Adding a splash of Galician colour to our apres ski scene.
We go behind the scenes to speak to Jimmy Torre, founder and creator of Copiña Meribel and the new Copiña Courchevel 1650.
What is Copiña?
Copiña is a concept that we came up with last year that incorporated our favourite aspects of hospitality. Having worked in the Alps for 14 years running Jack’s Bar and Evolution restaurant, as a team we decided to indulge in a new venture that incorporated all the things closest to our hearts.
Why Copiña, and what does it mean?
I am Spanish, Galician to be exact. ‘Copa’ is the spanish word for a champagne/cocktail glass or more specifically a ‘coupe’ style glass. ‘Copiña’ is the diminutive form in Galician, so ‘little glass’.
What are these ‘favourite aspects’?
There are 4 key elements:
- Cocktails – We’ve been doing cocktails for many years at our previous venues but decided to step up our game and create; go beyond mixology.
- Craft beer – The industry has exploded and we felt the Alps was crying out to be brought up to speed. In our venues we have 6 taps rotating all sorts of weird and wonderful ales.
- World wine – 15 wines by the glass selected on merit and not restricted to region or country.
- Tapas – I love the sharing aspect, the social side. It transcends the barrier between restaurants and bars, after all you can eat at the bar! In Spain, meal times are a social event. Plus the Spanish element ties it all together.
What do you think makes it work?
Everything about Copiña is about the theatre. The bar dominates the venue and we encourage people to sit there because the bar is where it all happens. From the intimate atmosphere, to our tapas and fiery cocktails made right in front of you, it’s all about the show. We guide you through the menus, and with wine and beer you can even ‘try before you buy’. The cocktails are a performance; it’s all about sharing our passion with the customers.
What made you choose to open a second Copiña?
Why Courchevel? The concept was well received and we very quickly realised it could be replicated further afield. Courchevel was the next logical location for us and 1650 is where it is at; great nightlife and some rocking venues to team up with so we jumped at the opportunity. It is Copiña Méribel’s sister venue, but bigger in size giving us more scope to develop the food side of the menu with the added restaurant, kitchen and terrace space. The wider food offering differentiates it from Meribel, with all day service from a sit down meal to a quick tapa!
Was Copiña created by you alone?
Tell us a bit about the Copiña family…
Our family is not only the staff but also our friends, and was born from our journey with Jack’s and Evolution. They are the people who designed, built and brought Copiña to life. And speaking of… My wife is the Head Chef, so we really have kept it in the family!
What inspired your unique cocktails?
Our cocktail menu is a joint effort between management and some very talented mixologists that have come through the doors over the years. We wanted to create something special and take it beyond just mixing ingredients. So we all brought new ideas to the table, learnt some innovative techniques and created a cocktail menu different from the norm. For example, each and every cocktail has at least one ingredient made in-house.
Quick fire round!
You mentioned earlier the 4 key components that make up Copiña…
1) Favourite beer? Fourpure Juicebox, our house citrus IPA. But I do love a sour…
2) Favourite wine? Pomares. A Portuguese red, a bit of as left field wine but never disappoints
3) Favourite tapa? Pulpo a la gallega – it’s amazing. It’s Galician. Enough said.
4) Favourite cocktail? Really tough, so I’m gonna go left field again ‘Uns pican’. Check it out.
Recipe for Copiña’s – ‘Uns pican’ cocktail:
40 ml Altos tequila
40ml Raw, juiced padron peppers
20ml Lime juice
15ml Homemade salted honey syrup* (salted honey syrup: 3-to-1 honey to water, salt it to taste)
10ml Homemade sugar syrup* (sugar syrup: 2-to-1 sugar to water, brought to heat until fully diluted)
2 drops of Chartreuse
Build in shaker
Wet shake* (in a shaker with ice)
Dry shake* (in a shaker without ice)
Finally, double strain into a coupe glass.
(Then serve with a racion of iberico jamon – idyllic!)