Paul Carpentier : Danico (Paris)

Paul Carpentier, is a bartender at Danico in Paris. He makes two cocktails for us, one with gin and Cocchi vermouth amaro, and the second with sake and rye whiskey.

Paul introduce yourself
I’m Paul Carpentier, I’m a bartender at Danico in Paris. While studying psychology I was a bartender in a night club, l’Escalier Club, for 3-4 years in Saint Malo. I realized that working behind a bar was more matching with what I wanted to do. So I came to Paris and went to an amazing bar, the Sherrybutt. Watch bartenders like Lucass, Simon or Amaury was great, because like them I focus on classics cocktails and spirits. That was what I wanted to do, not just pour glasses. Then I started as a bar-back at Mama Shelter and became a bartender quite quickly. My target was the ECC in Paris, so when I received a call from them, the week after I was there. I began at Ballroom for 1,5 years with Xavier Lusso and Damien Aries who were my mentors. But I wanted to continue to improve my skills so I moved to London, still at the ECC, for 1,5 years again. There I understood why London is the first world cocktail scene. You learn a lot visiting other bars, they are so numerous, my roomates were bartender too, like Pierre-Marie you interviewed as well. When I came back to France, I became head bartender of the Ballroom then I heard about Danico opening, a good reason to stay instead of going to NCY or Sydney as I planned originally. Now in Paris there are a lot of good bars like Mabel for instance, where you find such a good quality of service and drinks, you just feel happy.

The classic you want to show us
Martinez
45ml of Gin Tanqueray Ten
20ml of Punt e mes
20ml of Cocchi Vermouth Amaro
5ml of Luxardo Maraschino
2 dashes of orange bitter

The bar or party you dream of
Danico is the kind of bar I’ve always dream of, but as I told you, I worked with Damien Aries and he makes me love tikis cocktail style and the idea to have my own a bar on a beach : a quality bar but on the beach. Not a too big venue with 50-60 people, two bartender stations with a small staff and a short list of cocktails, like a dozen. We would serve the kind of classic cocktails you have at Satan Whiskers in London, my favorite bar other there. A chef would work in the bar because for me it’s important to be able to discuss with a chief. You have a question about infusion or a product, most of the time he has the answer, and hospitality is not my background so I have some lack in basics. Regarding the decoration, it’s too early now, I want to find a place where I want to spend my life, but I didn’t find it yet, and the design/ambiance will be related to the location.
When I go out to drink after service, it’s more SoPi, rue Frochot, with the Lulu White, Glass, Dirty Dick where I have friends behind the bar. Each week, I try to go in a cocktail bar and a restaurant where I learn a lot, especially in restaurants. You find a dish like last time a desert based on pineapple, fennel and cream and you imagine how you can make it in a drink. We are lucky,in Paris, bars or restaurants the choice is bigger and bigger.

The spirit you like the most
I really focus on rye whiskey, and especially the Ryrittenhouse 100 proof. May be the spectrum is less important than with an islay or a scotch, but they are my favorite spirits, rye or bourbon. I like to work with what I drink the most myself.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
A cocktail is about products and balance obviously. I love stirred drinks, more than shaken, so the balance is very important. I drink more and more sweet, when a few years ago it was only about bitterness. It’s alway fun to have a rare ingredients to show, but at the end, classics are the best, like a good Manhattan or an Old fashioned.

I love to work with xeres, because the flavour spectrum is wide : manzanilla, fino, olorosso, pedro jimenez… and with any xeres rye matches perfectly. It can dry or sweet the cocktails, and people are not really used to them in France for the moment.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
C’est sake bon
20ml of Pedro Jimenez
25ml of Sake Fukuju
40ml of Rittenhouse 100 proof Rye Whiskey
3 dashes of White Soy sauce
Sprays of Tabacco

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
You need to go to Castor Club in Paris and La Fabrique in Saint Malo, my brother’s bar.

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