Iconoclastic restaurant pro Pip Hanson (Head Bartender at The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar, Minneapolis) questions conventional wisdom to push the dining scene forward.
Why do cocktails need to be cold and strong?
Strong alcohol flavors don’t really complement food, and ice-cold drinks aren’t very aromatic, so at Marvel Bar and our sister restaurant, The Bachelor Farmer, we have created something new: hyper-diluted, lightly chilled cocktails.
Here’s the thought process: Like whiskey, cocktails open up as water is added. Hyper-diluted cocktails are extremely subtle and clean, especially compared with the bitter, boozy standard of most cocktails. Similarly, I sometimes prefer whiskey cocktails after they’ve warmed up a bit, because they become more flavorful. So we serve some of these drinks only lightly chilled—we aim for 55 degrees, cellar temperature—to maximize aroma. Once you adjust to the difference in intensity, you find incredible complexity and purity in these drinks. They can be tantalizing.