Baccarat debuts Metamorphosis cocktail menu
Acclaimed London bar Baccarat, based in Harrods department store, has unveiled its new menu: Metamorphosis.
The drinks list is the first menu to launch since the bar opened its doors in July 2020.
Metamorphosis explores 12 different production techniques from the world of food, drink and perfume, including fermentation, caramelisation and oxidation, in the creation of its cocktails.
As a result, each cocktail’s core component undergoes a transition, which allows them to evolve beyond their core ingredient and transform into a ‘multi-layered experience for the palate’.
The menu creation was led by bar manager Michal Janusz Maziarz, with each member of the Baccarat bar team taking charge of at least one serve on the list. It comprises 12 alcoholic drinks, as well as four non-alcoholic serves, with each drink served in Baccarat crystal glassware.
To complement the drinks offering, the Baccarat menus are adorned with original illustrations from five new multidisciplinary artists, all best known for their experimental style and use of different creative techniques.
The Spirits Business recently sat down with Maziarz to discuss the new menu.
Unique is not what we’re aiming for, we didn’t want to make different things for the sake of being different – we don’t want to fall into the trap. We wanted more emphasis on balance and approachability.
Many of the drinks are easy to understand for even seasoned drinkers. They’re all approachable – there is not a single drink that is difficult. Sometimes it’s not about the complexity, but just an idea of [combining] ingredients. There’s no point in doing drinks no one has done before just because – it’s about the flavour. We wanted to narrow down the processes rather than using five to 10 different fermentations and distillations. There is a very gentle educational element to it.
I thought it would be very exciting to get a team of artists to take the idea of ‘metamorphosis’ and present it in their own way – the more the merrier, the more minds contributed to the project the better, there is more diversity.
We briefed them on how the drinks would taste. If any artists were London-based, they could come and taste [the cocktails].
We didn’t explicitly brief what the art should look like, beyond the flavours and colours of ingredients. One artist had a very scientific approach, using microscopic pictures of bacteria used for fermentations. Another artist used very joyful, simple approach with crayons and watercolours – it was more fun. We just wanted to enrich the whole experience and integrate their own approach.
The glassware makes the whole bar special – it’s a privilege to serve the drinks in some of the finest glassware in the world, for people to enjoy for a soft drink or a cocktail. The clarity, the texture – it’s great to have such a big portfolio of glassware available.
Some glasses call for a drink, some cocktails call for glassware. Beyond visiting the bar, you don’t really see that glassware, sometimes you can’t even buy them. It’s a great opportunity to allow people to enjoy the glassware.
How does the menu fit in with both Baccarat’s and Harrods’ branding?
It extends the mission of what we want to achieve. Both brands [Harrods and Baccarat glassware] are more than a century old. But both keep up with the time, and do evolve, despite their classic DNA, and being internationally recognised. It shows we keep up with the times. It brings high-end and luxury for everyone to enjoy, even if you don’t have crystalware at home.
Mini Reality [gin, peach, lemon thyme, Iberico bone extract], a peach sparkling gin-based serve, is a drink that has the biggest highlight of balanced and approachable, yet nuanced, texture and flavour.
My favourite is the non-alcoholic V&T [buffered reserva Sherry vinegar, pineapple, ice verjus, tonic]. I like the tonic. The fact we managed to put it as non-alcoholic, and it doesn’t have too much sugar… it is the drink you can’t stop drinking. It has the same energy as drinking a double gin and tonic. The fact that you have that experience, and you can have one before shift.
Anyone can enjoy fine drinks and fine crystal without spending hundreds and hundreds. It’s relatively accessible.