5 Tips from Marc Bonneton of l’Antiquaire, Lyon

By Forest Collins  

With 17 years bar experience, both abroad and in France, and with several bar awards under his belt, Marc Bonneton has learned a thing or two about cocktails.

Inspired by the London cocktail scene, the new style of “speakeasies”, and Japanese bar culture, he developed his own “original french style” which he defines as a mix of classicism, elegance and modernism “à la française.” He has integrated this french touch to his two Lyon based bars: l’Antiquaire and its newer sister bar L’Officine Bar at Le Grand Réfectoire.

Marc’s Five Tips for an Old Fashioned: 

1) Choose a good high proof bourbon whisky so when all ingredients are mixed together the whiskey stands out,

2) Use a flamed bitters mist for caramelization and create a base of bitters and white sugar instead of using a dash of soda water to dilute the sugar – this gives a fuller body to an Old Fashioned cocktail,

3) Always use fresh ingredients. In the case of the Old Fashioned cocktail, do not pre-peel the orange until you’re about to make and serve the drink in order to retain the orange zest oils that are important for the aroma of the cocktail,

4) Always use quality ice both for stirring the Old Fashioned and for the block cube on which it is served,

5) Explain the history and share stories about the Old Fashioned. For example, let your client know that the Old Fashioned is one of the first drinks to be defined as a cocktail (alcohol, sugar, bitters & ice).

Below he shares his recipe for the Elixir Old Fashioned, which is how they make it both at L’Antiquaire and also at L’Officine in Lyon.

Elixir Old Fashioned

– 5cl Woodford reserve bourbon

– 1cl rich sugar syrup*

– 1 dash Angostura bitters

– 5 dashes elixir végétal de Chartreuse

Stir over ice and pour over a large ice block.

Garnish with one small verveine leaf and/or a cherry

*to make rich sugar syrup combine two parts sugar to one part water

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