One of the highlights of Cocktails in the City London this year is the launch of the CITC International Bar.
Three of the most influential and respected bars from across Europe are flying in and coming together shoulder-to-shoulder to provide guests a chance to enjoy the finer tastes of Europe in just a few short steps.
Parisian bar and restaurant Café Moderne in partnership with St-Germain will be joining The Atrium Bar from Florence and House Bar from Amsterdam to create amazing drinks and share their experiences of cocktails on the continent.
For people who haven't been to Café Moderne before, can you give us a brief overview...
We are located in the Bastille area of Paris and the business is both a restaurant and bar. We are famous for our meatballs, burgers and tartare and the drinks list is produced to complement the food offering.
The look and feel is cosy with a light New York influence due in part to the fact I worked and lived there before coming back to Paris to open Café Moderne.
Could you tell us more about the drinks offering at Café Moderne...
A lot of the ingredients in the drinks are homemade, we like to promote local products and guests can enjoy over 70% of the cocktails in an alcohol-free version.
The non-alcoholic negroni is really interesting and I might even bring a few samples over to CITC. The virgin gin is juniper berries in a house tonic cordial, the vermouth we use grape juice that we allowed to ferment and age infused with fresh herbs and for the bitterness we use an Italian soda and take out the bubbles and infuse with bergamot.
And can you tell me a bit more about yourself?
I was living in New York when I discovered cocktail culture and I was immediately taken in by it. I read a lot, started working in hospitality and came back to Paris to open Café Moderne.
In 2014 I was the first French person to podium at the World Class Bartender awards and then started mentoring and working with my colleague Jennifer Le Nechet who became the first lady to win World Class in 2016, a competition involving 56 countries.
And I believe you are about to release a new concept; The Sample Menu, can you tell us more about it.
The Sample Menu has been more than a year in the making involving drinks, music and art. Working in collaboration with beat-makers Soul Square and Tattoo artists Rude and Bichon the project is underpinned by the premise that creation comes through inspiration from others, for example hip-hop as a style is built upon sampling other songs to create something new.
The twelve drinks are inspired by different hip-hop tracks from the taste to the garnish and guests can access the tracks through QR codes on the menu.It is well known that music affects peoples perception of flavour and I have tried to work with the different elements of hip hop and translate them into styles of flavour.
And what drinks have you created for Cocktails in the City?
The first drink appears on our new menu and the second follows the brief from CITC - inspired by London.
Á Bicylette - inspired by the french lifestyle for the aperitif
25ml Fino Sherry
Stirred and strained over a rock of ice garnished with mint, lemon zest, gypsophile flower
Cultural Martini - London is a melting pot of cultures and at Cafe Moderne we work with a lot of oils and so this drink takes the classic martini with the french twist of St-Germain and the guest can choose from a range of oils - each oil inspired by a different culture from London - Indian and Jamaican.
50ml Oxley Gin
Dash of Smokey Whisky
Choice of London oil - Jamaica Chilli or Indian
Garnished with parsley, grapefruit zest.