Mojito Lab Makes Its Mark On Paris Mixology Scene
Two years ago, in the Bastille area of Paris, an experimental lab devoted entirely to the Mojito opened its doors.
In partnership with Bacardi, the renowned mixologist Laurent Gréco (pictured below left) envisioned and created this resolutely urban space, where new technologies and design sit side by side. Over ten types of mint are grown here, one of the ingredients of the 20 different versions of Mojito, such as the Smoky Mojito, the Fresh Raspberry and a multitude of others, all waiting to be discovered on the touch screen tables.
The Mojito Lab also has a “teaching area” where anyone, amateur or professional, can learn tips from the knowledgeable mojitologist barmen. You can also buy all the exclusive products and ingredients found at the Mojito Lab from the store shop, as well as the different types of mint.
Magali Kill, bartender, and Jean Marc Pothier, a flair bartender, vice-champions of French flair championship 2010, explain the concept.
What is the concept of this bar?
Jean-Marc Pothier and Magali Kill: Bacardi Mojito Lab is a mojito laboratory; we work with nine different sorts of mint. We feature 21 mojito recipes, all created by our mixologist, Laurent Greco. We also run mojito training courses to teach individuals and professionals to make these cocktails, so they can reproduce them in their own bar or at home. While practicing mijotology, we perform working flair behind the bar, to satisfy our customers’ requirements and expectations. One Sunday each month, we hold a working flair competition (The League), which is organized by the French Flair Bartending Federation (FFFB), and, one Monday each month, Laurent Greco gives a talk on mixology.
What are your “star” products and specialities?
Our mint, of course, and Bacardirum. Mojito Lab Numéro 2 Fresh Raspberry is a very popular cocktail based on combawa, a citrus fruit produced in southern Asia, which is unusual in having the taste of lemon grass. Then there is our Smoky Mojito, smoked with dried peppermint and served under a cloche. The fragrance, appearance and taste of these mojitos are very appealing to our customers.
Tell us about your menu.
We list ten mojitos based on fresh fruit purées (strawberry, raspberry, passion fruit, water melon, peach, etc.), as well as original mojito recipes such as the Genius Mojito, produced by injecting a mojito made with eight-year-old Bacardi rum into a portion of water melon using a compression system. Our nitrogen-cooled sorbet is a mojito made using yerba buena mint. We also have a ginger-based mojito (Ginger Mojito) and one incorporating candyfloss (Illusion Mojito). Our Iceberg Mojito is made using essential oil of mint with a scoop of ice cream. Our Mojito Royal is served with blackcurrant caviar. All in all, a varied and agreeable menu, featuring mojitos of many different flavors. The mojitos we produce at Bacardi Mojito Lab are not so much Cuban mojitos as urban mojitos!
For you, what is the most emblematic cocktail, and the most emblematic competition, and who is the most emblematic bartender?
Kill: The bartender who has made the greatest impression on me is Tomek Malek. Maybe one day I shall be able to take part in flair competitions, if I persevere and can reach the required standard.
Pothier: For me, the cocktail par excellence is still the Cuba Libre. The barman I most respect is Dario Doimo, who works at the Las Vegas au Rock and Rita’s. The competition I dream of winning is the Legend of Bartending, a great event which takes place in Las Vegas.
Words by Stéphane Picaut