Around the Table with… The French Mixologist
This month we’re sharing a chat with our friend Diane Allegret, who is also know as The French Mixologist. I started chatting with Diane over Instagram and from the start it was very clear we both had the same love for photography and cocktails. Her work has been an inspiration to me and inspired the above image, so to be able to get to know her a bit more has been such a joy! So without further ado, onto the questions…
It’s been a while since I’ve posted an ‘Around the Table with…’ and I really need to get back to sharing more with you guys. I’m going to make it a monthly feature on The Photographer’s Table and get back to the roots of the reason we set up TPT.
Shaken or Stirred?
I’m definitely more working on cocktails with a shaker, just because I use often fruits, eggs or juices in my cocktails. And I often double strain into the glass but when it comes to Old Fashioned or Negroni, the mixing class is on the table with my “lucky gold” spoon bar. I should do more stirred cocktails in the future!
How did you come to work as a Mixologist?
After my master graduation in Marketing I finally launched my tea company (Koalitea). It was a dream for me during 5 years. On my tea company I’m working on my own blends and create the fragrances with fruits and flowers only. I wanted to know more about mixology and how to mix better. At that moment I saw a year certification in Paris (France) as a Bartender. I subscribed to help me in my tea business. I end up loving that job, working behind a bar is an awesome experience, and finally I mixed my tea into my cocktails. I launched my Instagram last January 2018, and since then I love the community behind the alcohol business. I don’t regret. Tea was just a step for me to go into the alcohol business!
What do you think are the essential drinks that all Mixologists should know how to make?
If you have to work in USA, you have to know your classic such as: Margarita, Daiquiri, Tom Collins, Negroni, Old Fashioned, Ramos Fizz, Gin Fizz… Americans are more about classics. I would say that working in Paris is quite different. You still have 4 or 5 classics to know but the rest is often creations or revisited classics. For instance I would definitely prefer to work in a cocktail bar with original creations than just classics… But knowing your classics is a good start!
Do you have a signature cocktail? If so, what is it and what goes in it?
To be honest I made a lot of creations this year, but still didn’t find the one to be my signature. I was thinking a fat washing (for example bacon infused whisky). But with something unique. Probably a flavour from my childhood.
What is your ideal glass for a cocktail and what is the reason for it?
2 ideal types of glass: Whisky Glass or Tiki Mug. Whisky glass because Old Fashioned is my favorite. I also love whisky creative sour cocktails. And simple whisky is also my thing. Tiki Mug are more for exotic flavors, exotic creation. And always fun to collect them!
What is your favourite ingredient and which cocktail do you use it in?
ALL THE CITRUS! I’m in love with lime, kumquat, yuzu….
What are the names of your cocktails and what inspired you to your creation?
I love to name cocktails about what’s going on in my life. Just about the calendar or something special to celebrate. Even bad days with rain could inspire me and give a name to my cocktails. All of my cocktails are not just mixed drinks but they have a personal anecdotes behind! Otherwise it could be nicknames or surnames from friends sometimes because I decided to dedicate one cocktail for them according to their personalities and tastes.
For bartenders and mixologists who are passionate about drinks and looking to get into the game, what’s your top advice, as someone who started out young and very driven?
First, you do that job for fun. It’s like cooking. You have to be precise to get the good balance. But it’s your personality and experience that will twist the final recipe! Also I always advice to watch videos or to talk/watch/work a minimum a professional. Because even in that business a lot of people are making mistakes about how to pour, how to serve, how to mix. At the end it’s all about you. But you still have some ethics and rules to follow.
Which Paris bars are your favourites – whether for cocktails, beer, or beyond?
In Paris I have two favourites:
– Baranaan: It’s an Indian speakeasy. From outside it looks like a classic Indian restaurant but you have to go to the wooden doors to arrive in a full Indian train experience. The passport is your menu and you have some cocktails with Indian whisky which is not common. Just love the imagination of each cocktails and the Indian food/atmosphere. Perfect place to go with some friends to have fun.
– La Candelaria: It’s a Latino speakeasy. From outside it’s also a restaurant. You have to go through the kitchen to arrive in the bar. It’s dark, only candles on table. Very charming and Latino/Mexican cocktails. Perfect place for a date or a chill moment.
If you could work for one bar in New York, which would it be and why?
I went with a friend at Katana Kitten nyc, just few days before leaving New York. And I was kind of sad because it’s like I would never leave that place. It’s a Japanese-American bar, mixing a lot of Japanese posters on the wall, with red lights and a Tokyo atmosphere. The cocktails are all originals with Japanese ingredients or final touch. I would love to work in that place as the team is friendly, and you have a lot of Japanese spirits on the shelves. Nothing else to add.
What are the upcoming trends for the bar scene that we should be aware of?
In the next month’s COGNAC will still booming in the industry. Also more and more spirits are made by artists and celebrities. So I guess it will be the new “chic” move!
What’s your guilty food pleasure and what drink goes best with it?
I never say no to a Spicy Kimchi Pork Korean BBQ. It’s my supreme guilty food pleasure! And I love to eat spicy pork with an old fashioned. Smokey Whisky Drinks mixed to Spicy Kimchi Pork. YOU GOT ME!
How do you like to spend your free time?
I have 3 things I do in my free time:
– Family/Friends free time to chill somewhere (Restaurants, Parks, Apartments, and Bars)
– Getting Outside
– Photoshop/Lightroom (Because yes editing pictures is not a job for me, but a real hobby)
What’s next for The French Mixologist?
I was very happy to spend the last few months in LA. I saw that I might have much more opportunities in USA than in France regarding the social networks and the alcohol business. I’m planning to find a work as a bartender in NYC, and continue to work aside for The French Mixologist. The contact with the client in a bar are important for me, and the home bartender experience is also something I need to free my creativity. It’s a win, win project for the next year coming! Will see how it evolves from there…
If you’d like to check out Diane’s work, please follow the link below and make sure you say hello!
A huge thank you to Diane for taking the time out to chat with me and for her continued support and inspiration! I feel so lucky to have met you as part of the Instagram community!
Make sure to get in contact if you’d like to join me around the table for a chat!