Get a taste of the Mauritian – or Oxenham – touch at the aptly named Le Connoisseur, with three cocktails that will drag you into the enthralling universe of mixology.
This subtle art of drink making requires a keen sense of aesthetic, which never goes without passion for the trade. Celebrating traditions and local savoir-faire, the island’s liveliest rum distillery delights both connoisseurs and neophytes with a round of tantalizing, sun-filled cocktails.
A mixologist, sommelier and wine counsellor, Mervin Appadoo is the flavour magician of this place. Building on the incredible aura of the Oxenham brand, he exalts the symbiosis of fine ingredients and precise dosage to create the suitable blend for every food choice and time of the day. It goes without saying that his go-to product for successful mixtures is the Bougainville rum, which is a hit with discerning palates yearning for sweet aromas and a hint of spice.
The appellation itself is a historic nod, Louis-Antoine Bougainville being the famous naturalist and navigator of the Mascarene Islands, after whom the fiery coloured Bougainvillea flowers were named. This said, memories of the 18th century pervade these walls, where local flavours and talents are highlighted, reminding all tasters that they are well into a 21st century in the “shaking”.
In a meticulously choreographed performance, Mervin – a great showman – plays with flavours like a painter with colours. The fruit of his art is displayed in a glass, the design of which screams creativity: it has, indeed, the adequate capacity, the perfect curves and chosen transparency to arouse the urge of tasting. Half-full or half-empty? There is no time to waste on existential dilemmas: your glass will hold just the right dosage.
For seasoned mixologists, doppelgängers are out of place. There is enough room for both signature cocktails and boldly revisited mixtures… These artisans of good taste have brought back the long-forgotten Esperanto and in unison, they speak the same language – that of thrilled senses and exhilarated taste buds.
The drink master, the container, and the blend… All you have to do is bring it to your lips and savour – in moderation, of course!
The Bar Lamp: at sundown, I… sip!
Born in Tokyo at the Bar Lamp, the cocktail of the same name has been revisited in the Mauritian style. Same ingredients and dosage, but the rum could be nothing but a white Bougainville Citronnelle and the pineapple juice from the Victoria variety – of course –, the whole blend being sublimated with a drop of Amaretto Giffard and a splash of lemon juice. It is best appreciated as a long drink in a Cervoise glass, with its fresh and sweet lingering note tasting like a dreamy summer afternoon on a southern island
L’Etoile, a blast of sensuality
An ode to voluptuousness, this sweet, velvety cocktail brings extremes into harmony: a tobacco-flavoured Gold rum; a suave cinnamon-infused syrup; “Squeeze It” apple juice for its attractive colour and perfect sweet-sour balance; and a twist of lemon for extra pep. Served with vanilla ice-cream and orange peel on the edge of a Salto glass, this delicious nectar will match divinely with the smoothness of a creme brulee…
Would you dare a “Kan Brilé”?
You might be taken aback by its toughness! In this cocktail, the VSOP Bougainvillier (which has aged three years in sherry-seasoned oak casks) blends wonderfully with the surprising bitterness of an Aperitivo Bitter and the robustness of a Carpano Dry Vermouth Rouge. Lime juice rounds it all up in a light, tangy finishing note. Served in a Pyramid glass for an extra touch of glam and enhanced persistence on the palate, this cocktail is the perfect starter for an unforgettable evening.