Lawrence Moore & Associates
1886 Bar Spring 2014 Cocktail Menu Press Release
For Immediate Release:
Relive Your Arcade Days with 1886 Bar’s Spring Cocktail Menu!
(Los Angeles, CA), April 22nd, 2014: It’s a time-honored tradition that many of us recall from childhood: taking a pocketful of quarters to the local arcade and bellying up to your favorite video game for hours in pursuit of a three-initial induction on the “High Score” page. Those days may be long gone, and arcades might be a thing of the past… but nothing says you can’t celebrate the spoils of your youth in a more adult way. Such is the vision behind 1886 Bar’s spring cocktail list, a collection of a dozen drinks inspired by classic video games!
“This is a brand new idea for us – and we really wanted to come up with something old-school and visually pleasing,” says 1886’s head barman Brady Weise. “Everyone knows Mario and Luigi – they’re part of pop culture. I remember when I was a kid and my neighbor got a Nintendo. I was so excited, I ran over there every day and watched them play Super Mario Brothers. So we thought it’d be cool to have a tie in that everyone knows visually, and also have a childlike play on something that’s an adult thing. It’s part of the continuing evolution of what we do at 1886 – it’s insane, but fun.”
No cheat codes are necessary to enjoy this fine selection of handcrafted drinks. This season, 1886’s liquid offerings are being presented in three distinct categories: Shaken, With Citrus; Stirred, Aromatic; and Tall, Refreshing.
The first five sips are found under Shaken, With Citrus – and they’re bound to have you longing for the glow of a game screen on your face. Starting things off is Bowser’s Brew, a combination of honey, lemon and bourbon – served in a Maplewood-smoked jar – that you shake vigorously for eight seconds. Next is the mouthwatering Punsch-Out!, with fresh squeezed lemon and lime juices, Kronan's Swedish Punsch and house-made chamomile-infused rye. Of course, no homage to classic video games would be complete without Princess Toadstool – and her honor is memorialized with the Princess Toadstool's Tonic, a malt cocktail combining pisco, Aperol, Doppelbock and lemon to create a delicate, pink lace around the glass in which it's served. Then there’s the Angel of Darkness – a combination of rye, sherry, lime, pineapple and maple syrup. And lastly, the DK Daiquiri will make you want to smash some barrels, it’s so tasty. What’s inside? Banana-infused Selva Rey white rum, fresh lime, and a touch of natural sugar. Yum!
Moving on to the next level, it’s time for Stirred, Aromatic – and it starts with the drink Weise says was the most difficult to create. “La Calavera was the most challenging because it involves three different types of spirits, and we were trying to evoke a similarity to a cocktail that was already extremely popular,” Weise says. “We all had a hand in putting that one to the board, and trying to balance the mescal, tequila and rum was an intense process. There was a lot of work put behind it to create the effect we wanted to create.”
That effect was a spin-off of the ever-popular Sazerac using reposado mezcal, reposado tequila, and aged Venezuelan rum with Creole and cardamom bitters. But after that, it’s back to Mario’s world for Yoshi's Island, a Manhattan/Martini style cocktail using Meyer lemon and rosemary-infused Benedictine, dry vermouth, house-blended orange bitters, and Fifty Pound gin, finished with a rosemary island. Next is one of Weise’s personal favorites, and one he created himself – the Rush'n Attack, featuring house-made, locally produced olive oil vodka, a tomato-water ice cube, and a secret blend of spices. But dark liquor drinkers – and sweet-tooth enthusiasts – will want to save room for the Scotch Scout, a spin on a Manhattan using Shortbread cookie-infused 12-year scotch, Carpano Antica and a few drops of Benedictine.
“It’s a really cute drink because it’s kind of simple and straightforward in the style, but garnishment is really what sells the drink,” Weise enthuses. “It was created with a dessert in mind, but not the sweetness of the dessert, necessarily. So you get the honey and heather notes from the Scotch, and attach it to the buttery, chewy mouthfeel of the cookie. Putting them together – the drink and the cookie – lets our guests taste all of the drink’s notes in a new way, which is pretty cool.”
Finally, we’re at the Big Boss level: Tall, Refreshing, with three drinks that fall under this category. Weise counts the Bucky O'Hare as another one of his personal faves. A play on a classic buck, this one features El Silencio mezcal, Cio Ciaro, lime, ginger and grapefruit soda. But the real stand-out of the bunch is Luigi's Mansion, made with puya chili-infused blanco tequila, fresh cilantro, cucumber, lime and a hint of agave syrup. Says Weise, “The color and the garnishes on this drink are really stunning. It sounds strange to say, but it’s almost a beautifully evil looking drink.”
Closing things out is the Pimm's #13, the latest in 1886 Bar’s quest to reformulate the entire Pimm’s series from scratch. This time, the spirit base is mezcal – and it’s muddled with fresh citrus, cucumber and mint, and topped up with a hearty slug of Jarritos Tamarindo.
The drinks are done, the game has been won, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over. In fact, in a first for the 1886 crew, the menu itself mimics the theme of the season – and promises to become a collector’s item all its own. Calling upon the classic maze-like landscape of Pac Man as its visual base, it’ll be hard for guests to decide if they want to order from the menu, or play with it.
“When we got together to create this list, we realized we were exploring not just how we make cocktails, but also the visual effect of the menu,” Weise says. “We started to notice that the way we approached the presentation of the menu really turned people on to our concepts, but that also came with unintended consequences. Pete Lloyd Jones was the one who constructed them, and people want to buy them now – they’ve been taking them home. With our last theme, Where The Wild Things Are, we had a picture of Max with a drink. We started out with 27 menus, and by the end of the season, 16 were gone.”
Creative and innovative cocktails surrounding video game culture, an artistic menu that guests will want to take home… what could the 1886 Bar crew possibly do to top that?
“That’s always the question we pose to ourselves,” Weise admits. “We’re always looking at how we can change the landscape. We’re a little far from the beaten track, so we don’t have that competition working against us, but it’s also not working for us. And that means we have to be stronger to keep people paying attention to what we’re doing, because it’s easy to get lost in the fray. We believe in offering our guests the complete experience when they come to us for a drink. The visual is important, the care and attention to detail, and to take a concept and imbue it in the bar’s drink menu… it’s all a part of the experience. Moving into this menu, we wanted to do something stunning and interesting, but playful, fun and different. It has to be, because we’re a destination. People come from Orange County and Santa Barbara just to have a drink with us, and it’s because of the experience. And they tell us all the time – we may not be on the beaten path, but they’re always going to beat a path back to our door to see what we do next.”
For more information, please contact:
1250 S. Fair Oaks Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91105
Lawrence Moore & Associates Inc.