EX­QUIS­ITE COCK­TAILS

From the glam­orous world of NYC model to Mai­son Fer­rand Asia Pa­cific Brand Am­bas­sador, we look at the brand and talk to Mi­caela Pic­colo about her role and love of life.

Exquisite Taste - - Contents - By – Amanda O'Con­nor

Join our con­ver­sa­tion with Mi­caela Pic­colo, the Asia Pa­cific brand am­bas­sador for Mai­son Fer­rand about her role in the brand and her love of life.

Alexan­dre Gabriel, pres­i­dent and owner of Mai­son Fer­rand, is pas­sion­ate about pro­duc­ing su­perb qual­ity spir­its, such as co­gnac, rum and gin, us­ing the best tech­niques avail­able. His Plan­ta­tion range of rums is made based on long-held tra­di­tions of rum mak­ing that re­spect their unique ter­roir, with ag­ing in bour­bon casks in trop­i­cal cli­mates fol­lowed by fur­ther ag­ing and as­sess­ment in co­gnac bar­rels in Co­gnac. This painstak­ing at­ten­tion to de­tail cre­ates rums with unique fin­ishes and characteristics.

With Plan­ta­tion Rum vin­tages trav­el­ling from Trinidad to Ja­maica and Guyana, among oth­ers, with sig­na­ture blends, bar clas­sics and spe­cial edi­tions, there is a whole world to ex­plore through rum.

Mai­son Fer­rand is also be­hind the ex­cep­tional Ci­tadelle Gin. Be­liev­ing modern gins had lost their com­plex­ity and re­fine­ment, Gabriel de­cided to make a hand-crafted gin us­ing cen­turies-old knowhow passed down through five gen­er­a­tions of mas­ter dis­tillers, cre­at­ing the com­plex, re­fined and el­e­gant Ci­tadelle Gin. Mul­ti­award win­ning, Ci­tadelle Gin has 69 medals, 32 of which are gold.

This ex­tra­or­di­nary re­spect and care un­der­pins ev­ery spirit he cre­ates and has given the com­pany its iconic sta­tus.

Mi­caela Pic­colo is trav­el­ling the Asia Pa­cific re­gion rep­re­sent­ing Mai­son Fer­rand, so we asked her about her days.

Mi­caela: I love wak­ing with a feel­ing of so much pur­pose. Watch­ing ar­ti­sanal spir­its like ours find a place in the mar­ket and start­ing to take a lead world­wide is very en­joy­able.

We are also in the business of hu­man con­nec­tion, so my goal is to rep­re­sent and share the as­pects of Mai­son Fer­rand and Alexan­dre Gabriel with ev­ery move and de­ci­sion I make. I feel I have enor­mous re­spon­si­bil­ity train­ing, in­flu­enc­ing and pre­sent­ing these brands, but I also love that this en­cour­ages peo­ple to try other drinks out­side their com­fort zone. Yes, I can sell and crunch num­bers, but our com­pany truth­fully em­braces the value of friend­ships and serv­ing one an­other as best we can.

: How did you end up first bar­tend­ing, then with Mai­son Fer­rand?

M: While mod­el­ling in New York City is very ex­cit­ing, I grew un­happy with not be­ing able to be truly my­self and after a par­tic­u­larly up­set­ting mo­ment, quit and found a job bar­tend­ing. From a very in­ex­pe­ri­enced start, I stud­ied, trav­elled in­ter­na­tion­ally and worked hard un­til even­tu­ally it all paid off.

After some time, I de­cided to fo­cus on ed­u­cat­ing and re­la­tion­ship build­ing, so I looked for a suit­able po­si­tion where I could move back to Asia.

: I hear that Ci­tadelle Gin will be sport­ing a new look in early 2018. Can you tell us some­thing about that?

M: We haven't changed the won­der­ful recipe that we use, which we be­lieve is what a gin should be, but we've up­dated its look, high­light­ing the true DNA of our gin with an im­age of the ci­tadelle, the botan­i­cals and a design in­spired by 18th cen­tury France. It looks more el­e­gant, bet­ter re­flect­ing that it is a modern French master­piece.

: And there’s a new rum in the mar­ket – Plan­ta­tion Pineap­ple Rum. Can you tell us about that one?

M: Charles Dick­ens wrote about a del­i­cacy in 19th cen­tury Eng­land called pineap­ple rum and Alexan­dre and spirit his­to­rian David Won­drich de­cided to bring this liq­uid trea­sure back to life. They only in­tended to share it with friends, but the re­sult was a beau­ti­fully re­fined, won­der­ful rum that was so pop­u­lar that we now sell it com­mer­cially.

: Any ad­vice for peo­ple start­ing out in the craft cock­tail world?

M: Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and get to work – just as you would in any field. While this job may be fun, you put a lot of your­self into it ev­ery day, so do re­mem­ber to take care of your­self just as you take care of your guests. Vitamins, ex­er­cise and hy­dra­tion are your friends!

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Mi­caela Pic­colo

Pineap­ple Up­side Down Cake

Mi­caela Pic­colo

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