It’s being described as the Pokemon-Go of the cocktail world and the next innovation in drinks but exactly what is City Social’s soon-to-launch app and menu?
Well firstly it's a cocktail menu like any other, with 12 drinks to choose from that mix spirits, citrus, liqueurs and the occasional dash of egg white. It may be the future of drinking but it's still based on well-crafted liquid - which is the crucial part after all. What tranforms the experience from common place to unique however, is an app called Mirage which lives on your phone, alongside Fabeook messenger, Instagram and Candy Crush. With 18 months development behind the technology, this app is a stroke of pure brillance that scans the coaster each cocktail sits on and creates a whole new virtual world around your drink.
Each of the 12 drinks on the menu has its own theme and augmented reality which you can zoom in on and observe the movement at close quarters or step back and admire it as an entire piece of art. Slowly rotate the coaster and you can view this virtual creation from different angles - proving each design is a flawlessly thought-out idea. We can only imagine the app-developers expressions when Bar Executive for Atherton’s Social Company, Jamie Jones, first presented this idea.
Mirage's development may be the final nail in the coffin for undrinkable cocktails which come in bizzarely designed vessels - it allows the elaborate and the insta-worthy visuality of a drink to exist for those who want it but behind the fireworks and dancing skeletons is a cocktail in a classic glass which tastes divine. There won't be any City bankers feeling awakard about sipping on these drinks.
And once you've gotten over the fun of playing with the app (if you ever do) the drinks are truly spectacular. The 12-strong list charts a path through the history of art and artistic styles, starting with the year 500 and taking us up to the Avant Garde period. From the surprisingly delicious Mild, Mild West which mixes Bulleit Rye, Gewürztraminer, watermelon, pickled cactus and egg white to the light and wonderfully fragrant Sashay combining Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque, Japanese plum wine, jasmine and liquorice, this is a menu that would stand up as a great showcase of flavours and innovation without the new technology. In fact, as a drinks list, it's a big break from previous City Social style which has been heavy on the puns and mini-peg garnishes.
Driving the idea of Mirage, Jamie Jones and City Social's Bar Manager Tim Laferla, wanted to create an experience that had plenty of 'wow' factor but still fitted into City Social's Michelin-starred restaurant environment. That they have certainly done, but the success of Mirage can be attributed in a large part to the fact that the taste of the drinks was just as important, if not more so, than the technology. How dissappointing if after such incredible visuals you were left with a lacklustre cocktail. Having tried all 12 (someone had to) DrinkUp can confidently report that this isn't the case at all.
The Mirage menu is set to launch in early June once the app is ready to be downloaded for customers coming to City Social.