Custom Cocktailing in the W Hotel's Living Room
|Gabriel Orta in action at W's The Living Room.|
Bar Lab is also about to open the city's first pop-up shop for consumption (well, the first post-prohibition) and happens to be the creator of our favorite company motto, "we mix shit up." All drinks are $16, no matter what they concoct (okay, if you ask for something aged or rare, you will have to pay extra, of course).
They do drink alchemy behind the bar, creating a range of infusions and flavored bitters using everything from grapefruit to lavender. While the menu does boast interesting creations such as a "Smokey Artichoke" with Mezcal, sweet vermouth, Cynar amaro and tobacco bitters, and a champagne cocktail called the "Chemista," topped with cucumber foam, the real reason we are here is to taste something beyond the ordinary, something made especially just for us.
We sat down at the bar and placed ourselves in the hands of Gabriel Orta, co-founder of Bar Lab, who truly loves his job and is fearless when it comes to ingredients. When he returned from the kitchen with a bunch of veggies in his arms, we honed in on some beautiful arugula, which he matched up with our chosen cocktail star, fennel, for a most refreshing and surprising drink we downed in record time. When liquor tastes good it goes down fast, and this went really, really fast. Beer bong fast.
We challenged him with the task of making five different drinks, each with a unique flavor profile. Gabriel said that he "can use anything for drinks, it's all about balance." First came flames, then came shaking, muddling, it went on and on. What emerged was one fantastic cocktail after another, and one seriously regrettable hangover the next day. Worth every sip of it.
|The "classic" cocktail made with bourbon.|
|Fresh fennel and arugula with gin, the ideal health drink.|
|A spicy red and yellow pepper based cocktail.|
|The layer cake of cocktails, made with coffee and two kinds of rum.|
|The Miami Beach of all drinks.|
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