Next week, you’ll be able to walk down to the Connaught Bar yourself and sample a drink from officially the best bar in the world. Until then, here’s how to throw one together yourself – perfect for celebrating the end of a miserable second lockdown.
Earlier this week we spoke to The Connaught Bar’s director of mixology Agostino Perrone. Today we caught up with head mixologist Giorgio Bargiani to get his insight into what makes a top barman – and his very own recipe for The Fleurissimo.
What skills do you need to be a world-class barkeep?
“Every bartender and bar professional has different skills, strengths and weaknesses but there are some key elements that bring us all together. The passion for what we do is the key driver.
Every day, we step into the Connaught Bar and feel grateful for having such a strong and motivated team, both in the bar and in the hotel. We all share the same values and that is essential. We genuinely believe that we are not just serving cocktails, but we’re there to make our guests’ day better.
Another crucial trait is curiosity and the will to learn about ingredients, techniques, people and cultures. In a world where we’re hyper-connected and distance can be overcome with a click, it is paramount to be in the know in order to be ahead of the game. Mixology is about chemistry but hospitality is about feelings. Blending science with humanity is what our profession entails.
How does the Connaught influence your menu?
Giorgio Bargiani: The Connaught Bar is our main source of inspiration. It is more than just a venue, it is an icon. Ago has built a legacy for bartenders but also a remarkable and consistent identity for the bar that continues to be reflected in our service style, our attitude and our cocktails.
Storytelling is an essential element in our mixology process, with every cocktail carrying the signature of our venue, be this in an ingredient, the balance of flavours, the inspiration or the presentation.
What’s trendy now and what’s the next big thing?
We have seen the boom of craft spirits, the renaissance of some traditional ingredients with outstanding heritage, the need to cater for ever-more discerning drinkers who seek quality over quantity and, more importantly, an experience over just a cocktail.
All of these have given mixology and the bar industry more visibility and relevance in both the hospitality and the cultural scene. This combination of factors will continue to push the bar industry to focus on the guest experience not as secondary to the cocktail offering but as an inseparable element.
How to mix: The Fleurissimo
- 15ml Rémy Martin VSOP
- 1 barspoon Crème de violet liqueur
- 1 Sugar cube soaked with Peycheaud bitters
Find a decadent coupe glass worthy of Marie Antoinette, then pour Rémy Martin VSOP over a bitter-soaked sugar cube of crème de violet liqueur and then top with champagne. Float a rose petal on the surface to channel the flower-loving queen even more.