Thomas Auger : Nola (London)


Guillaume is a bartender from Nola, London. He shows us 2 cocktails, one is rye whisky based and the other one is gin and Saint Germain based

Thomas introduce yourself
Hi I’m Thomas, and I’m a bartender at Nola, London. I began my job as a bartender more or less to pay my rent each month, because my real job was as a graphic artist. That’s why I’ve been more and more interested by cocktails because it’s beautiful and it’s related to flavors like food which I am a big fan of. I was a chef for a while as well. So cocktails were a good match between the scenography and taste. And in the mean time it’s better than working in a kitchen where you can’t discuss with your clients to get their feedback immediately. Also, clients can tell you stories about spirits and I am curious and love that. So now I am at Nola, I had a date there and I fell in love with the place, so asked to work there the same evening.

The classic you want to show us
Old fashioned
50ml of Rye whisky
15ml of tobacco liqueur
2 dashes of Angustura bitters
2 dashes of chocolate mole bitters
Orange garnish

The bar or party you dream of
A cosy bar like here, no show offs, just chilled, but at the same time great service for the customers. Making them satisfied, happy and helping them to discover the cocktail world, because most people don’t really know it and why we are so passionate. That’s the alchemy I seek when I want to work with a small team where team building is fundamental. When it’s busy you need to trust the others. Otherwise, because I love food, I love bars where you can have a pairing with food.

The spirit you like the most
My favorite spirit is rum, because my soul brother comes from Guadeloupe so he made me discover agricultural rum, first with drinks like ti punch (sugar and lemon). But since I moved to London I love gin more and more : not too strong or heady. But since I’ve been at Nola, I am more and more into Rye Whisky, it’s less sweet than bourbon, but has a lot of spices.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
A good cocktail is just well balanced between the different tastes. Not too washed, you need to feel the strength of the different elements without it burning your throat. It’s like music. It’s the whole together, and when you pay attention there are different melodies inside, just like food. So not a lot of ingredients, but trying to push the barriers with what you have.
What I want to highlight is not a spirit, but bitters. They are interesting because the base is bitterness and normally that’s the taste which warns your body that there is a danger, it’s poisonous. So it’s the last stage of taste, but it allows us to really mix all the ingredients well. It’s more about the binder side than the taste. And my favorite one is creole bitters with its red colour.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Iron lady
20ml of Saint Germain
Barspoon of Laphroaig whisky
25ml of gin
20ml of egg white
25ml of lemon
10ml of sugar
Dash of Grapefruit

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
In London you have to go to Happinness Forget, Portside Parlour and Callooh Callay. It’s the same as here,  the same spirit, it’s like family.

See you next Monday the 1st of December to discover another bartender

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