The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Jérôme Kaftandjian’s Secret Corner 31

Jérôme Kaftandjian represented France at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013

Le Bar at the smart Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme sits between the lobby and the restaurant and is decorated in a chic and comfortable style. It is centred around a long table where bartenders and guests interact on the same level, where the blending of drinks is the focus and customers have ringside seats. Though it’s one of the city’s grand hotels, in the fancy retail belt around fashionable Place Vendôme, the atmosphere is light and convivial.

The Bartender

Jérôme Kaftandjian, 25, has a five-year history in bartending, initially training under Joseph Biolatto and Xavier Laigle at Forvm in Paris. He then moved to London, where he worked at the Indochine restaurant Bam-Bou in Fitzrovia and the Bvlgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, before moving back to his current role as bar manager at the Paris Hyatt. Describing his way of making drinks, Jérôme says ‘my guests are my principal inspiration and I also try to give something of my emotions and personality to the drinks.’

The Drink

The Secret Corner 31, is a prohibition-style whisky cocktail made with The Singleton single malt, and inspired by Charles H Baker’s 1933 classic recipe Remember the Maine. The Singleton was selected by Jérôme for its fruity Speyside richness, balance and smoothness. Table 31 is the most private and romantic place in the bar. It’s a rather delicate and elegant drink, not overpowering, and in blending Chartreuse, cherry liqueur and absinthe bitters with single-malt Scotch is also a nod to the Auld Alliance of France and Scotland.

A playful presentation ritual takes the storytelling and surreptitiousness one step further. The customer is served an empty glass with an ice cube and a cherry in and encouraged to ‘enjoy their drink’, the bartender then returning with the drink contained in a vial and folded clandestinely in a newspaper. ‘Once a guest just started reading the newspaper,’ recalls Jérôme, ‘I had to go back after a few minutes to tell him that his drink was inside it.’

The Technique

The Singleton • 40ml
Sweet vermouth • 40ml
Cherry liqueur • 15ml
Green Chartreuse • 10ml
Absinthe bitters • 2 dashes
Cherry to garnish
Contains 27 grams of alcohol per serve

Stir all the ingredients in a classic mixing glass. Serve over ice in a vintage old fashioned glass. Garnish with a cherry.

For the full furtive experience you need to secure table 31 in its secluded corner after dinner. Enjoy your drink with some homemade chocolate truffles and a special friend and enjoy the playful personality that Jérôme introduces to his excellent cocktails.

Jérôme’s Insider’s Guide to Paris

Place to eat
The Bistrologist

Place to relax
Le Forvm bar

Place to lounge
Buddha Bar

Place to shop

Place to visit
Galerie Vivienne

Place to see
Canal St Martin

Images by Sarah Howe