The Cocktail World's a Stage
At Lab 22 they try to be different. For many years Lab’s mixologists have been twisting and contorting a wonderful array of spirits, mixers and homemade syrups to give customers the greatest tasting Molecular cocktails that can be had in Wales and beyond (having recently set the Gold Standard at the Imbibe Awards, beating world renowned London bars). Whilst they can fix any of the great classic cocktails with aplomb, they’re just as comfortable pushing the envelope of what can be achieved when mixing new creations or ‘out-there’ takes on familiar themes. Think of it as a fine cocktail experience akin to the kind of dining you’d get in a Michelin starred restaurant.
But the Lab 22 experience doesn’t stop at the sensational taste of the cocktails, nor how prettily they’re presented. Far from it. They’ve sought to make their cocktails a real visual extravaganza – an event that’s as much theatre as it is taste. Something that stimulates all the senses – sight, sound smell and touch - and makes those who experience it involuntarily exclaim ‘wow’.
There are a number of cocktails that do this on Lab’s menu but here are three of our favourite examples.
Lab 22 Tea
Making a Lab 22 Iced Tea is as much performance art as mixology. Something easily seen with a Lab 22 Tea. Presented in a beautiful bone China tea set, it’s prepared using Hendricks Gin, Chai Infused Martini Rosso, Home-made Black Pepper bitters, Earl Grey syrup and Malic Acid. But the fun really starts with the infusion – smoke is added to the teapot in which the Tea is served and billows from the pot as it placed in front of you, creating a carpet of wonderfully fragrant smoke, before being poured into frozen China teacups. A whole new take on Britain’s favourite drink.
The name may be a playful pun on Anchorman’s Ron Burgundy but this is one serious cocktail. Mixed using Bacardi eight year old rum, Antica Sweet Vermouth, home-made vanilla and chocolate bitters and Luxardo Maraschino liqueur, it’s then infused in a crystal decanter using a smoke gun with smoke from mahogany wood chippings. It’s then served at your table with Crystal glasses - the explosion of smell and wafting of smoke when the decanter is unplugged and the cocktail poured is to die for.
Velvet Choco Chill
A real show stealer. This little beauty set the Gold Standard at 2016 Imbibe Awards courtesy of its style and content. The content comes courtesy of a large measure of El Dorado Number 12 rum, John.D.Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, dry orange Curacao, Aztec chocolate bitters and smoked with Lab’s own woodchips. A hum-dinger of taste sensations. The style is where the wow factor comes into its own - there’s a real sense of drama in its presentation at the table. Hidden in the cloud of smoke within the bell jar, the server unveils it with a magician’s flourish, by lifting the jar. The smoke billows, filling the air with a heady woodchip aroma, and disperses to reveal the gem of a cocktail beneath. Et voila. These are but a taste of what to expect when you visit Lab 22. For the full experience you really have while away an evening in Lab’s eclectic bar or even better, attend one of their extremely popular cocktail masterclasses.
For more information
or visit 22 Caroline St, Cardiff
from 5pm most nights.