There’s no sleight of hand here, just the team at Smoke & Mirrors shaking up a new cocktail menu.
Launched in November, The Playful Eye series of cocktails blend top shelf spirits with culinary techniques to present drinks not easily replicated at home. Created by head bartender Yugnes Susela (Bartender of the Year in the Singapore Bar Awards), the only common thread between all libations are in its complexity of flavours and presentation.
The M.C – N.L. ($24), a cacoa-infused vodka based drink with sweet vermouth, tangy pineapple juice, coconut nectar and Pu’er tea is shaken and served in the style of a potted plant with edible ‘soil’; a nutty cinnamon basil sourced from Edible Garden City.
The Smoke & Mirrors ($24), uses tequila for its potent base and made with spiced notes and hints of French herbs. Inspired by Susela’s favourite restaurant, the two-Michelin starred Mugaritz in Spain, it’s garnished by an edible garden of apple and cardamom with ‘soil’ made of raw pistachios and cocoa powder, for a mouth of flavours and textures.
The Kurokawa ($22), named “Black River” in Japanese is all about the fifth taste: umami. Vodka is infused with fragrant rausu kombu (seaweed) for an intense flavour, then shaken with gomasio (made from black sesame and salt) and house-made ponzu for a touch of acidity. Served with imported micro tomatoes and sea grape garnishes, both add an accent of tartness and highlight the citrus notes.
For an alcoholic cocconut water (of sorts), there’s God’s Own ($24). A complex-tasting cocktail that combines freshly grated coconuts with junmai sake, while coconut syrup and rum further enhance the full coconut flavours. Served with a slice of potato that’s cooked at 85 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes and flavoured with pistachio for a creamy, rich taste, a final touch of lemon zest gives it a refreshing zing.
Smoke & Mirrors, 06-01, National Gallery Singapore, 1 St. Andrew’s Road, smokeandmirrors.com.sg