Late last week, Michael Martensen announced a new weekly concept at Smyth, his Uptown ode to crafty cocktails. The bar will offer what he describes as "coursed cocktails," a selection of drinks dreamed up by his team of bartenders to be enjoyed in concert for a fixed price.
His first run kicks off Tuesday and features the spirits of the Tempus Fugit Distillery. Five cocktails will set you back $50, and subsequent drink menus will run between $40 to $70 depending on the cost of ingredients.
If you've tipped back a glass at Smyth before, you're likely a little concerned. The cocktails here have been known to drop the hammer with every sip, so how are you going to feel after powering through five drinks?
Martensen assures that while you may not want to schedule a three-hour meeting at 9 a.m. the subsequent Wednesday morning, you're not going to have to crawl out of the bar when you're finished. The drinks feature smaller glasses and shorter pours, so you can experience more flavors before you temporarily go blind.
The hope is this weekly option creates a lot more potential for the inventive flavors that Smyth has a reputation for. In the past, drink menus were shunned in favor of an interactive experience. Customers pick a spirit they are in the mood for, a flavor profile or two, and perhaps the color of their socks or their innermost feelings, and then 10 minutes later a custom-made cocktail appears.
That tack has the advantage of creating a dynamic drinking experience, but it also means your bartender is creating rapid-fire custom cocktails. The event offers the ability to hone recipes, prep specific ingredients and hopefully offer a drinking experience that is more refined.
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