George Restrepo - Coctelería Creativa
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Creative Recipes

Interview of the month Rating:3

Imagen The creative mixology that started being classic

The creative mixology that started being classic

Coctelería Creativa

Even though in Coctelería Creativa we promote the innovation within the mixology, creative recipes, the constant research of new elements, tones, ideas when creating a cocktail, we know for sure that the classical bases in the cocktail world are fundamental and indispensable for the professionals behind the bar. Joao Eusebio, Portuguese Bartender based in Barcelona, indicates that "is the starting point and the base of everything we make today; you must know how to interpret and respect the bases to be able to innovate and recreate."

Joao makes an imaginary trip to the past and feels like home. Thinking in the history and the origin behind every cocktail is the best because it drives him to the era where everything was very different. Is like going to the creative mixology from 1800 or 1900 that today we called classic. "To think in that period and in the persons who used to work those times…to feel like who conceived the formulas or recipes is fun and interesting, I love it. I can imagine myself in the skin of the Bartender, the creative person from that era. I can imagine being a bartender at that time, how today’s classics were created. It’s great simply trying to understand where the bartenders were looking and where they were going."

When we asked him about what he highlights about the classic cocktail world, Joao does not hesitate a second: "The quality of service, the deep knowledge of not only drinking but the customer, the history, anecdotes. I understand the world of bartending as an occupation and not as a job, as a craftsmanship. It's like being a carpenter: no matter how much you love wood, if you have no skill with your hands, it’s going to be very difficult for you to work with wood!"

Joao says that the products of other times were very different from those we have today, even though many brands ensure that it is the original product. "There are many factors for that: environmental and climate aspects, the type of product, for example. Rum from 1800 and one from the year 2000, uses different techniques that influence in the outcome of the bottle. Production techniques even from picking and choosing products that make the difference. In 1800 there was no such knowledge about distillation techniques and technologies as we have today. Nowadays the gin, for instance, with just one or four distillations you can have an excellent product. By that time you have to distill it probably around 12 times to achieve the purest essence to get the product."

Reinterpreting the product: Bijou de Noix
The Bijou is a classic cocktail composed of gin, vermouth, and Green Chartreuse. Joao brings a variation of this recipe and tells us his inspiration: "The day I tried the Walnut Liqueur, I found a similarity with the vermouth. The original Bijou is prepared with vermouth, and when trying Walnut Liqueur, automatically comes to my head a Negroni, a Martinez, or a Bijou coktails. After various tests and finding balanced notes, making adjustments always looking for a satisfactory final product, I came up with this recipe that I present here replacing sweet vermouth with Walnut Liqueur. I found the perfect balance that could give a different flavor but retaining the flavor structure of the original recipe: Bijou de Noix."

Versatility in the cocktail
About the herbal liqueur Chartreuse, Joao highlights the versatility of the brand: "You can use it as a cocktail base but also just a few drops, and with this you can have the herbal notes so characteristic of the product." Regarding the Walnut Liqueur used in the recipe or new version proposed for the Bijou, he indicates that you can drink it as an aperitif, "interpreting it as a vermouth," or even as a carajillo (Spanish drink that combines coffee with an alcoholic beverage). Another product that he emphasizes from the brand is the VEP Chartreuse (Yellow and Green): "I have recently known it; actually I have never seen it in a store or at a bar... My feeling was of great joy knowing that the VEP lords exist: they are like the parents or the grandparents of the Chartreuse house. With a longer barrel aging that gives them a sui generis taste, but always with the liqueur based that we are used to take, more wood, more tannins."

Times change and fashions come back (or never leave). A creative cocktail can be an artistic manifestation with the best of the Bijou style, this time, together with the master mixologist as the author who knows how to reinterpret and update the flavors without leaving their original mark.

Picture by © Coctelería Creativa - George RestrepoPicture by © Coctelería Creativa - George Restrepo

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