Hugo Combe: Classique (Paris)

Hugo Combe is the owner of Classique Paris, Paris. He makes two cocktails for us, one with Cynar and Dolin Butter and the second with Aperol and Kompot Pepper.

Hugo introduce yourself
My name is Hugo Combe, 30 years old, I am a bartender and the co-owner of Classique with Benjamin Le Seigneur. I started my career in a dive bar, then I join Liquid Corp, they own Moonshiner or Dirty Dick for instance, in a bar called Kremlin. After that, it was more in a hotel bar like Les Bains Douches or hotel national des arts & métiers. Just before here, I work at Fifty-Fifty.
So Classique is like a french neighbourhood bistro, in an 80 years old pharmacy where we have kept the whole design. It’s open from 8 am to 1 am where you can drink tea, coffee, pastry, natural wine, champagne, beer and obviously cocktails. But for everything, it’s upgraded to an upper level. The coffee is a homemade blend, the bread is from Thierry Breton, the pastrami is from the Panzer family, one the oldest Ashkenaz delicatessen in Paris, seafood from Tom Saveur…  The cocktails are low abv and the champagne is served in a small shot glass, a blida, frozen at -22°C degrees.

The classic you want to show us
Negroni Khata
15ml of Cynar
15ml of Dolin Bitter infused with Fig Leaves
15ml of Madeira Wine Medium Dry
15ml of Red vermouth Elixir de la Dame
Top with Champagne

The bar you dream of
The bar of my dream would be this one, but with a bigger lab downstairs. It wouldn’t be in Paris but in Nazare in Portugal, on top of a cliff above the ocean, more like a guinguette than a bistro then. Our customers would be the surfers around this spot. It would have inside a kind of french omakase bar with 20 seats at the counter with no other seat in the venue.

What do you do in your time off
I love to play tennis as often as I can. I do tournaments.

The spirit you like the most
Calvados would be the one. I love its kick and at the same time its roundness, so you can use it in a short drink like an old fashioned or in a long drink too. And it’s a french product, so even better.

What makes a good cocktail
A good cocktail needs to be tasty with a clear taste, so you need to feel all the ingredients written on the recipe.

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
I love ice, you need good ice for the dilution which is the base of your cocktail, shaken or stirred.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Petit apéritif
60ml of Aperol washed with Toasted Coconut
15ml of with Kampot Pepper and Cherry Tail Syrup
20ml of Lemon Juice

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
You have to go to visit another Hugo at Fifty-Fifty in Paris and abroad in Edinburgh you have to stop Panda & Sons.

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