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The Aviary

I believe this is the bar at this moment, which is the very apex of mixology. For all bars - for all bartenders. Sure, there is Artesian and there is still Milk & Honey [NYC and London], PDT, Employees only, and many more. But Aviary - is something special... check this out:




Having said, that this it is the top, I don't think, that The Aviary is a benchmark. Lets say it is a class for its own. Very much like Grant Achatz [the chef owner of Alinea, Aviary and Next] big inspiration: El Bulli, this bar pushes the limits, but also does things completely different.

Comparing Aviary to a normal bar, is like comparing NASA with commercial aeronautics.

Is it then the future?

While I am very busy designing, testing, training new menus of the hotel, I am working - I can't deny, that I am pursuing more advanced techniques. But I believe, that there has to be a balance, between new technology and good old artisan crafting, gimmick and substance, seriousness and whimsicality, simplicity and sophistication.

It is cool, to produce flavored ice, which keeps the cocktail from too much diluting as well as changing the aroma with time - but don't we [and our guests] forget then, that a cocktail is only as good as long as it is smiling at you?

I always admired Japanese [artisan] culture. Strangely enough, parts of Japanese bartending is very Japanese (well this is not surprising), and other parts is not Japanese at all! Hence I am looking rather towards the tea ceremony or sushi cuisine. Especially in artisanal sushi making, the ingredients are the protagonists! And even the guest has to respect that...

I am further striving to establish an artisan bar. Sometimes [when my job requires, to do beverage concepts for lounges and restaurants] I strive a bit farer off - but then I am get up close and personal, when it comes to the design of a "real bar" program.

This will have an ice program [however definitely not quadrillions different choices of ice], it will be partly also sophisticated [not too whimsical, though]. There will be also theatrics involved. But hopefully everything will be in perfect balance and attuned to the respective abilities of my bartender colleagues...

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