Cheers! Expert gives bartenders some tips on mixology
Guillaume Jubien must have one of the best jobs in the world being paid to mix cocktails and travel the globe.
But it is not all play and no work for Mr Jubien, who was in Bermuda this week to give bartenders, restaurant managers and drinks retailers a master class in mixology and tasting at Harley’s restaurant in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess and the Elbow Beach.
Currently in the midst of a series of workshops in Trinidad, Barbados, St Maarten, the Bahamas, Bermuda and his next destination Puerto Rico as part of Grey Goose’s educational programme, Mr Jubien, a brand ambassador for the vodka and renowned mixologist of almost 12 years, took time out from his busy schedule to speak to
The Royal Gazette about his work.
“I’m here to spread the love for Grey Goose,” he said. “I do it because I’m very passionate about my work and I love the brand.
“With a background of being a bar tender for a number of years working around the world, I believe in people and sharing my experience and love for cocktails and I’m all for changing people’s perceptions.”
In the interactive session he held yesterday morning, Mr Jubien started with a 15-minute talk about the brand and his experience before launching into the introduction of flavours and passing cocktails around the room to be sampled all of which he makes live in front of the audience.
“I am here to share my life experience and stories so that everyone leaves having learned something and had a great time,” he said.
Continually striving to create new recipes, Mr Jubien also has a love for food and is always looking to explore the use of different ingredients at any opportunity he gets.
Transferring that knowledge and skills to the participants of his classes, as well as fielding questions while in action behind the bar, he has even inspired some to change their menus, which is turn gives him a big job satisfaction.
“It has been very intense because it’s been non-stop,” he said. “A lot of energy goes into each session and I like to make it as interactive as possible, giving everyone a chance to taste the drinks and get close to the action, as well as cracking a few jokes here and there.
“The key is that people who participate are willing to learn and take the next step that is the most important thing for me.”
Mr Jubien, who was accompanied on his visit by Grey Goose brand master Aaron Rodonis, who conducted information sessions with Bacardi International staff and the sales team at distributors Burrows & Lightbourn, started his career as a bartender in London in 1996 having completed a degree in marketing and management.
As head bartender of the team that opened the Met Bar at the Metropolitan Hotel in London, he managed staff training, menus and co-ordination of all pre-opening activities for the bar, prior to moving on six years later to open Ian Schrager’s exclusive bars at St Martin Lane and Sanderson Hotels, which were designed by Philippe Starck.
Joining LVMH China as Grand Marnier’s brand ambassador in Asia, before which he made a name for himself at Schrager’s properties and some of the world’s most prestigious bars including the VOLAR Shanghai, Conrad Tokyo, Lounge O at Orbient, Blue & Waza, Slinky Tokyo and Hakkasan London.
His other passions include photography and he collaborated on Sauceguide to Cocktails by Simon Difford, the French, English, Spanish and Japanese speaker, currently lives in Los Angeles.
Ending the session with a creation called ‘Le Fizz’ a mix of one ounce Grey Goose Original, half an ounce of St Germain Elderflower Liqueur and half an ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice topped off with chilled soda water in honour of Bermudians’ love of celebration, Mr Jubien related a story about how he had graduated as a citizen of the world in the eyes of his uncle who arrived on his doorstep one day unannounced 17 years after his then little nephew had first left his homeland of France.
“Being a citizen of the world is an example of sharing your passion, love and understanding,” he said.