Keltoum Arrachidi : Le Mary Celeste (Paris)


Keltoum is a bartender at Le Mary Celeste, Paris. She shows us 2 cocktails, one is rum based and the other one is amaro lucano based

Keltoum introduce yourself
Hi I’m Keltoum Arrachidi, I am 23 years old, and I’m a bartender at Le Mary Celeste, Paris. At the beginning, bartending was just a living, but step by step it was better and better. It’s about service and relationships with people as well. I was a client at the Prescription cocktail club and I met Sullivan Doh there, who in my opinion is one of the best bartenders in Paris. He made me a lot of cocktails and it was like travelling. I fell in love with his drinks, his technique… I could watch him for hours. So, I put him under pressure to know how to become a bartender and if there was a position at Prescription for me. He said with no qualifications there was no way. Instead I took a position as a waitress  there and whenever the opportunity arose I stole moments behind the bar. Step by step, I worked until I became a bartender at the Prescription. Now I am very happy. The creativity, giving something of yourself and sharing what you like with people is what I’ve been looking for since I was a child.

The classic you want to show us
Manhattan with Rum
20ml of cocchi vermouth di Torino
50ml of plantation jamaica rum
2 dashes of peychaud bitters
1 zest of grapefruit

The bar or party you dream of
In fact it’s a bar I’ve never been to. It’s like my family bar… it’s the Basement Sate in London, with Byly, Cathleen and Pierre-Marie. I know I will love it. I know them so well and I know it’s gonna be my style because I love what they do, the way they work, how they define bartending, it would be a perfect match with me.
Otherwise the party I dream of, it’s not about a bar, it’s about being with friends. I don’t give a shit about cocktails, beer, whatever happens, it’s just the right people, anywhere.

The spirit you like the most
I love any spirits,  and like giving myself challenges like working with spirits I don’t like (light or strong). The one I love to drink is rum, it has always been this one, and it’s gonna be rum forever. I don’t really know why, there is such a diversity, so many flavours, that I feel attracted to it. Sometimes it will be powerful, very dry with a lot of character and another time it could have a lot of vanilla flavours with spices, slightly rounded. Same same, but different. The exception is agricultural rum, I can’t deal with it.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
Not too many ingredients, no more than 5, made with the right products. I don’t like cocktails that are too intellectual, too complex or trying to be trendy. Just simple and well balanced, that’s it.
An interesting product to work with is beetroot, because people can be scared of it. A beetroot salad can be repellent, so in a cocktail it’s weird for some people. There are so many types, with different tastes, like yellow, Chioggia and the red ones… so there are many nuances with this one simple product. It could be grows beet, leaves, or the vegetable and it has a powerful muddy taste that you have to mix perfectly, so as not to make it too strong, or overwhelming in a cocktail.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Beetroot Fields Forever
25ml of Amaro Lucano
25ml of nut wine
10ml of capillary syrup
20ml of lemon
1 pinch of grows beet germinated

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
Just go to the Calbar, to meet Thierry or Christophe. They have their own vision about bartending and they make it so relaxed, you just feel at home with friends.

Next post the 22nd of December with a bartender from London

We are in Sydney from 16th of December to 1st of January, if you want us to interview you, just mail us through the contact form.


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