King of mixology with Josh Esposito

23 Nov 2015
2 min read
FOUR speaks to Josh Esposito, head mixologist at the Experimental Group’s newest hit venue, Joyeux Bordel, about rise in popularity of vintage spirits and how best to enjoy them…

Where did you grow up?

I spent my youth up in Adelaide.

What did you aspire to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a doctor, likely a result of my wealthy GP. But, after travelling when I was 20 years old, meeting bartenders around the world, I became envious of their lifestyle and said ‘I want to be that guy…’ So, here I am!

How did you find your way into wine and spirits?

LOVE. My dad grew and made wine, and for my mum, Scotch was her favourite. I think it was inevitable for me having grown up around people with a true passion for good drinks.

Where do you find inspiration for your drink recipes?

My Inspiration comes from practicality. A certain drink has a time and place, and I try and create what I feel has a practical and elegant sense in a real world.

We are seeing an increased awareness of classic cocktails and spirits, what do you think has lead to the rise in popularity of vintage spirits?

I feel that the return to the classics has come largely out of interest in the tried and true. Cocktails with 6, 7, 8 ingredients have had their time and place, and while many are good, it’s hard to beat something with 3 or 4 ingredients made well. As for vintage spirits, I think the interest comes from people wanting to take a step back in time to see how spirits used to be made back in the 50s, 60s and 70s. There is an ever dwindling stock, so it’s a bit of get it while you can mentality.

What other interesting trends/themes are going on in the spirits world? What’s on your radar at the moment?

I’m finding that a lot of countries less known for producing spirits are now making some beautiful liquid. I’m now seeing whiskies and rums from India, Haiti and Taiwan. Some of these products are cracking considering the lack of distillation history. To me, it’s really showing that globalisation and diversity are playing a big part in bringing the spirit world together.

How does the new barJoyeux Bordel, from the Experimental Group, aim to be different or special from othercocktail bars?

It’s in the name: HAPPY MESS. Joyeux Bordel is a bar where you go for a great time with friendly service. As with all cocktail bars worth their salt, great drinks are a given. At Joyeux Bordel, this can be turned up side down and craziness can descend upon the crowd and if you’re up for it, it’s a place where you can let your hair down and get a little messy, all in good fun of course!! A bar that serves all purposes, from good drinks, a great vibe and a banging sound system.

What are your FOUR favourite cocktails fromJoyeux Bordel?

‘Something Italian’, ‘Buttered Old Fashioned’, ‘Tommy’s Cut’ and ‘Jura sick peak’

What is your most indispensable cocktail ingredient?

I’m going through a phase of pink peppercorns. Most drinks I try get a dose of that cracked in. Gives it a bit of ZING.

What is another of your favourite tipples?

Love my 2:1 wet gin martinis. Do they ever get boring!?

Joyeux Bordel

147 Curtain Rd



+44 7599 885001