I first met Sébastien at a fabulous Hendrick’s evening at The Gin Palace.
It was a great night and Seb was a fantastic host, sharing his knowledge about Hendrick’s and cocktails with so much passion that I wanted to know more about what being a Brand Ambassador for one of the most well-known gin brands is like. Luckily for me Seb was happy to be interviewed!
How long have you been mixing cocktails?
For almost 10 years now
Who/what inspires you?
It was my family that gave me the taste of fresh produces and helped me to develop a palate that I now use to create cocktails. But the hospitality industry itself is inspiring every day; you have to be willing to push the boundaries to be successful.
This industry is always changing, packed with innovative people with strong personalities. I have met so many incredible individuals during my career; you need to act like a sponge and learn as much as you can from them trying to create your own ‘universe’.
What’s your favourite gin and why?
Hendrick’s of course! Hendrick’s has a less juniper-dominant flavour profile and uses Bulgarian rose and cucumber as its unique botanical ingredients. It is a superb and utterly unique gin, makes a fantastically refreshing Gin & Tonic!
I love the distinctive ‘medicine bottle’ design and the brand iconography.
What gin cocktail are you asked for most?
The Negroni, has always been a really popular drink at all of the venues I have worked at for all the good reasons, it’s a delightful libation.
Your favourite gin cocktail and why?
The martini, a perfect invention, gin and a touch of French vermouth stirred on ice, served straight up with your favorite garnish. What do I like the most about it? It’s the ultimate drink to start the evening and one of the only cocktail that people can personalise, choose your ratio of vermouth, your garnish, sit back and relax.
A customer has never tried gin before, what gin-based drink would you recommend?
I always check what they usually drink first, to find out if they have a sweet tooth or just like their drink on the sour side for example but I found that the ‘Southside’ cocktail or the ‘Gin Basil Smash’ are really refreshing & flavorful introduction to gin-based drinks. They usually both hit the spot.
What’s the best thing about being the Hendrick’s Ambassador for Australia?
Everything, everyday! Working with Hendrick’s makes each day uniquely different! This is not a classic nine to five job, your phone/email is always on; this is a big commitment. But what a way of living! I feel very privileged and I give 200% everyday as my job has given me an opportunity to travel Australia and New Zealand to establish a network to build the brand.
Hendrick’s gin has played an important role in helping consumers rethink the gin category, stimulating people’s minds as well as their taste buds. It’s a brand like other, and I get to work with such a creative team!
Which are your favourite bars (anywhere in the world)
So many to mention… I really enjoy visiting places like The Artesian in London, their bar team is incredible. I also recently enjoyed Salotto 42 in Rome, really cool place in a superb location. Employees Only in New York is also a long time favorite. In Australia I regularly visit the crew at Baxter Inn in Sydney and always end up at Black Pearl during my regular trips to Melbourne. Eau De Vie is also on my ‘go to’ list.
But if you’re after a world-class selection of Gin with a friendly service to match the experience, then you have to try the Gin Palace in Melbourne.
If you are in any doubt as to the fun Seb has in his day job, check out this promotional video he did for a recent Hendricks’ competition!