Pierre, is a bartander at The Barber Shop, Sydney. He makes for us two cocktails, one with gin and green chartreuse, and the second one with rye whiskey.
Pierre introduce yourself
I’m Pierre Massin and I work at The Barber Shop in Sydney. I was a chef, but had some allergy issues with my hands, so I had to find something else to do. I became a waiter in a brasserie and discovered bartending. I then decided to become a bartender to travel, because you can find a job as bartender everywhere very easily and you have the contact with customers. In a way bartending gives me the same feeling I had when I was a chef because you are mixing flavours, fresh products and home made products for cocktails.
The classic you want to show us
30ml of gin
30ml of red vermouth
30ml of green chartreuse
2 dashes of orange bitters
The bar or party you dream of
It’s funny you ask me this question… I was wondering the same thing myself recently. I love the speakeasy style, but I am afraid it won’t be so trendy in the future, so I think something more open, something that you can see from the outside, even if there is not a huge billboard or sign. I don’t really know about the decoration, but I’d like to have big chairs at the bar, so you feel comfortable and at the bar and you can chill and discuss with the bartender. It could be a long bar, like in the Park Hyatt Vendome where you have 8 chairs at the bar, even if it’s a little bit to wide to interact with people. It would probably be a mix of the bar style from Park Hyatt Vendome and like the one at Little red door. For me I like sharing moments and letting the customers go behind the bar if they want to, like at home.
The spirit you like the most
For me it’s more about bourbon and I like to mix it with calvados. But I joined the Barber Shop to really understand how to work with gin, it’s a gin bar and they are at the top with it and I am always trying to learn more and more. You have a huge choice of gin. Some are more fruity and others more spicy. You can produce gin everywhere in the world, so each one gets its local touch and flavour. It’s a good entry point for cocktails. Most of the time people drink vodka, especially here with the vodka, lime and soda… it’s kind of national drink here in Australia. But when you explain to them, that gin is kind of like vodka with different tastes, it’s easy to make them try it and then they move forward.
What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
You just have to adapt to what the client wants. If the client is happy, even if you don’t like to make it, that’s a good one. Maybe make them discover some new products or sublimate an ingredient they already know.
I love sherbet at this moment, a kind of paste you make with sugar and zest, so it’s like a strong syrup or a cordial. I love fennel sorbet, I make it with lime and fennel to mix with pisco, like a twist on a pisco sour.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
Razor Blade Rattlesnake
50ml of Rye whiskey
20ml of fenel seed honey syrup
30ml of lemon juice
1 dash of angustura bitters
1 egg white
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
In Sydney you should go to Papa Gedes and ask for Nathan, it’s a new bar, not too far from here, but very nice.