After 10 years in London running other people’s award winning gastro pubs and celebrity Hampstead hangouts, there was nothing Paul wanted more than to open his own place. His greatest achievement? Fulfilling this dream. On November 1st 2007 Paul opened Lounge Bohemia. Paul harks back to another era, seemingly more at home in the prohibition age than our whilst his drink remain comtemporary with obvious classic influences.
1. What is the first cocktail you ever made?
Most likely new years punch made with the help of my granny at the age of 10 - czech "rum", white wine, tinned tropical fruit cocktail, tinned clementines and pineapple, plus all the juices. Served in a glass with a green glass monkey hanging on the side. Memories, hmmmm.
2. What are your 3 favourite drinks? With recipes if you have them; old, new and your own.
The two favourites from my own recipes have to be Sgt. Pepper - black pepper infused vodka, elderflower liquor & cordial, lemon juice and Old Castro - cuban cigar infused havana barrel proof rum with madagascar vanilla and orange bitters served over vanilla candy floss from a chilled cigar tube. A favourite from other people's recipes is Bohemian Iced Tea which creator, Alex Kammerling, has kindly let me have on my menu for the last 3 years - lemon vodka, Becherovka, Krupnik, peach liqueur, earl grey tea, lemon juice.
3. Tell us about a new flavour you have discovered recently.
Black cardamon. It has a nice smokey flavour.
4. If you could pass just one thing on to an apprentice bartender, what would it be?
Don't be afraid to experiment.
5. What does the future hold for yourself, and what do you see happening in the future within the industry?
I hope the future will be as kind as the past and I continue to have the opportunity to work in collaboration with people from other industries on creative projects, like my work with Hostem and the Gorilla Perfumers. Some say a tough economic climate can foster creativity and counter culture, it would be nice to see little more of that in the industry.
6. What has been your biggest satisfaction from working behind the bar?
Positive feed back from the other side of the bar.
7. If you were to have a conversation with a cocktail (and presuming it could talk back to you and tell you its past), which cocktail would it be and why?
An Old Fashioned, it must have seen a few things whilst all that stirring was going on...
8. What influences your drinks from outside the industry?
Most of my influence comes from outside the industry, it can be anything from food to architecture.
9. If you were to break a bartending golden rule, what would it be?
All of them, I don't believe in rules!
10. Outside of flavour and the craft of the cocktail, what in your opinion affects the appreciation of cocktails the most?
Presentation is key, people love a bit of theatre and surprise.
11. If you were to champion a cocktail, which would it be?
A well made Tommy's margarita. Because my wife loves it.