Beverage Director Jeremy LeBlanche of Thyme Bar, Flatiron’s newest hidden lounge, a cocktail speakeasy in a historic pre-war cellar beneath 23rd Street, is an acclaimed mixologist and a French native with global bartending experience.

He expresses the language of cocktails through exclusive tastes and botanical elements, providing an unforgettable multisensory experience committed to revolutionizing what constitutes a “cocktail” in taste, aroma, and presentation. We spoke to Jeremy about his program and cocktail presentation.

Jeremy LeBlanche of Thyme Bar

Jeremy LeBlanche of Thyme Bar

Talk to us about your background in the industry.

I am a French native with bartending experience across countries. Before opening Thyme Bar, I was head mixologist at Queensyard NYC, where I launched a unique summer cocktail menu-pairing experience. Before arriving in New York City, I also worked at Bluebird Chelsea, German Gymnasium and The Gibson in the UK, the 2-Michelin starred Anne Sophie Pic of the Beau-Rivage Palace in Switzerland, Ananas Restaurant/Cocktail Bar in Australia, and Hotel Le Manali in France, where I refined and expanded my mixology skills.

Gynoecium Old Fashioned

Gynoecium Old Fashioned

What is the drink program at Thyme Bar like?

Thyme Bar utilizes unique ingredients with a mission for sustainability, serving light fare and creative specialty libations in an intimate space. The cocktails progress in complexity, offering flavor profiles to suit every guest. The beverage menu is divided into two: “Le Jardin” cocktails are inspired by classic cocktails with elevated mixology elements and presentation to create an artistic new iteration of the classics; “Floriography” is the language of flowers through art, and these cocktails incorporate creative garnishes, untraditional flavors and presentation, creating a transcendent mixology experience.

Thyme Bar Primrose & Rye

Thyme Bar Primrose & Rye

Talk to us about the inspiration for your drinks menu.

I have a folder where I keep everything I find intriguing. I take pictures, screenshots, and log notes of potential sources of inspiration. When it comes to creating a new menu, I look at everything I collected during the year and develop it. My inspiration comes from fashion, art, and chefs. I pull glassware from everywhere; everything that can contain a liquid can be adapted to hold a cocktail. As chefs create art on a plate in gastronomy, I think we can do the same with cocktails. For example, inspired by Christian Dior’s classic French perfume, the Ambre Nuit cocktail utilizes the essence of the fragrance in the bitters of the cocktail. This presentation demonstrates the “amber light,” which is the translation of “Ambre Nuit.” 

Thyme Interior

Thyme Interior

What type of experience can guests expect when visiting?

This menu is designed to be enjoyed as an all-encompassing, multisensory experience. What I have created for Thyme Bar is about appreciating the art of mixology and presentation. It’s an experience that I have always wanted but had a hard time finding in the city. I hope to express the language of cocktails through exclusive tastes and botanical elements, rethinking what constitutes a “cocktail” in flavor, aroma, and presentation.  

Thyme Bar NYC, negroni

Negroni

Tell us some of your most-used skills. Which one is your specialty?  

I think my creativity is my greatest strength. I use the latest innovations in Molecular Gastronomy and draw inspiration from various day-to-day items and cultures to create unfamiliar presentations and garnishes. The “extra” garnishing is part of my signature, including smoke and perfume, such as the Christian Dior Perfume in Ambre Nuit 

Give us some tips for running a successful beverage program. 

The guests always come first. The cocktails you may like in your beverage program may not necessarily represent what the guests would enjoy. Focus on the demand and preference of the market and work around that. On the other hand, although it is essential to observe and understand what your guests want and the market demands, staying true to your own approach and style is crucial to standing out in this competitive industry.