At Berlin’s Ritz-Carlton, there’s a whole bar devoted to replicating classic perfumes in cocktail form. And they’re all delicious. Certainly beats that time when we were 13 and sprayed Impulse in our mouth by mistake.
Drinkers are encouraged to immerse themselves in the experience as soon as they walk through the door. You’re greeted by a line-up of 15 perfumes – from the likes of Serge Lutens, Jo Malone, Guerlain and Penhaligon’s – alongside the corresponding cocktails’ key ingredients. Have a good sniff of everything, but try not to be tempted to read the ingredient list that’s hidden below (unless you suffer from food allergies, in which case, do, just in case). Then order your favourite, and wait for your senses to BE AMAZED and DELIGHTED.
Oh yes. SHALL WE DROOL OVER COCKTAILS, READER? Okay then.
We’re not going to spoil the experience for you by listing ingredients here. That would ruin all your fun. What we will say is these cocktails really do taste like their counterpart fragrances. But in a totally good way, not in a breathing-in-that-gigantic-whiff-of-Joop-Homme-in-the-work-lift-and-nearly-choking way. And they’re inventive – award-winning bar manager Arnd Heißen uses the finest ingredients in the most magical combinations. Man knows his way around a cocktail shaker, that’s for sure.
You’ll note, too, that Fragrances doesn’t just thrill your tastebuds and your olfaction. Your eyes are in for a treat too, with a whole host of frankly barmy receptacles. You’ll be opening tiny cabinets and birdhouses to find your tipple, sipping from flamingos and giant strawberries, or pouring your cocktail from a teapot. Sometimes your drink will come in an actual glass, but rest assured it will be the fanciest, most colourful glass – and there will be a relevant prop, like the sombrero-wearing dog skeleton that accompanies the tequila-based cocktail inspired by Jo Malone’s Blue Agava and Cacao.
The other great thing about Fragrances is that it gives you a chance to sample perfumes you might not have otherwise tried. It’s not uncommon for visitors to the bar to go out the next day and buy the scent that inspired their favourite cocktail. If you can remember which one that is, of course. Once you start spritzing and sipping, it’s hard to stop…
Header image via The Ritz-Carlton Berlin’s Facebook page.