Coleman Perret talks Instagram, cocktail trends and drink experience
Coleman Perret, Resident Mixologist at Bin 77 Sidebar, has a palate for flavor like no other. You can see his one-of-a-kind cocktail creations on his Instagram
@colemanbartending or follow his journey on Facebook.
How did you get your start in bartending?
The service industry was always a backup plan for me. So after leaving University and in need of a job, I stumbled into Bin 77. I met Hannah Levin, the bar manager at the time. They weren’t hiring servers or bartenders with no experience, but she said they did have an opening for a bar back. Had I known what bar backing entailed I likely would have walked away.
For the next six months I worked hard, and because I was surrounded with exceptional bartenders I took an interest in the craft. There are several who influenced my bartending experience: Ken Milo, Aaron Carmouche, Andy Anderson, and others. Now, two years into the gig I find myself as the Resident Mixologist at Bin 77 Sidebar—winning cocktail competitions, developing unique original creations and spins on classic cocktails, surrounded by friends, and incredibly thankful.
What made you want to start an Instagram following your bartending journey?
I actually requested to lead the business’s social media program but was denied due to my tender age. So, being interested in photography and having some experience, I decided to chronicle my journey on Instagram and Facebook (@colemanbartending) as a way to track my own progress. Not only does it allow me to express myself creatively—something I find intrinsically beneficial to my personal, emotional, and professional life—but it also allows me to interact with my consumer base in a personal, non-intrusive fashion.
What are some cocktail trends that you are seeing for the summer?
I read about a particularly tasty summer treat the other day online somewhere; it was a frozen watermelon mule! If you take a quarter of a watermelon and freeze it, you can put the fruit into a blender and add lime juice, ginger beer, and vodka. Give it a whirl, pour it into a mule mug, and have a delicious treat. You can add sugar to taste if you want it to be sweeter.
Europeans have been drinking a ton of Euro-beer, which is just lemonade and light beer mixed, and the trend has yet to make it to America. But the heat of a Louisiana summer might be just the thing to push it over the tipping point of pop culture.
What are some of your favorite seasonal cocktails?
I’ve been enjoying a few tremendous tipples lately, among them Luxardo Mazcal Margaritas, Just Peachy’s, Amaro Nonino Quintessenia on the rocks with an orange peel, and Venetian Spritz as ways to cool down in the summer heat. The former two are originals, the latter classic drinks people have been enjoying for ages. I’ve included the recipes below.
Luxardo Mezcal Margarita
2 oz reposado tequila
½ oz mescal
¾ oz dry curacao
½ oz agave nectar
¼ oz luxardo cherry syrup
1 ¼ oz fresh squeezed lime juice
2 oz honeysuckle vodka
½ oz peche de vine (peach Liqueur)
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
¾ oz honey simple syrup (1:1 honey and water mixed to integration)
Are there any flavor combos you’ve created that you really enjoy?
I find that very similar flavors work nicely together, and very dissimilar flavors work nicely together. Lemon, Violette, and Saffron are examples of flavors that work well due to congruency, illustrated in the following cocktail recipe that won a competition a couple of months ago at Gourmet in the Garden.
Charlie St. Cloud
1 oz saffron syrup
¾ oz lemon juice
¼ oz limoncello
2 oz London dry gin
3 dashes lavender bitters
¼ oz crème de violette layered on bottom in glass after shaking rest of ingredients
Very different flavors can also pair particularly nicely. A combination that I’ve termed “The Pete Maravich” combines Zucca Rabarbaro, a rhubarb liqueur, and Bonal, a gentian based sweet, with a peaty scotch such as Lagavulin 16. This creates a nice concordance of disparate flavors, allowing the usual scotch drinker to taste a delicate bouquet of flavors that work only through being so different from each other.
The Pete Maravich
1 oz Zucca Rabarbaro
1 oz Bonal
1.5 oz Lagavulin 16
2 dash Regan’s orange bitters
Flamed orange peel garnish
What should everyone have to create good cocktails at home?
If you are looking to make drinks that taste good to you, then the best thing to do is to find a few flavors that you really like, and do a little bit of research into ways you can incorporate that flavor into a drink. It is simple to infuse fruits, herbs, and spices into a bottle of liquor, and the same can be said for making tasty simple syrups with unique flavors.
If you want to define a good cocktail as a well balanced cocktail, i.e. not too sweet, tart, bitter, or alcoholic, it is a bit easier to pin down a few things you might need for a home bar. Simple Syrup or sugar, fresh citrus juice not from concentrate, good ice, good liquor, and a good recipe will go a long way to making delicious drinks at home. One of the best tasting and easiest drinks to make, a simple daiquiri, can be made with just these things.
1 oz lime juice
.75 oz simple syrup
2 oz aged clear Cuban rum