokesmen for different brands. This is

the case of Ben Hehir in London who creates cocktails
to bars the English were very much ahead of the French, in
both the creation and serving of exciting flavours.
for Belvedere, 10 Cane and Glenmorangie. The extremely An epicurean and lover of good things, Ugo developed
creative and experienced Australian mixologist has worked a passion for mixology which he was one of the first to
for prestigious London establishments such as Met Bar practice in France. “The profession requires a constantly

Rockwell, and Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier in Paris. His principle creative state of mind. We practice the art of finding new

is to remain faithful to the spirits he works with allowing combinations and alliances between harmonious flavours,
the natural elements that compose them to express their working like a chef composing new dishes. Mixology
character. He has invented the Glenmorangie “serves”, requires fresh products and premium alcohols. Knowing
various different ways in which to taste this Scotch whiskey how the latter are prepared favours inspiration. Mixology
without denaturing it. The best known mixologists, such as is the gastronomy of the cocktail,” he explains.
Jonathan Pogash or Toni Abou-Ganim in the United States, Among the best Paris addresses he includes: L’Éclaireur,
are almost as well known as the great chefs with whom they Bouddha Bar, L’Expérimental, Le Tourville and Le Rival.
work increasingly closely. Their new slogan has become A good barman needs to listen to his customers and ask
“drink less but better”. The Hennesy brand, with its historic them questions about their preferences and tastes. The
presence on the United States cocktail and long drink market, customer must feel that he is being listened to, advised and
proposes through its program “Art of Mixing” ultra premium recognized. He is prepared to undergo an unforgettable
cocktails prepared by house oenologists working alongside personal experience if the exchange is worth while. “A
mixologists. good barman must know how to communicate and have
More than just a fashion, the cocktail’s comeback is a empathy,” he says. “The profession is based on 20%
serious trend that involves an entire market “segment”. Bar knowledge, 20% technique and 60% state of mind!”
professionals, through their unavoidable influence, exercise Ugo Jobin and Moët Hennessy are often partners. At the bar
a central role in brand marketing and communication. of L’Éclaireur, which he created with MH, three quarters of
Guillaume Uguen the drinks served are Group products. MHD, Millenium and
Hennessy hold events there. Ugo Jobin employs a team of
nine people in France, and a further two people in Shanghai
where he has just opened an office, the Asian market
being extremely promising. He is resolutely positioned in
the world of luxury, premium products and taste. The field
is one that it is longer and more difficult to conquer, but
it also provides the means to differentiate himself and to
continue exercising his profession with passion. One of Ugo
Jobin’s main projects is to create a training school, made
possible through the support of Moët Hennessy.  G. U.

Address Book
• 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.

Claire Smith and Ben Hehir • Le Rival, 1, rue Marbeuf, Paris 8th, tel. 01 47 23 40 99.

Mixologists who are as creative as the • Le Tourville, 43, av. de la Motte-Picquet, Paris 7th, tel. 01 44 18 05 08.
cocktails they make.

Givenchy Haute Couture Dior Haute Couture

Summer 2008. Summer 2008.

Fashion cocktail mode

A short history from 1920 to our day

The cocktail dress originated in the United States in the

1920s, as a clandestine garment. During Prohibition, women
invited to the highly successful clandestine cocktail parties
began to wear elegant dresses that were less formal than
evening dresses. After the Second World War, Parisian fashion
designers took the trend in hand giving the cocktail style
both official status and its extremely chic lines. Society had
been transformed by the years of conflict and dress codes
were now more flexible, reflecting less rigid human relations.
The cocktail party became a fashionable amusement, an
event at which it was important to be seen having a good
time, preferably wearing a little black dress, designed by Dior,
Balmain, Givenchy or Balenciaga. These gatherings became
the stage for the latest fashions in drink and clothing. The
two essential pieces of the new social puzzle would now
develop alongside each other, responding to the same logic
and illustrating evolutions in style and the best society.
Fashion, in the 1960s, was fun and experimental. Colourful
futuristic designs by Courrèges or Emilio Pucci’s made in
Riviera kaleidoscopes composed cool, youthful silhouettes.
Fashionable drinks, employing the same combinations of
daring tones, were sipped from glasses accessorized by
little parasols and coloured plastic mixers. The following
decade was, however, less sensitive to the charms of mixed
drinks. The flower power revolution was conducted in hippie
attire, holding a glass of wine. Nature was in fashion, and
High fashion in New York City the subtle complex art of the cocktail was for now put to
The Moët & Chandon champagne cocktails on the list of one side, although not for long, as in the 1980s cocktails
PDT, the return of traditional recipes such as the French were once more revived. The cocktail party, as a meeting
75 and cocktails with bitters, absinthe or the liqueur Saint- of the fashionable, remained an opportunity for making
Germain —made from the wild elderberry flower— in all contacts that no working girl would pass up, just as she
“mixology” bars”. would find it impossible to resist the spectacular silhouettes
Traditional and kitsch cocktails such as punches —served sculpted by fashion designers. The same sophistication was
by the ladle or the cup at Death  &  Co; the traditional employed for shakers which appeared in fluorescent colours
cocktail list at Smith  &  Mills; the Bazooka cocktail at that matched the fashionable shades. At the cinema, Tom
Tailors, a mixture of Vodka and bubblegum alcohol (!); and Cruise in the kitsch movie Cocktail aroused the senses of
lastly the return of island cocktails served in exotic shells the fashionable set with alcoholic mixtures that seemed to
at Elettaria and PDT. come out of some artificial paradise.
Brewed cocktails such as Benton’s Old Fashioned at PDT In the 1990s the party changed in style with the arrival of a
with bourbon brewed with bacon and rhum brewed with period of minimalism, in which less is more gave the tone,
popcorn, gin brewed with roses, cognac brewed with nuts embodied in the pure style of certain American designers. The
or tequila brewed with pineapple and sage at Elettaria. contents of glasses reflected this new state of mind: instead
Homemade products such as the pickles at PDT, ground of gaudy ingredients, very high quality ingredients were now
and strained to replace olive juice in Dirty martinis. preferred, irrespective of their appearance or colour. This
Culinary cocktails with spices such as ginger or tamarind might have been dull, but in fact it rarely was. And then the
at Elettaria. 2000s proved that this maturity did not mark the beginning
of decline. On the contrary, the twenty-first century has so
Address Book far provided a clever and creative cocktail of fashion and
• Death & Co, 433 East 6th Street, tel. 212-388-0882. amusement in which women are calling the tune.
• Elettaria, 38 West 8th Street, tel. 212-677-3833. Before Sex and the City, no one wanted to drink a Vodka
• PDT, 113 St Marks Place, tel. 212-64-0386. Martini or a Cosmopolitan. The series which turned the
• Smith & Mills, 71 North Moore Street, tel. 212-219-8568. fashion scene upside down at the same time endorsed
• Tailor, 525 Broome Street, tel. 212-334-5182. the arrival of strong, glamorous and forceful women as
participants in nightlife that had up until then been dominated
by men. Following close on the heels of the heroines of the
series, this new breed of single women frequented clubs,

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