Rémy Martin x The Connaught x Ceramicist Reiko Kaneko team up for excellence. A unique preview during London Craft Week to celebrate savoir-faire.

Rémy Martin, the family owned house crafting Cognac Fine Champagne for three centuries, has teamed up with The Connaught’s Director of Mixology, Agostino Perrone and the Connaught Bar Head of Mixology, Giorgio Bargiani to create a delicious Rémy Martin XO cocktail that will be housed in a bespoke vessel created by ceramicist and designer Reiko Kaneko, to be launched during London Craft Week (30th Sept – 10th Oct).

Rémy Martin has long been a supporter of London Craft Week, which reflects authenticity and bridges the gap between iconic heritage, craftsmanship and contemporary brands.

This year, Rémy Martin has teamed up with two exceptional talents: Ago Perrone, Director of Mixology at the world famous and multiple award-winning Connaught Hotel and master ceramicist Reiko Kaneko, to collaboratively work on a bespoke vessel for the newly created Rémy Martin XO cocktail ‘Flint’, launching this autumn.

The new cocktail called Flint draws its name from the spark igniting creativity as well as the fires of the still in Cognac. It is a symphonic blend of Rémy Martin XO, complex and tropical lacto-fermented melon, accented with herbaceous Green Chartreuse and pink pomelo tonic. Launching on the new cocktail menu at The Connaught Bar this autumn.

Inspired by the elements of cognac production, the team spent a day in Reiko’s atelier, experimenting with ideas and techniques, using grapevines leaves, chalk stone and other materials that would recall the unique terroir and provenance of Rémy Martin. The vessels where finally adorned with Ago’s and Giorgio’s signatures!

After the workshop, the vessel was redesigned on paper and digitally reproduced to create a 3D model. With that model, a production mold was made, into which the black fine bone china was cast separately and later joined with clay. The detail of the rough texture outside represents the diverse terroir and was achieved by pressing cloth dipped in slip on to the body. The insides of the vessels were hand painted with intricate strokes of white slip (a mixture of clay and water). The motion of the strokes evokes a feeling of the flames used to toast the barrels and the white texture hints at the chalky soil where the grapes for Rémy Martin start their journey. The vessels were then fired at 1230 degrees, glazed (inside with clear glaze and outside with nuances of a rich red glaze to further enhance the inspiration of fire) and finished again at 1080 degrees.

Ago Perrone, Master Mixologist for The Connaught Bar, who was awarded European Mixologist of the Year” in 2016 and 2017, says about the collaboration: “Our vision for the final serve was embraced the moment we met Reiko. We discovered so many wonderful similarities during our creative process as we merged the craft of pottery with the art of mixology. The complexity and intricacy of our collaboration was a perfect blend of mixology, art and craft.”

Reiko Kaneko, who has her own studio in East London and has worked on bespoke projects for The Fat Duck and Willer Gallery, says about the collaboration: “Ago and Giorgio had a real love for what they were crafting and it’s always a learning experience for me to be amongst the best in their fields. My understanding is that the essence of craft is in the material – to respect it and to not waste it. That obsession with the material and the constant learning around that material and craft is what keeps most of us going as makers – It was a very special collaboration.”

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