Mixologist of the Month - Jeremy Pascal
- Date of Birth: 12th November
- Birth place: Paris
- Height: 1m 80cm
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: French
"French born Jeremy Pascal has been in the hospitality industry since 2002 having begun his journey at Ferrandi; one of France's leading professional training schools in culinary arts. Since moving to the UK in 2004, Jeremy carried on his training at the School of Food, Birmingham, graduating with an Intermediate Certificate in Wines, Spirits & Other Alcoholic Beverages. Jeremy's wealth of experience has seen him hold managerial positions all around the UK at various Hotel du Vin & Bistro locations, The Gilbert Scott and Perkin Reveller. Jeremy was the Winner of UK Final Benedictine 2014 and currently still stands as an ambassador for the French herbal liqueur. "
Jeremy's Signature Cocktails
Awards, Accolades and Trophies
Winner of London heats Buffalo Trace competition 2015.
Winner of UK Final Benedictine competition 2014.
Winner of Benedictine London Heat Competition 2014.
Winner of incentive Havana Club Maestro 2014.
Winner of Havana Club Grand Prix London regional competition 2014.
Winner of Beefeater 24 London regional competition 2013.
Winner of Beefeater 24 London regional competition 2012.
UK Habano Sommelier 2010, Hunters & Frankau, London.
Gold Award Kauffman Martini Competition 2010, London.
Runner up of best Bloody Mary of Dorset 2009, competition organised by Ketel One Vodka.
Ambassador of Armagnac 2008, French Coq & Co. Ltd.
Ambassador of Cognac 2007, French Coq & Co. Ltd.
Cellar bar and Bubble lounge Bars at Hotel du Vin Birmingham, second best selection of spirits of UK 2007. (Class Magazine, UKBG).
Claim to Fame
I would probably say my knowledge & passion...
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I am not the biggest beer drinker, but I do enjoy from time to time some of more peculiar ones. I love using beers as an ingredient; as a reduction or part of a drink. One of the oldest cocktails is called a Flip which uses beer as its main ingredients. If I have to choose a beer, I would go for a Trappist beer, like a Westmalle. Years ago I used to drink Kwack, I have a great memory of its fruity flavour.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
To be consistent in your job, always aim for perfection, and never say that you know / you've learnt everything; there is always more to learn!
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Unfortunately, the line between confidence and arrogance is often crossed which is shame when bartenders are talented. I also dislike dirty bartenders. It is so important to look fresh and professional behind the bar. The bartender is a huge part of selling a drink to the customer.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
I also need to find out the theme, or style of the food menu first. Then I would work around the same ideas, implementing drinks that work well with the food. With a bit of time, working on a food/cocktail pairing is actually something very interesting to work on.
How did you get started?
It was a complete accident! I left Paris after four years of studying and working as a chef de partie in a kitchen. I found my job at Hotel du Vin & Bistro in Birmingham by luck. I thought it was for a kitchen role but once I arrived, I was offered the choice of working in the bar or restaurant; I said bar and from that day forward, I have never left.
How were you trained in bartending?
I trained on the job. I have no previous experience or knowledge of bar work when I came to the UK. I learnt mainly through training opportunities, curiosity and the chance to work with passionate and talented bartenders.
Did you take any courses?
I fulfilled a course in Birmingham where I passed my WSET.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
At the moment I would say local, fresh and organic ingredients are the top trend.
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I usually take a classic cocktail (I love digging in to the old forgotten ones), tweak them, play around with them, and paid different flavours with them. When it comes to flavours, my inspiration definitely comes from everything I learnt working in a kitchen. The balance of drinks came with time and learning.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
Now that's a tough one! There are so many; off the top of my head, it would be a Manhattan
What are some of your favourite tools?
A Rotavapor (cold distillation), a dehydrator, and a new one that's yet to be launched, a centrifuge. I am also really into ice carving, so I love using ice picks.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
The Internet is second to none. I also love reading. I have lots of books written by great bartenders in the industry. I have also had the chance to meet and get to know some great bartenders, it is always great to share ideas.
What does success mean for you?
When I am enjoying every second of my job.
What are some current trends you've seen in the cocktail market?
Bottled cocktails are now very popular. I also see lots of bars going back in time to resuscitate the forgotten classics. Science is very opened now too, focussing mainly on texture, balance of acidity, and sweetness.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully running my own bar.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would have to say something to do with food. Otherwise I would have tried to work in a world of cinema and the media. My parents always told me to find a job that I enjoy, and I have always loved food, drinks and movies!
Your biggest career influencer?
I have many. I would definitely say a few names like Tony Conigliaro, Marian Becke, amongst many other talented bartenders I have met within my career.
First drink you ever tried?
There is a funny little story behind this. I was very young, probably seven or eight years old, the drink was called Suze; a gentian aperitif. I was on a sunny terrace with my family including my Grandma, it was her drink. She had asked me to hold it so behind her back I took a big gulp and spat the whole drink onto her feet! I wasn't expecting it to taste quite so strong!
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
I had the worst hangover on Pastis (Ricard) when I did the Dax Feria in South West of France. I didn't touch Pastis for at least ten years, but now I love using drops of it in my cocktails, it actually provides an amazing smell.
Your hangover cure?
A good Bloody Mary and egg eggnog.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
I would take a few months off and do a huge trip around the world with my other half. I would also spend some time with my family and then work on a new bar project.
Bar or cellar at home?
I have some great bottles I keep for very special occasions. One day I would love to have a bar in my own home.
Anything that has got body and character. I prefer red wines over white, but I'm not too fussy.
That's another tough questions. I do love my gins, rums and bourbons. I also love using absinthe within my cocktails.
I have had too many to pick just one. I love a Martinez, an Old Fashioned, a Classic Manhattan, a Daiquiri, a Last Word, or a Millionaire.
By far Nightjar, but I also enjoy 69 Colebrook Row and White Lyan.
That's hard. Recently I really enjoyed dinner at Medlar in Chelsea.
Cuba; Havana has been one of my most memorable places. I am also in love with Florence, its one of the most beautiful city I have been to. I have been three times and will go for many more I am sure.
I love movies. I would say Forrest Gump is one of my favourites but I also love all of the star wars and Lord of the rings films. I love fantasy movies.
Of mice and men by John Steinbeck, I read it when I was younger and still really enjoy it.
Again, very hard question, but one that sticks out is Metallica, the black album
I really like lots of kind of music. My iTunes is full of old songs from Ray Charles, Otis Reading, Nina Simone to some pop rock from 80's & 90's like Metallica, Dire Straits & Nirvana, all the ones who gave me envy of playing the guitar!