Florian Thireau: Cheval Blanc (Paris)

Florian Thireau is the Bar Director at Cheval Blanc in Paris. He makes us two cocktails, one with Tequila and Habanero Tincture and the second with Champagne and liqueur

Florian introduce yourself
My name is Florian Thireau, I’m 32 years old and I’m the Bar Director at Cheval Blanc Paris. I started my journey at cooking school when I was 14, up to 21. I had the chance to discover the luxury industry due to an internship in a 3 Michelin stars restaurant. My first job was First bartender – cellar manager at Buddha Bar in Paris. I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by dedicated and rigorous people to learn from. From this first « bar » experience, I then travelled to Sydney where I worked at Palmer & Co, a World 50 Best Bars 50 and ended up my 5 years overseas trip in London, at The Zetter Town House, where flavours has been introduced to me as never before thanks to Tony Conigliaro. Back in Paris 6 years ago, I then took my first position as Head Bartender at The Prince de Galles hotel for 3 years, before arriving at Cheval Blanc in 2019.

The classic you want to show us
Spicy Margarita
40ml of Tequila Ocho infused with Calabrian Chili olive Oil, Saffron and Cinnamon
10ml of Merlet Triple Sec
10ml of Agave Syrup rectified with Water and Simple Syrup
25ml of Clarified Lemon Juice
1.25ml of Orange Bitters Gary Regan
1 drop of saline solution
1 drop of Habanero Tincture

The bar you dream of
It’s a tough question. I dream of opening a gastronomic place, where everything is thought from the arrival of the customers to their departures, from what we offer to their eyes, their ears, their noses, their hands, to their tastebuds. I imagine a cosy place, a jazz playlist and a big focus on the liquid experience where the environment is dedicated to the offer to provide the best customer experience possible.

What do you do in your time off
I train myself a lot. Loving the luxury industry do its rigour, I try to be the best version of myself and sports play a big role in this. And I write. I love the idea of sharing knowledge to help people in our industry to have a better understanding of what could and should be done.

The spirit you like the most
Gin, by its potential in terms of development and association, but also its versatility, its taste & its elegance.

What makes a good cocktail
I would recall 4 majors points :
Pairing: Find an association of flavours that are going to create a new one that works strongly.
Balance in flavours: All combined perfectly (giving the right amount of space to each other)
Balance in profile: Respecting the right proportion between sweet, sour, strong and weak
Vision: in the sense of creating a cocktail that makes sense overall, that links the flavour, to the colour, the texture, the look, the glass, the inspiration…

What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktail
I’m a huge fan of flowers and spices. Directly linked to my favourite spirit. I love the way they taste of course but mainly the way you can play around with them on top of offering a consistent flavour which is a key component for regularity in cocktails.

The signature cocktail you want to show us
Expression Millésimée
20g of Liqueur (Strawberry Jam Assemblage, Sour Cherry, Wood, Saffron, Curry and Boletus)
130g of Champagne

Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
If I had to choose, I’ll guess Matthias Ingleman who works at KOL in London. We briefly met but Matthias and I share the same vision in terms of drinks and from what I tried, he is very talented on top of being a very kind person.

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