Nico de Soto: “I’m pissed that so many things happen after I die. I’m too curious. Life is way too short”
He manages to own and run two bars on different continents – Mace Cocktail bar in New York and Danico Bar in Paris (the former is included in the list of the World’s 50 Best Bars), he travels a lot (not only on business) and, in addition, several years ago he was named the most influential French bartender at the Cocktails Spirits show in Paris. Both of his bars participated in BAROMETER 2017 and every day were crowded with visitors. This man has a nice French accent, he has once drunk 27 cocktails, and when he feels sad, he eats Haribo Smurfs candies.
What’s more, he has an amazing sense of humour. At the end of August 2017 (the very height of preparation to BAROMETER) we received from him the following automatic reply: “Hi! I’m currently travelling in an area with poor or very bad reception. I won’t have access to my e-mails until September 3rd. I’ll do my best to answer the tsunami of emails from that day. PS: if it’s that important, send a pigeon to Burning Man in the Nevada desert, I’m at camp 9 & K, please also add to the message the last results of the US Open”.
A famous bartender Niсo de Soto answered all our questions with a lot of smileys and shared what tattoo he would like to have, what alcohol he hates and much more.
How many glasses a day you usually serve (on busy Friday)?
Around 300 I’d say.
How many glasses a day you usually drink?
Haha in average? I’m all or nothing. I did 27 cocktails in Singapore but I’m usually healthy and count my calories. So it really depends. If I decide to drink, A LOT. But probably nothing for the average Ukrainian bartender, you are beasts here 🙂
How much ice do you use in the bar per Friday night?
Jesus I have no idea. Not enough to build an igloo.
What is the funniest cocktail name you ever heard/invented yourself?
I play a lot with name at Danico. I’ll give you one:
Vodka Not Too Sweet; You see those skinny bitchy girls all the time in NYC coming to your bar, not looking at the menu and asking “I want something with vodkaaaaa, not too sweeeeeet” Well I saved their and my time. Vodka not too sweet is green tea infused vodka, kale juice, lemon juice, Quinoa orgeat.
What is the most popular cocktail in your bar now?
It’s always the clarified milk punch at Danico. Right now it’s a blend of 3 rums, Mango Juice, Coconut Milk, Chia Seeds, Coconut Water, Tea, Spices. At Mace right it’s the Ghost Pepper: Cocoa fat washed Aquavit, Passionfruit Puree, Coconut Milk, Egg, Ghost Chili Tincture, Grated White Chocolate on top, served with an optional spoon of caviar.
What is the most unpopular (underestimated) cocktail these days?
Classics like Mojitos, Caipirihnas or Pina Coladas.
Have you ever heard a really weird/scary story from your guest? If yes, please tell it in brief.
I have a guest at Mace is used to be one of the most famous doorman in nightlife in NYC. Sex, drugs, murders, gangs. I heard it all. I love NYC.
What you could name a spirit of the future (nearest or far)?
Aquavit all the way baby!
What was the weirdest cocktail you ever made/tried/saw in your life?
Something with chicken breast infused Gin. I almost threw up. Oh also an oldfashoined distilled with a cheeseburger. I like the guys who made it but sorry, I still have that terrible taste in my mouth.
What is your ideal guest? What would he order?
On the menu. Curious. She’d leave her phone number haha.
What would you like to invent?
A time machine. I know it’s not for tomorrow.
What spirit is the most fabulous for you? Why?
Rum because of its versatility. So many different rum. I include cachaça in it.
What is the spirit/cocktail you could never make yourself to drink? Why?
Baiju. I hate it so much that I don’t even know if the spelling is correct haha.
What is the best part of bar tending for you?
Meeting people but also creating drinks.
What did your job teach you?
What’s a bad habit you have?
I tend to travel too much. I’m addict. I’m a bit stubborn too.
What superpower would you most like to have? Or what is it if you already have one?
Immortal. I’m pissed that so many things happen after I die. I’m too curious. Life is way too short.
What was the last picture you took with your phone?
I just sent my busy schedule to a friend, shoot the screen of my computer. Otherwise this morning Louvre’s Pyramid on my way to Danico. It was a beautiful day.
What music do you listen now?
Deep house, tech house. Today I was listening to Lee Burridge’s set at Burning Man where I was last year.
When you’re having a bad day, what do you do to make yourself up?
Haribo candies (smurfs and dragibus) and movies. Or lot of smackiries (a full daiquiri drunk as a shot) and a club with a good DJ.
What kind of tattoo would you like to have? Or tell us about tattoos you already have.
I’m about to have my first one: Danico’s logo made from the famous French tattoo artist SupaKitch.
If you could trend lives with one person for a day who would it be?
With all the stories I heard from a friend who is a famous producter, Michael Fassbender hahahaha.
What is so special about bartenders?
They have tattoos and beards. Wait, that’s not special.
Is there a life on Mars?
Yes Matt Damon was there!!
By Kateryna Mykhailenko