Romain de Courcy is the Ritz Bar’s director in Paris. He makes us two cocktails, one with mint and neutral alcohol and the second with raspberry and eau de vie.
Romain introduce yourself
My name is Romain de Courcy and I am the Director of the Ritz Bar at the Ritz in Paris. After my business studies, I started working in luxury fashion in New York, Paris, Singapore and finally in London where I was doing leather patina for a master bootmaker. This is where I discovered and fell in love with the bar world. I quit my job to join the Drink Factory group under Tony Conigliaro for about 3 years, first at 69 Colebrooke Row then Untitled in Dalston and Gazelle in Mayfair for their respective openings. In the meantime I trained myself in wine and went on to do the harvest in the Andes in Argentina after Gazelle closed down. Back in London I joined Trade in Soho (now called Black Book) – another opening, this time as a sommelier. After that I moved back to Paris to head the new Ritz Bar project at the Ritz. I worked on it for a whole year during COVID until the opening in September 2021. Two years later we have now just launched our new menu “Around Biodynamics” with drinks following the Biodynamic calendar, coupled with a stellar Biodynamic wine list.
The classic you want to show us
38.5g fresh green and chocolate mints cold distillate (Paris)
18.5g green mint hydrosol (Provence)
0.04g essence blend of green mint, peppermint, wild mint and lemon mint (India)
101.6g micro-filtered water
12.1g cane syrup
0.37g malic acid
0.20g citric acid
Carbonated in a soda keg and served on tap
The bar you dream of
The kind of bar I would like to go to sometimes but am yet to find: a nightclub with great music, a great sound system, a great vibe and great drinks.
What do you do in your time off
If I am not home watching a good movie or/and opening a good bottle of wine then I am probably in town trying a new foodie hotspot, going to an art exhibition or sampling fragrances in a craft perfume shop.
The spirit you like the most
Neutral alcohol because it acts like a blank canvas that we can create anything upon. In this case, I don’t even really consider it an ingredient, more of a facilitator to extract and carry flavours. To me, it means complete freedom of expression.
What makes a good cocktail
Emotion. A cocktail is only as good as what it makes you feel and that comes from many things besides the drink itself: service and connection with the staff, the people you are with and possibly even other guests, storytelling, glassware, sustainability, music, lighting, furniture and decor… There are many more ingredients to a good drink than just those in the glass.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktail
Flowers. They are incredibly diverse and complex. For instance at the moment in our Lavender cocktail, we use 5 types of lavenders from 3 different regions in 4 different ways and we get as many unique aromas, from floral to fruity to spicy or herbaceous and more. It is in fact the only ingredient in the drink and it is more than enough.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
38.5g wild raspberry eau de vie (Alsace)
38.5g candied raspberry (Italia)
7.1g raspberry vinegar (France)
1.7g freeze-dried raspberry (Spain)
Blended and strained with a 1mm mesh strainer
60g fresh Tullameen raspberry (France)
24g micro-filtered water
0.84g ascorbic acid
Blended and strained with a 0.45mm mesh strainer
Combine the raspberry mix and the raspberry
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
Go to the Majestic in Cannes and ask Emmanuele Balestra to take you to his aromatic garden.