Taking inspiration from some of the most iconic art masterpieces from the great masters, Artesian mixologist Rajendra Limbu—whose nickname, by the way, is Rush—has certainly, er, gotten up to speed with great work with his handcrafted impressions of them atop the blank canvases of cocktails.
With Art Basel Hong Kong around the corner—and Hong Kong going ga-ga over anything that has to do with that three-letter word 'A-R-T'—you know an F&B scene as trendy as Hong Kong's isn't simply going to stand aside and throw in the towel on all that wonderful action.
We're not complaining. Edible food art is back in a big way this month. For instance, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong will see executive pastry chef Yves Matthey's Surroundings & Influences - Afternoon Tea inspired by original art pieces, while Michelin-starred German chef Uwe Opocensky will introduce a visually captivating Art Menu at the Mandarin Grill + Bar.
At Artesian, The Langham's classy cocktail lounge import from London that has since kicked up its heels comfortably to set up base in Hong Kong’s Kowloon district at its sister hotel, The Langham, Hong Kong, the usual artisanal cocktails will look more than a little familiar to art-lovers—and not because they are already drunk.
Taking inspiration from some of the most iconic art masterpieces from the great masters, Artesian mixologist Rajendra Limbu—whose nickname, by the way, is Rush—has certainly, er, gotten up to speed with his Van Gogh and Mondrian, thanks to his handcrafted impressions of their works atop his 'blank canvas' art-inspired cocktails.
For starters, the unmistakable swirls of Vincent van Gogh’s 1889 post-impressionist masterpiece Starry Night have been recreated faithfully by Rush. To paint Van Gogh's starry night sky and clouds swirling against the bright moon, Rush turned to Chalong Bay Rum, a Thai sugarcane spirit distilled and bottled in Phuket; Frangelico, with its characteristic taste of hazelnut; Strega, an Italian herbal liqueur; Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters; fresh lime juice; and finally, a dash of Blue Curacao.
Appreciators of surreal art can also toast to Rush's boozy adaptation of Salvador Dali's 1931 fantastical work, The Persistence of Memory. Here, the melting clock face from Dali's original work is painted on both the glass itself and the drink as well. The latter is a citrusy concoction shaken with Los Danzantes mescal; Grand Marnier, an orange-flavored liqueur; Domaine de Canton, a ginger-flavored liqueur; Fee Brothers orange bitters; and of course, orange juice.
Finally, Rush’s neat take on neoplasticism with Piet Mondrian’s austere 1921 work, Tableau I, is a blend of Saffron gin; artisanal elderflower liqueur; Chartreuse, an aromatic French liqueur; lemon bitters by The Bitter Truth; fresh lemon juice and grenadine syrup. The result is an aperitif with a stark geometric composition matching Mondrian's work.
Aside from art-inspired cocktails, the hotel will also be serving up palatable art dinners at The Bostonian. The American-style restaurant’s Elements of Art Menu will complement Hong Kong artist Michael Lam’s new experimental works derived from the four elements of water, earth, air and fire.
But first, a toast to art with one of these very special cocktails.
Alas, good things never last for long. The art-inspired cocktails will only be available from March 23 to April 30 at HK$158 each, excluding 10% service charge. Advance reservations are a must.