The cocktail costs $50, but before your purse strings tighten, consider the smorgasbord of ingredients crammed into the drink. A large jug containing over 80 ounces of Bloody Mary and a few obligatory stalks of celery, the drink is also garnished with cheese, pickles, olives, sausage, prawns, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, lemon, Brussels sprouts, ‘baconadoes’ (skewers of bacon-wrapped jalapeño cheese balls) and the pièce de résistance… a whole fried chicken.
Cocktail overload? Perhaps, but the cocktail is designed to quench and feed four people and Sobelman’s Pub & Grill kindly donates a portion of profits from the sale of each Chicken Fried Bloody Mary to local Milwaukee food bank Hunger Task Force, so all you need to worry about is who gets first dibs on the last piece of fried chicken.
Artesian at The Langham Hotel in London is known for its experimental cocktails; a quick glance at its new Surrealism menu reveals concoctions full of innovative ingredients like artisan coffee, oak smoke and patchouli and Above & Beyond, a cocktail created by head bartenders Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale in 2013, is one of its most adventurous and outlandish to date.
A cocktail that wouldn’t look out of place at a contemporary art exhibition, Above & Beyond begins with a fancy twist on a rum old-fashioned with a tumbler filled with fine Guatemalan Zacapa rum, 30-year-old Pedro Ximénez sherry, Fernet Branca, crème de banane and mandarin bitters. But here’s where it gets really avant-garde: when presented, the cocktail comes complete with an inflated balloon which, when popped, releases a fragrant burst of fresh forest aromas and a bag of Guatemalan worry dolls.
Theatrical it may be, but there is actually rhyme and reason behind Artesian’s creative madness with the addition of Above & Beyond’s complimentary worry dolls and forest air-filled balloon, referencing the origin of its Guatemalan distilled rum.
Artesian, 1C Portland Place, London, United Kingdom, +44 20 7636 1000
The Shrub & Shutter, a trendy bar and restaurant, opened in 2014, in Brixton, London specializing in seasonal cocktails, takes the margarita and gives the quintessentially Mexican cocktail a distinctly local twist by loading on a miniature version of the much-loved British mealtime classic, fish and chips.
The Fish & Chip Shop Margarita starts off traditionally enough with Ocho Blanco Tequila, sugar syrup and saline solution before The Shrub & Shutter’s bartenders get creative adding lime and pea shrub and Jimmy’s Plaice bitters; a homage to a neighboring fish and chip shop of the same name made from batter scraps, Balkan vodka, more tequila, sugar syrup and a heavy pinch of salt and pepper.
Finished with a sea salt and vinegar rim, the Fish & Chip Shop Margarita is given an extra quirky twist with a tiny cone filled with fish, scraps and pea purée attached to the glass with a mini clothespin. Could there be a more British cocktail? Answers on a postcard, please.
At Atlanta, Georgia’s Fork & Juniper, adventurous cocktail fans can try the imaginatively titled Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife; an off-menu drink ordered by those in the know and featuring some pretty creative ingredients.
Combining rum, chocolate stout, the mint-flavored Italian liqueur Branca Menta and two kinds of bitters, the cocktail is already an innovative concoction but offers drinkers an extra surprise in the form of (wait for it) a whole smoked baby octopus clinging to the rim of the glass.
Interestingly, the Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is inspired by a 19th-century, quasi-erotic Japanese ukiyo-e art piece of the same name featuring a young female abalone diver in a compromising position with an amorous octopus, which explains the addition of the smoked baby octopus… kind of.
Fork & Juniper, 125 10th Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA, USA, +1 404 443 1234