March 24, 2016

Drinking art

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I knew there would be numerous venues around town offering special creations as Art Basel Hong Kong rolled into town this week, and I wanted to see what else was available besides Uwe's creations.  As I browsed through Hong Kong Tatler's article on the subject, the first item that popped up was this cocktail at the Artesian - the bar at the Langham Hong Kong.  The picture showed what looked like one of Salvador Dali's clocks draped over a cocktail glass, and this immediate caught my attention.  After making some enquiries, I made a reservation and showed up with Hello Kitty.

We were informed beforehand that each cocktail takes some time to make, so we would need to be patient... and this was the reason why reservations are necessary.  The bar area was half-empty when we showed up, and it appeared that no one else was there to enjoy these special cocktails.  Perfect for us, then... since we didn't have to wait our turn.

There were three different cocktails on offer - each inspired by world-famous piece of art.  Of course we decided to get all three and share...

When bar manager "Rush" Limbu started on the first cocktail, we immediately realized why they take so long to make.  The base of the cocktail is made first, with a layer of egg white foam on top that acts as the "canvas". Then Rush puts different food colorings on a plate - his "palette" - and proceeds to draw on the foam with a toothpick.

Salvador Dali, "The Persistence of Memory" - Los Danzantes Mezcal, Grand Marnier, Domaine de Canton, Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, orange juice, and egg white.  Definitely very citrusy, and the Mezcal flavors were pretty prominent.

Piet Mondrian, "Tableau I" - Saffron Gin, elderflower liqueur, Chartreuse, The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters, fresh lemon juice, egg white, and grenadine.  This was a lot more to Hello Kitty's liking, since the lemon juice base made it more acidic.

Vincent van Gogh, "Starry Night" - Chalong Bay Rum, Frangelico, Strega, Bittermens Xocolatl Bitters, Blue Curaçao, fresh lime juice, and egg white.  For some reason this tasted EXACLY like Nothing... full of coconut that you'd find in Malibu.  But this was oh-so-pretty... and looking at it made us so happy.

Once the other bar patrons saw Rush making our cocktails, they started ordering them, too.  Before we knew it, the better part of an hour had passed, and Rush looked like he was getting a little sore in the lower back from bending over for so long.  It definitely looked like hard work, especially when he had to color in those squares for the Mondrian drop by drop...

This was something pretty special, and we really enjoyed the time we spent here tonight...  Rush definitely worked pretty hard to create these drinks for us, and we almost didn't want to drink them for fear of ruining his work!

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