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The Jennings by Bastien Rémillieux of El Pequeño 

The Jennings by Bastien Rémillieux of El Pequeño - cover

For our third article in our “Behind the Bar” series, the second being Chris Natale’s Beyond Bond from Henri Brasserie Française, we present Jennings by Bastien Rémillieux from El Pequeño. This series will introduce you to cocktails that you can enjoy in the best cocktail bars in Canada.

The Story Behind the Jennings by Bastien Rémillieux of El Pequeño

El Pequeno was named one of the best bars in Canada by EnRoute, what does it change for you?

Look, it really brought us a lot of people from its distribution in the Air Canada’s airplanes, the proof, we had people coming out of the plane and arriving directly here and it made us a great advertisement. And here our cocktail card is still affordable, between 10 and 16 dollars. We try to respect the traditional Cuban cocktails, but by putting them to the taste of today.

You also make sandwiches, cubanos here if I’m not mistaken?

Yes, we have only one item, on our food menu. Which is a bit of a Miami delicatissen actually. It’s typical, the Cubans brought this sandwich to Miami. It’s pickles, salami, pickled pork in citrus fruits, ham, Swiss cheese, mustard on ciabatta bread, and it’s served in a cigar box and it’s perfect with the cocktail I’m going to make you.

Your inspiration for the Jennings, it comes from where?

In fact, it starts from Daiquiri, and initially it has a bad reputation largely because of the strawberry Daiquiri , everyone thinks it’s a sweet cocktail. The name behind the Daiquiri, comes from the beach of the same name and a mine, not far from Santiago de Cuba, and it was a drink consumed by the workers.

The cocktail was popular thanks to Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer, when the latter received customers from England, the favorite alcohol was gin. And at one point, he ran out of gin and so used the workers’ beverage, which turned the gin into rum, “Rhum makes it better” as they say. So the Jennings has been named in his honor.

It’s a twist on the Martinez, which is one of my favorite cocktails, and is made with gin, maraschino vermouth and Angostura. And since it’s a cocktail with twists, I’ve added the rum knowledge I’ve had since I’ve been here, and I want to share it with the people who come here.

If you described it to us, what would it be?

It is a cocktail to relax that we will take the time to drink. There is an evolution in flavors over time. This is not the kind of daiquiri to quench your thirst as we see in resorts. It has more life, more body.

The recipe of the Jennings by Bastien Rémillieux of El Pequeño

The Jennings by Bastien Rémillieux of El Pequeño  - cocktail

Credit: Normand Boulanger for RDPMAG

To realize the Jennings of Bastien Rémillieux, you place all the ingredients in a shaker with ice and colander and we make the Cuban roll, method of cooling the cocktail will not crush the ice shakant and you will not add of air, you’re just going airy, you’re going to focus on the sweeter agents in the cocktail party. Since it’s lower in alcohol, you can afford to air it a bit more. For example, if you make a Negroni this way, it will really bring out the choice of your vermouth. By adding citrus zest to rum, it’s super interesting. What is good is that we will look for memories with it like the orange-chocolate that we are typing on the table.

And it’s ready.

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El Pequeño
401-A St-Vincent
Montréal, QC, H2Y 3A4

President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Gentologie.