I spy with my little eye... a one of a kind Mixologist.

First of all, let me remind everybody here that excessive drinking of alcohol can be harmful for your health (and love life). Second thing: you can actually go to a bar and order something else than alcohol (yes you can!), especially if you're driving or just on a first date (note: ethanol makes everybody funnier and more attractive, unfortunately the effect usually fades away). So now that we've put in perspective the whole bar experience, let me tell you about Zuma's Mixologist Jimmy Barrat.

Jimmy started as a bar tender 7 years ago, at Zuma London. He is french and was used, as a child, to running around the family restaurant. In France, he drinks wine, but he arrived in London, his curiosity was peaked by cocktails... it might be a first but I feel like thanking England for it's lack of grand wines. Jimmy started getting into cocktails and never stopped. Today he is the second best Mixologist in the world. No need to say I am never ordering a glass of wine ever again at Zuma! Funnily enough, he is as eager to create cleansers and boosters (mocktails, for the neophytes) as alcoholic cocktails.

So when invited for a testing, we let him take us through his creations. We started with 6 non alcoholic cocktails. No added sugar, he uses agave only if needed, fresh and organic fruits (passion fruit, watermelon, ginger, kiwi, raspberry...) and crushed ice. I am not used to cocktails, I usually find them too sweet so I was a little apprehensive but they are refreshing and thirst-quenching, perfect. It felt like testing a rainbow... I can't remember the names but do not hesitate to ask for them, the team will help you choose the right beverage for your palate.

Then came the cocktails. With the stories. Jimmy's curiosity is endless and that's what brought him to becoming one of the best bartenders in the world. He loves digging into the history of cocktails. He loves researching, rediscovering, reinterpreting. And he looks everywhere: Japan, the Middle East, England... One of his favourite eras is the Victorian period. That's what I liked about him: you get a drink but you also get the back story, he will explain where is comes from, why he mixed it that way, why you are getting a big ball of ice instead of crushed ice, his cocktails are a little bit like a vintage wardrobe: bits and pieces from everywhere but everything has a story and there are rules and reasons why you would assemble pieces a certain way.
That's how I drank a fume mix of whiskey and plum liquor, and I can honestly say I liked it. Very much. Felt like being in a cosy lodge in the forest, next to a fireplace. Unexpected and amazing in Dubai.
A big Merci to Jimmy for taking the time to explain and share his passion!

For more information on Zuma, click here.

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