Bastien Ciocca is the co-owner of Hope & Sesame in Guangzhou. He makes us two cocktails, one with Rum and Kombucha Cordial and the second with Limoncello and Fernet.
Bastien introduce yourself
I’m Bastien Ciocca and I’ve been in the hospitality industry for nearly 15 years. I actually met Andrew (my business partner) 12 years ago, whilst we were studying at the hotel school in Lausanne, Switzerland. My Dad ran restaurants and my Grandpa made Swiss Amaros and Vermouths, so it runs in the family. I moved to Asia 10 years ago to work in luxury hotel management and when I moved to Guangzhou and met up with Andrew again, we decided to do something together. It took us some time looking for the right venue and deciding exactly what we wanted to do, but three and a half years we found what is now Hope & Sesame (which has a lab, fermentation room, garden and enough room for live jazz every night) and also opened Charlie’s, an Italian coffee bar and restaurant.
The classic you want to show us
30ml of Flor de Cana 7-Year-Old Rum infused with Rhubarb, Juniper Berries and Dill
50ml of Kombucha Cordial
15ml of Lillet Blanc
The bar you dream of
I would want a series of bars within a distillery located in China. Spirits would focus not just on varieties of ingredients, but particular species from that family. And each bar within the space would have a different ambience to complement each spirit.
What do you do in your time off
Last year we took around 80 flights for work, so I don’t get a lot of time off. But for me, travel is enjoyment and it also allows me to go to great restaurants and bars I want to try around the world.
The spirit you like the most
My favourite spirit is rum, as there is such a wide variety of them. A lot of our cocktails feature rum because you can have a very light and punchy rum, right through to a darker, sweeter one.
What makes a good cocktail
It has to be tasty. Of course, it can’t be too sweet or bitter and it can be fun and playful, but ultimately a good cocktail should make you want to have more than one.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
Coffee, because you can roast it in so many different ways it gives you completely varied flavour profiles.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
35ml of Flor de Cana 7-Year-Old Rum distilled with Peanuts
20ml of Homemade Limoncello
15ml of Fernet Hunter
15ml of Lemon Juice
10g of Arugula Leaves
20ml of Egg White
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You have to go and see Lorenzo at the Four Season’s, Hong Kong and Cross Yu at Epic in Shanghai.
Thank you to Danico for letting us do this interview during Hope & Sesame’s guest shift.