Espolon Blanc, St. Germain, apricot, orange blossom water, lime, hibiscus, apple wood-smoked sugar rim.
Just reading these ingredients suggests beauty and creativity and artistry just brushstrokes away from hanging on a museum wall. However, to see Tyler Harvey, bartender extraordinaire at Amuse, actually mixing the Marguerite (the moniker they’ve given this masterpiece), pouring and splashing, swirling and shaking, you’re even more convinced that you’re watching art being created. . .right down to his thoughtful positioning—and repositioning—of the vivid purple orchid on the rim of the glass.
Like an artist, he even takes a moment to step back and contemplate his creation for possible refinement.
Mixing these aesthetically appealing concoctions is surely an artistic endeavor but so is the process of conceiving the lineup of themed cocktails for each new exhibition. In fact, it’s not unlike curating the exhibition itself.
First, Tyler and his merry band of mixologists, including Kali Strain, Molly McCurnnin, and Christopher McKinney, choose a few new liquors to complement the flavor of the art. For The Art of the Flower, they added Bison Grass Vodka, American Honey Bourbon as well as a handful of other new libations. They then take these new additions to the bar and their core liquors and start dreaming up cocktails—using each type of liquor as well as champagne—worthy of an art museum menu.
The Art of the Flower gave them especially fertile ground for their ideas to blossom, concocting cocktails featuring celery syrup and Crème de Violette, garnished with tantalizing candied pansy petals and other edible blossoms, and bearing names like the “Forget-Me-Not” and “American in Paris” to reflect both the floral and French focus of the exhibition. “The names are the hardest part,” admits Tyler, who proudly adds that “The French Kiss” and “The Garden Party” were his contributions.
Presentation is all well and good, but the important question is: How do these cocktails taste? Let’s just say, your eyes will whet your taste buds. . . .and your taste buds won’t be disappointed!