Chris Moore, the man behind London's Coupette bar is in Bengaluru for a masterclass, here's all you need to know
The UK's Coupette is one of the most well-known bars in the world today. Located in Bethnal Green in London, the bar that opened just a few years ago, in June 2017 has been winning awards for its innovative cocktails like the Champagne Pina Colada. The iconic bar is currently No.23 on the list of The World's 50 Best Bars 2019.
The man behind the destination bar, Chris Moore, better known as mr.calvados on Instagram is on a tour in India. He has been conducting workshops and seminars on bartending. This Sunday on November 17, Chris will be at The Whitefield Arms, VR Bengaluru for a masterclass. We chat up with the bartender on what to expect and about his iconic bar.
What's Coupette's back story?
Every bartender I know wants to open their own bar and that's what I wanted to do. I was working at The Savoy for five years. Basically I wanted to work on something but I didn't know what? At one point I realised that all the products I liked behind the bar were French. There's also a long history about drinking and cocktails in France that a lot of people don't talk about. So this idea of French history was the inspiration behind Coupette. I always wanted the French history of drinking to be a key part of the concept but I also wanted to keep it relevant to the local audiences. I wanted Coupette to be approachable, open and friendly, and at the same time my team and I wanted to serve the best possible cocktails and drinks. In June 2017 we opened and quickly became a favourite with bartenders in the industry and so we started winning awards quickly.
What about a cocktail appeals to you?
What I look for are drinks that are approachable while being structured and have a lot of attention to detail. I look for simplicity and discovery - the idea is that it can be a great drink and just be that. But if I want to know more about the details that have gone in it, I should be able to talk to you about that as well. It shouldn't be an in your face cocktail with a thousand garnishes or fireworks or anything like that. It just needs to be a beautifully made, balanced drink with a light temperature. I usually look for lighter drinks, I don't make super heavy or super powerful drinks, that's not my style. I like it more delicate.
What can audience expect from your masterclass this weekend at The Whitefield Arms in VR Bengaluru?
The masterclass/seminar is about how my career panned out. I will also talk about drinks and different products, the philosophy we follow and the different concepts behind cocktail making.
How different is the Indian palate compared to the UK?
Generally younger markets tend to incline towards sweetness. London has a very dry and bitter palate but countries across Asia generally tend to have a sweeter palate.
Will you be mixing some new drinks with local Indian ingredients?
We take two months on an average to develop any new drinks. So using local ingredients and developing new drinks with little time at hand won't be possible.
Can you tell us a little about your popular Champagne Pina Colada?
I think it is popular because it sounds ridiculous. When people think of champagne they have an image of luxury and elegance, style and sophistication and when you think of a pina colada it's completely the opposite. I think just saying Champagne Pina Colada (to guests) sounds crazy. Pina colada is a sort of a guilty pleasure for a lot of people... If you are sitting on a beach on Mexico you won't be drinking neat whiskey, it's just not the right drink, where as the pina colada is. The second thing is champagne makes everything better, so the cocktail was a hit from day one. We don't use a standard recipe. It's a much more sophisticated one. The cocktail is light, there's no coconut cream to make it dense. It's much lighter and cleaner and you can have more than one.
Your advice to aspiring bartenders?
Empathy with guests, self-criticism and giving your guests the best!
Sunday, 12 noon onwards. At VR Bengaluru. Details: 9591220066