Mojo’s Doug Dunnet makes us a New York Sour

Doug_Dunnet_CNP6102Photos: Christopher Pearce

As told to Sam Bygrave

Frenchman Doug Dunnet says he arrived in Australia by accident, and he’s stayed ever since. Better known to the Sydney bartending community as Dougie, he’s been behind the stick at Mojo Record Bar since its early days, starting there as a barback a couple of shifts a week.

As well as making us a mean Daiquiri, we asked him about how he got into bartending, and to whip up the New York Sour from their list.

I moved to Australia by accident. I moved to New Zealand, got bored really quick, and one of my friends from back home was living in Sydney at the time. I decided to take a one-way ticket, seven and a half years ago planning to stay three to six months here. And I’m still here.


I started hospitality when I started travelling. In New Zealand I started waiting tables at a restaurant. I really liked waitresses so I started work at a restaurant called GPK.

After that I moved to Sydney, I got fed up with working in restaurants, and started working in a burger joint. My flatmate at the time was working at Hugo’s Lounge, I got introduced to the Sydney bar scene not really working bars but I knew a few cats. I started working for the Sheraton on the Park, waiting tables and then barbacking, doing a bit of everything.

I worked in a small bar that doesn’t exist anymore. It was an interior design showroom upstairs and a cocktail bar downstairs. It never worked, I barely served anyone the year I was there.

There was no one to serve — it’s just boring. And my boss was a crackhead. That makes it even better.

I worked at Spice Cellar for nearly two years. During the week they would try to be more a cocktail bar; weekend-wise, it was a party. Come the weekend, it was different. Different clientele — party people that usually don’t sleep n the weekend.

Fridays, I’d start at 11am in the morning and finish at 8am the next morning. Saturday nights I’d start at 8pm and finish about midday. I had a flatmate I didn’t see for over a month — she didn’t know who I was.

I like Mojo. I like normal hours, and I like rock and roll.

Normal hospitality hours are, wake up around nine or ten in the morning, walk around, have a nap, come to work. Or stay in bed until I go to work — I do that a lot, my girlfriend hates me for it!

The lifestyle is a lot better than in France — better wages, better weather, a lot less stress.

I was pretty reserved before. Not shy, but it’s helped me to overcome that barrier with people a little bit. You get out of your shell, and get out there.

I drink red wine, most of the time — and whiskey. I really like shiraz, rose, malbec. I like a nice crisp rose — Cotes de Provence is always a go to.

I’m from Paris. [My neighbourhood] was ok, but if you go two blocks it’s not ok. It got a bit rougher.

We didn’t really drink in bars, it wasn’t really affordable. We drank longnecks on the park bench.


New York Sour

50ml Wild Turkey Rye
20ml lemon juice
20ml sugar syrup
Dash of egg white
20ml red wine (like shiraz or tempranillo)

Shake all ingredients except the wine with ice, and strain over ice in a rocks glass. Float the red wine on top.

Given the crucial role of New York in rock n’ roll, it makes sense that there’s a New York Sour on the Mojo Record Bar drinks list — this is how they make theirs.

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