Pierre-Marie Bisson : Basement Sate (London)

Pierre-Marie is a bartender at Basement Sate, London. He shows us 2 cocktails, one is cognac and antica formula based and the other one is gin based

Pierre-Marie introduce yourself
Hi I’m Pierre-Marie, and I’m a bartender at Basement Sate, London.  I never wanted to be a bartender, it was unexpected. I was an accountant and when I started to study English again, another student was working at La Perla in Paris, and I began to drink there with him.  Once they needed someone, and I needed money, so I became a waiter there. It just came naturally, watching the guys, asking questions, mainly about tequila. I started testing cocktails and realised what was possible with spirits and how you can mix them, so I asked to work behind the bar. Then I visited a lot of cocktail bars in Paris and asked if I could work for them. First, Curio Parlor and then ECC Paris. And now here I am in London, at Basement Sate.

The classic you want to show us
Vieux carré
25ml Antica formula
25ml Cognac
2 dashes of angostura bitter
2 dashes of peychaud bitter
Barspoon of benedictine
25ml of Machir bay (Kilchoman whisky)

The bar or party you dream of
The bar I would like to work at and the one I would like to party in are completely different. For partying it should be rock’n roll, I love cocktails, but I like people with loud music, a bit of a crowd and noise around me. So it should be a mix of a cocktail bar and a dive bar. As a bar to work in, I want a bar like here in Basement Sate, where you have a lot of space for yourself and even when you the bar is packed, you have this kind of separation between you and the customers. You also have everything available to provide for their needs. So 90% cocktail bar and 10% dive bar.

The spirit you like the most
During the two years I was working at ECC Paris with Gwladys, we tried to work with every french product we could, like Suze, gentiane liquors, calvados and armagnac. I am very proud of where I come from and the products we make in France. French people should not only be proud of their products, but also how  they can use them. That’s why I love to work with these spirits.

What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
A good cocktail is not about each ingredient, but about what brings them all together. Sometimes you see customers who want to take a cocktail because of one ingredient and you have to convince them that what is important is what all the ingredients will give you. Finally, a drink is the sum of all of its products.
What I want to highlights at this moment is the Vulson Rye Spirit, 100% Rye Spirit, made by the Domaine des Hautes Glaces  in the French Alps. Because when I used to work at Curio Parlor I met the guys who produce Serac (vodka) or Rye full organic at the Domaine des Hautes Glaces. It was really different but not nice enough, but  3 years later Vulson have perfected their product and it seems they have really achieved what they were looking for. I love the versatility, the aromas, everyone smells something slightly different related to their own experiences. For something that is not aged, they get something more than many aged products.

The cocktail signature you want to show us 
Eagle in a tube
Barspoon on Fernet
Barspoon of sugar syrup
15ml of white port
15ml of lemon
40ml of gin
Splash ginger ale

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
If I think about one person right now, its Gwladys, but she is not working at this moment, what a pity. I’ve met wonderful people in London, but if I have to say one, it would be the guys at DandeLyan. What they’ve done at White Lyan is really awesome, so this should be too.

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.

See you in 2015, the 5th of January for a new year with lecocktailconoisseur.com


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