A sparkling goblet filled with golden elixir revolves lazily in mid-air, twirling a couple of inches above the vapours of dry ice billowing from a wooden platform. It looks like magic, and it is, sort of.
Certainly, the Botanist Bar team hopes it’ll weave a spell over the judges at the Bols Around the World competition in Amsterdam this June. They were selected to represent North America as one of six global teams competing in the 10th annual contest, each of whom will create a pop-up of their bar on trendy Reguliersdwarsstraat. (The others are Eastern/Central Europe, Western Europe, Asia Pacific, South/Central America and Africa/Middle East.)
They were tasked with creating a cocktail with a unique concept and presentation, using at least one of the products from the portfolio of Lucas Bols, which is believed to be the oldest distillery brand in the world.
The Botanist team of Max Curzon-Price, Jeff Savage and Grant Sceney used Bols genever (the juniper-flavoured liquor from which gin evolved) to create their high-concept drink, Into the Aether. It was inspired by the fifth element of spirit and features white tea, vermouth, forest herbs and seawater, including ingredients foraged around Vancouver, as well as a clever bit of sleight of hand. (Magnets, actually.)
The curious can sample it at the Botanist Bar, located on the mezzanine level of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, where it will remain on the cocktail list as the fifth “from the lab” creation.