Now that latte art is practically de rigueur, today's beverage artisans are reaching for ever more ambitious sources of inspiration. New to the market are cocktails decorated to look like actual works of art by Dalí, Van Gogh, and Mondrian. These painted creations at Hong Kong's Artesian lounge inside the Langham Hotel take cocktail art into new, more literal territory. According to Blouin Art Info, bartender Rajendra Limbu created the trio of drinks, suspended a layer of egg white foam on the top, and used a paint brush and palate to decorate each in a delicate homage to the masters of surrealism, impressionism, and cubism.
For the recreation of Vincent Van Gogh's post-impressionist Starry Night, Limbu used Blue Curacao, mole bitters, Frangelico, and rum. The drink that looks like Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory displays a painted, melting clock both atop the drink (a mixture of mezcal, orange liqueur, and ginger liqueur) and on the side of the glass. Finally, Piet Mondrian's cubist imagery sits atop a concoction made from saffron gin, chartreuse, elderflower, grenadine, and lemon bitters, a stark, herbaceous blend meant to highlight the organized world, colorful world of Mondrian.
Limbu put the drinks on his menu in advance of Art Basel Hong Kong, which kicks off on March 21.
Any barman can whip up a pisco sour dashed with a drop of angostura bitters. Will painted cocktails hit bars stateside? We can only hope.