01 July 2011

Joshua Fontaine and Carina Interview

1. What is the first cocktail you ever made?
Carina: Ron Medellin añejo (colombian rum), 2 lime wedges, salt rim, on the rocks
Joshua: Gimlet

2. What are your 3 favorite drinks plus recipes; old, new and your own?
C: (Old)
6cl Cognac XO
fresh mint leaves
2 dash of Peychaud's bitters
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 bar spoon of sugar
Julep Cup
Garnish: 2 sprigs of mint, powder with a little bit of sugar on top

J: (New)
TURF WAR (Katie Stipe, Vandaag NYC)
5cl Linie Acquavit
2cl Lillet blanc
1 bar spoon Luxardo maraschino
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash absinthe
Garnish: lemon twist and green olive

C: (Own)
1,5cl Dolin Genepi
1,5cl lemon juice
3cl Pimm's
1cl mezcal Del Maguey vida
top with Jarritos Tamarind soda
Garnish: cucumber slices and mint spring

2cl Rittenhouse Rye 100 Proof
2cl Santa Teresa Selecto rum
2cl Dubonnet
1cl Punt e Mes
Stir, strain, orange zest squeezed from 15 cm above the drink

3. Tell us about a new flavor you have discovered recently?
C: Well more than a new flavor is a new color, red cabbage infused in gin for 2 minutes brings an amazing natural purple color!

4. If you could pass just one thing, on to an apprentice bartender what would it be?
J: Cleanliness is next to orderliness is next to pre-shift stocking-ness is next to godliness!
C: Trust in your personality and read the newspaper.

5. What does the future hold for yourself and what do you see happening in the future in the industry?
For us, our immediate future entails building a strong team around us at Candelaria so we can have a bit more time to expand creatively and work on new ideas to make the best establishment possible. We are lucky to have found some great people who share our curiosity! And we are working on cultivating a customer base open to new or unfamiliar flavors.
In the industry, I don't know if it IS happening, but I would like to see less of a barrier between wine, beer and spirits. Most wine people I know don't really care for cocktails or spirits, and most cocktail people I know don't know much about wine. I think there is much knowledge to share which could result in some interesting libations and a deeper overall understanding of the different categories of alcoholic beverages.

6. What has been your biggest satisfaction from working behind the bar?
J: My biggest satisfaction has been to have the opportunity to create my own place with friends, for friends, and have a great response from the public at large to a new style and concept for Paris.
C: For myself, the passion that generates discovering new flavors and new products, meeting producers who share their "savoir-faire" and their own passion too. For my guests, surprising people and earning their trust so they enjoy drinking your creations and spending time with you at 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?
J: I'd like to meet the Sidecar and hear all the crazy stories she'd have about swinging 1920's Paris!

8. What influences your drinks from outside the industry (i.e. art, fashion)?
J: The amount of sleep I have gotten the night before, the weather, the music and my overall mood.
C: I studied ethnology and anthropology and actually to enjoy traveliing to the roots of spices and flavors and the different cultures from which they come.

9. If you where to break a bartending golden rule what would it be?
J & C: Contrary to popular wisdom, the customer is not always right! Sometimes it's better to listen to what they are looking for, then gently steer them down the road less taken to begin to expand their palate. The rewards can be greater (and sometimes much worse!) for both parties.

10. Outside of flavor and the craft of the cocktail what in your opinion effects the appreciation of cocktails the most?
J&C: The atmosphere of the imbibing environment: lighting, music, temperature, and most importantly, the company with which you are sharing your time.

11. If you where to champion a cocktail which would it be?
J: A gin Martini, not extremely dry and definitely not dirty, with a twist of lemon.
C: A well-made Aviation.

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