db drinks: Mirage at City Social

db previews Mirage, the world’s first augmented reality cocktail menu, at Jason Atherton’s Michelin-starred City Social in London.

The concept: 18 months in the making, the 12 Mirage cocktails express ‘a timeline of artistic styles throughout the ages.’ Devised by The Social Company’s group bar executive Jamie Jones and City Social bar manager Tim Laferla, Mirage marries virtual reality, art history and creative mixology.

Jamie Jones told db that he wanted to find the middle ground between the theatrical, multi-sensory and surrealist serves at the Artesian ­- its extraordinary array of drinking accoutrements “would be impractical in a restaurant” – and the stripped back, visceral elegance of the White Lyan.

Jones had dreamt up the idea well before the Pokemon-Go phenomenon and admitted he was worried that the gaming sensation “would pinch his idea.” Fortunately for him, the world of augmented reality has thus far remained restricted to finding a wild ‘Pidgey’ rather than a pomelo and samphire cordial.

The menu explores art through the ages, deriving inspiration from Michelangelo and Van Gogh through to Andy Warhol and Banksy.

The process: Upon booking, customers are invited to download a purpose-built app, created by Mustard Designs. The app, in terms of MB, will be around “the same size as Facebook,” Atherton said.

The cocktail will be served up accompanied by a special coaster. To view the cocktail in augmented reality, simply open the app, point and focus the camera on the coaster and the cocktail will come to life. The animations can be captured either in a photo or video.

The app then allows sippers to save, email and share their photos/videos on social media. The public launch, according to Atherton, is set for mid-June.

Click through the following pages to uncover the full Mirage menu.

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