Joseph Boley: Red House (Paris)

Joseph is the owner of Red House in Paris. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Rye and Drambuie and the second with Mezcal and Celery.

Joseph introduce yourself
I’m Joseph Boley and I’ve been living in Paris for 12 years and opened Red House five years ago. I didn’t really know I wanted to be a bartender until I moved to Paris and started working in a bistro. I actually did not speak french when I arrived so it was a job I knew I could do. After a while, I managed a bar here until I opened Red House. I wanted to keep the vibe of a Parisian expat bar, but with the quality of a good cocktail bar. The original menu had 45 classic drinks from a Corps Reviver to a Manhattan. The bar has definitely evolved in the last past few years, but I think we’ve also kept it’s original qualities.

The classic you want to show us
Red House Old Fashioned
1 Cardamon Pod
40ml of Rye Whiskey
10ml of Pimento Dram
10ml of Drambuie

The bar you dream of
Red House is my perfect bar… it’s a small bar in a back street in the 11th arrondissement in Paris. In fact if money was no object, I’d probably only change three things: open it in a busier neighborhood, do all the structural, exterior and interior work before we opened (as we’ve done things gradually over time) and I’d definitely like a bigger kitchen.

What do you do in your time off
I have a ten year old daughter, so my weekends are spent with her. I love going to other bars and restaurants as my primary source of inspiration these days comes from chefs and food.

The spirit you like the most
It definitively comes in phases. To be honest right now it’s rye whisky as it’s spicy and it fits my palette.

What makes a good cocktail
It has to taste good, be balanced and served in a good environment. But I think a good menu is far more important than one good cocktail.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Sherries and vermouths, as you get a lot more leeway in terms of volume. It gives us more flexibility and can make drinks longer. It’s like an ingredient in a stock or a broth.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
El Coco Verde
40ml of Mezcal infused with Star Anise
50ml of Homemade Celery Cordial
15ml of Lime
Splash of Soda

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
Definitely the American bar in The Savoy, London. And for a unique bar in Paris visit Lone Palm and ask for Ben (it’s next to Café Moderne). I’d also go to El Patio in Old Mesilla, New Mexico, which is an old cowboy bar… I think I might have actually been conceived in that bar.

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