Sara Moudoulaud is a Bartender at Divine in Paris. She makes us two cocktails, one with Calvados and Salers and the second with Bourbon and St Germain.
Sara introduce yourself
My name is Sara Moudoulaud, I always wanted to work in a bar, but first completed a diploma in hotel management. My first job after my studies was at Bespoke with Nicolas Munoz in Paris, then I moved to Little Red Door where I learnt new techniques and ways to work on drinks and menus. I followed Remy Savage to the Artesian in London where we launched three different menus, working differently than I’d ever worked before and there was a lot of pressure that came with a famous hotel. I have now moved back to Paris to open Nicolas Munoz’s’ new bar called Divine. It’s important for me because it’s like being back with my family and I love the idea of opening a place, even though it’s intense. I started in his bar four years ago because he trusted me and made me confident, so I feel like the circle is complete. Divine is a cocktail bar, but it’s still accessible to everyone like his other bar Bisou, so we serve beer and delicious bar food too.
The classic you want to show us
45ml of Calvados Christian Drouin
15ml of Fino Sherry
7.5ml of Salers
The bar you dream of
My dream bar would be very cosy, chic and not too big, for around 60 people. I think ambience wise it would be like Little Red Door. Simple drinks to make and sip and use all the things I’ve learnt over the last four years. I’d also serve little bits of food, bistronomie style to go with the cocktails. It could be in my hometown of Paris or London my other love or Barcelona because things are moving there and I am attracted to this city.
What do you do in your time off
I drink a lot, because I love food and my friends work in the industry, so there are always martinis and beer with every meal. My choices are more related to people than the place itself. So the bars I go to are Bisou(our sister bar), Little Red Door(a big part of my history), Mezcaleria(my brother used to work there), Copperbay and Le Syndicat(because they are our neighbours). My former teacher opened a restaurant names Simone la Cave et le Restaurant, with an interesting lunch menu and a good selection of wines and I love going there. Otherwise, I enjoy la Robe et le Palais, which is more old school with 800 references of natural wine and a new menu every day using organic, seasonal products.
The spirit you like the most
It would be the Calvados at this moment. People are forgetting these old spirits which are fruity and with a great body too. You can work with it in very different ways, which I like.
What makes a good cocktail
It’s a little bit subjective because everyone has different taste, even if balance is key. But the human touch is very important. That’s why mixology is just a part of what makes a good drink because people are less and less focused on what’s in the glass and more and more focused on the ambience. You need a bartender who makes you have a good time, who is able to come into your private sphere, and not only make you a good drink. Hospitality is key to someone appreciating a cocktail or not.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I love gentiane because you can have something bitter like Suze or sweet like Chartreuse. And it really helps to balance a drink and add something different in a cocktail and it works well with Calvados.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
35ml of Michter’s Bourbon
15ml of Campari
15ml of St Germain
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
When I was in Greece for Bar Engage, I met Constança and I loved her drinks, so you need to visit her bar in Lisbon, Toca da Raposa, it looks beautiful. Meg from FAM bar in London, Swift and obviously Satan’s Whiskers which is one of the best places for cocktails I’ve ever been to. And of course, all the bars in Paris I mentioned previously.