Constança, is bar manager at Peg + Patriot, London. She makes two cocktails for us, one with Tequila and Tonic, and the second with Cognac and Fernet Branca.
Constança introduce yourself
Hi I’m Constanca and I originally started my career working at the Ritz Carlton in Portugal, after studying hotel management. I worked in their restaurants, but as I come from a very creative family I always felt there was something missing. I needed to find a job that combined my love of hospitality and creativity. The Ritz had a little bar in the hotel and I expressed my interest in working there and began experimenting. They sent me on a training course and I continued working there until I left to work at Cinco Lounge which was the only really good cocktail bar in Lisbon at the time. That place sparked my passion and I knew I needed to move to London to explore creativity in cocktails, which is why I’m here at Peg+Patriot.
The classic you want to show us
20ml of Tapatio Blanco Tequila
20ml of Tio Pepe
20ml of Rectified Campari
15ml of Pennyroyal and Thyme Syrup
5ml of Salt, Vinegar and Citric Acid Mix
Top with Tonic
The bar or party you dream of
My ultimate dream is to open a bar in Lisbon and I already have a file that contains everything I want in my bar. I have the name, the layout, the menu, location… it’s all in my file.It would be a small, intimate space and seat 18 at the bar and have four tables of four. I would work with local Portuguese products and the seasonal produce would be from my Mum’s garden. Simple bites would accompany cocktails and the music would be modern Portuguese from all genres.
I have a garden, so when I have time off I tend to invite friends around for wine and beer. I also like to go to good restaurants and pubs unless there is a new cocktail bar I want to check out.
The spirit you like the most
That would be cognac. It’s my favourite spirit.I feel that it’s very flexible, but still has lots of character. You can make drinks with it that are light and fresh or super strong and boozy, it’s just so versatile.
What makes a good cocktail and which product do you want to highlight at this moment
I think a good cocktail is one that when you drink it you experience various waves of flavour. Balance and harmony are also important in a good cocktail.
Salt. Here at Peg+Patriot I’ve learnt that using salt enhances flavours. We tend to use a 20% saline solution as it is easier to work into cocktails.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
40ml of Cognac
15ml of Apricot Brandy
5ml of Fernet Branca
7.5ml of Maple Shrub
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender?
You should definitely talk to Tara Garnell at Original Sin in London. She was one of my first mentors, she’s a great friend and she’s one of the most knowledgeable people I know.