Artesian launches Surrealist cocktail listBy Lucy Shaw
The ever innovative Artesian at The Langham hotel has launched a new cocktail menu inspired by an erotic cookbook written by Surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.
The bar’s envelope pushing mixologists Alex Kratena and Simone Carpale dipped into Dalí’s Les Diners de Gala in search of ideas for their new list.
The duo have taken a perfumier’s approach to the cocktails, giving scent, presentation and garnishes as important a role as flavour in the final serve.
Led by André Breton in the 1920s, the Surrealists were inspired by Freud and imbued both everyday objects and their dreams with lofty significance.
Their aim was to try and give meaning and expression to their inner workings of their subconscious through automatic writing, hyper real fantastical paintings and abject objects.
Blurring the lines between dreams and reality, Surrealist artworks aim to shock, surprise and delight via juxtapositions.
Among the famous Surrealist artists are Max Ernst, Man Ray, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Méret Oppenheim, Yves Tanguy, Luis Buñuel, and, of course, Dalí.
“We chose Surrealism as it allowed us to break down the boundaries and perceived norms when creating cocktails.
“We wanted to challenge ourselves and our guests by creating completely new drinking experiences playing with flavour, texture and glassware,” said Kratena.
“Les Diners de Gala contains recipes with visual flair, a disregard for accepted norms and a heightened feeling for the absurd. This is what we wanted to bring to our cocktails,” Carpale added.
The Surrealism cocktail collection is on pour now at the Artesian, with cocktails priced at £18 a pop.
Click through for a gallery of highlights from the collection – expect the unexpected.
Join the Colony
Playing on Dali’s obsession with ants, this quirky cocktail is served in a giant copper ant that looks like it’s been lifted from the set of Honey I Shrunk the Kids.
Starting with a granola base combining fruity, savoury and sweet flavours, guests are asked to pour a white, milk-like liquid made from Absolut Elyx, wheat, almond, juniper and bergamot onto the granola in a twist on breakfast cereal.
Your Room or Mine?
Inspired by German Surrealit artist and Man Ray muse Meret Oppenheim’s fur-covered cup and saucer, Your Room or Mine? is not for the squeamish.
Offering imbibers a multi-sensory experience, the golden hued cocktail is line with Hermès scented fur and contains Glenfiddich 15 Year Old, Becherovka and Pineau des Charentes.
Heaven is for Sinners
Playing with temperature, the ice-cold Heaven is for Sinners is served in a hot stone representing the volcanic plains of Guatemala and features Ron Zacapa 23, furikake, pineapple, mango, tonka and Saison beer.
One for the boys, the Anti Hero is inspired by Dali’s fascination with long legged creatures, from giraffes to elephants.
Served in a futuristic take on an elephant, the eye-catching cocktail blends Don Julio Reposado, Muscat, gentian, verjus, smoke and blood orange.
Suspended in Time
Suspended in an ambrette and bergamot-scented net attached to a diamond and sapphire ring, this clever cocktail, featuring Star of Bombay, lime, niaouli, yarrow and palmarosa appears to levitate above the table.
Fast Money Comes at a Dangerous Price
Inspired by the gold cover of Les Diners de Gala, this cocktail comes housed in a gold lacquered bento box.
Hidden beneath a bed of black pebbles and a trio of Parmesan crisps, the zen-like elixir features Johnnie Walker Gold, chamomile, vetiver, sandalwood and ombucha.
Death of the Hipster
For those having a night off the sauce this non-alcoholic cocktail is served in a glass lab beaker and combines coffee, jasmine, tonic, oak smoke and elderflower.