Bar 1896 is built on creativity. It takes a cocktail culture and elevates it to the highest level. It’s not just the fact that fresh ingredients from the farm are used, but it’s the way those ingredients are used. Infusions of flavors, homemade syrups and unique garnishes are all pieces to the full cocktail puzzle.
The bar top at Bar 1896 kind of looks like a science experiment. Porthole infusers are packed with a variety of fruits and herbs, waiting until the perfect time to bring out all those robust flavors. Torches lighting marshmallows on fire warm the ambiance. Our mixologists bring a passion for drink to the forefront of the guest experience and everyone gets an inside look at the craft. Bar Supervisor, Russell Greene, has a personal favorite method of infusion, “The port hole is great for small experiments so guests can see the action firsthand and larger batches can be done in larger, less showy containers. Either with syrup, straight alcohols or even a cocktail base. My personal favorite process is using a cryovac machine and then a suvee to circulate in 90-degree water for 90 min. Imparts perfect flavor and doesn’t release tannins that high temps might otherwise release.” That’s mixologist talk for in the end, you’re tasting a drink with the highest quality of flavors possible.
With so much creativity going on behind the bar, it’s easy to wonder what all these drinks are created. Russell describes his new creation process this way, “I usually work with the farmers and see what they are excited about. If I share the excitement, then I have some direction to go in with a farm ingredient. Then it’s off to the spice wall to see if anything jumps out at me, then the cooler to gaze upon the citrus and fruit on hand. I’ll pick some things out, swing by the kitchen and start picking the chefs brains. By this point I usually have a goal, so it’s time to have fun making syrups and garnishes to bring this idea to life. Once you have all your pieces then you can start playing with ratios of ingredients to make the profile perfect, add or remove ingredients, change glassware or garnishes and so on.”
That’s a long process, and necessary one when you operate on the level Bar 1896 does. Stop by the next time you’re at Castle Hot Springs and see first hand the creativity that goes into the cocktail menu, have a conversation with one of our brilliant mixologists and sip on your new favorite drink.