Project Botanicals 2015

Angelica Negroni  & Tartine of Pickled & Exotic Mushrooms, Garlic & Parmesan Custard & Parsnip Crunch

Last year, Project Botanicals – one of the most promising concepts of 2014 – served up a staggering 13,500+ cocktails (and four lonely beers?!)

After such success the pop-up bar returns to Melbourne next month. “It’s basically a celebration of the botanicals, or herbs and spices, used to create Bombay Sapphire gin,” explains ambassador Andy Wren. “These botanicals are sourced from around the globe carefully and sustainably…what we try and do is create a symphony of flavour.” Andy has worked to develop five gin cocktails, each centred around one of the ingredients in Bombay Sapphire and has also collaborated with five Melbourne bars – 1806, Eau De Vie, Union Electric, Black Pearl and Gin Palace –  to complete a list of ten drinks. This year their exclusive Bombay Sapphire creations will be available to try at the respective bars during the pop-up’s season.

The cocktails come first at Project Botanicals. Following their lead, inventive food pairings are created to soften, enhance or take flavours in a completely different direction. Celebrity chef Gary Mehigan returns to match each cocktail to a custom dish (though you can order drinks and food separately if you want to get  experimental).”It’s a bit of fun for me as a chef because normally our pairings are always with wine for a bit of sophistication, then beer came on the scene…you do struggle sometimes,” says Gary. “But cocktails for some reason? Super easy! I think it’s because maybe the flavours are often in your face, really dynamic and fresh and there’s always something that is the linchpin in the cocktail that makes you go ‘wow!'”

It all starts again on June 24 to July 11. Finer details and tickets (including two dishes, two cocktails, live dj and entry to the wonderfully vegetatiously styled pop-up space) can be found here.

Liquorice Pontefract & Duck Pastilla, Duck Pastrami, Labneh, Ancient Grain & Nut

Cubeb Berry Lola & Char-grilled Octopus with Cauliflower, Skordalia, Candy Beetroots & Fennel

Lemon Collins & Crisp tostaditas with Gin-cured Kingfish

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