Slosh: Spirits at The Drink Factory
A little over half a year ago, I ventured out and took some mixology courses, hoping that I could use that knowledge to save some money on a relative’s birthday celebration. Unfortunately, the event never occurred, but I truly relished the hustle of mixing drinks and learning about synergy between flavours. What’s more is that and I enjoyed meeting the different personalities that mingled about like the mocktails we were practicing; aspiring bartenders have interesting personalities. Reminiscing has brought to life a voice in the back of my head telling me to gear up, brush up, and take to a bar.
But I know how I am. I wouldn’t feel at home in a regular sports pub, or a chain restaurant’s bar for that matter. Nah, if I were to get into tending, I’d want to place myself in an establishment where dark wave hums in the background, the aire is full of despondence, and the drinks sing to the souls who consume them. All cocktails would be savored as a complete sensory experience in every establishment. Of course, this would all be staged in a perfect world.
However, in Northern London stands a research and design lab not too far from the renowned 69 Colebrook Row, and it’s a playground for radical mixologists who’ve vowed to take drink innovation to a new level. The Drink Factory’s been fostering collaborations between drink technicians and inquisitive interns since 2005, offering lectures, demonstrations and experiments in brainstorming and creating superior drinks. Tony Coligniaro, The Drink Factory’s imaginative founder, is a master molecular mixologist and gastronome, and his talent for fusing art, science and alcohol together has made him the pioneer to watch and emulate for decades now.
Early this year, folks at The Drink Factory announced their plans to publish a quarterly magazine for fellow bartenders, epicureans and artists alike. Their first issue ever, Gothic, features an array of eccentric brews and combinations, all themed around the concept of (anti-)aroma and (dis)comfort. Folks at The Drink Factory wanted to push boundaries and turn tables, taking normally unsavory scents (and tastes) and experimenting with them until sixteen palatable signature concoctions were fashioned.
Paired in between each drink is a series of conceptual photography, and the ideal form in which the drink should be presented in. For instance, Tears is suggested to be served in a syringe, and the drink is to be served and savored drop by drop. The Nosferatini—a seemingly normal gin martini—gets vamped up with a splash of red that floats throughout the drink like blood would in water.
Every ingredient to make each aspect for each drink is spelled out, making it very possible to substitute conventional liquor and liqueurs for organic versions. Gothic is sexy enough to be displayed as a coffee table book due to its sumptuous display, however it’d be best if you keep this limited edition issue in a safe place away from your wet bar. If you’re not based in the U.K. or Europe for that matter, expect to pay around 65USD after shipping to the States. If that’s a little steep, never fear; Coligniaro’s other best-selling book Drinks can be scooped up at local retailers for under 30USD.
Any aspiring mixologist, party host, or bar banger should peek at these volumes. They’re indispensable, and provide some eerie theory on making delectable drinks.
Nothing to fear, just cheers.