If we had to pick one question that we most enjoy posing mixologists, it would have to be “What is the strangest cocktail you’ve ever created for a customer?” Cliché? Yes, but also a surefire way to find out about some of the more outlandish concotions around.
Although we’ve heard a lot of good answers to this question (wasabi cocktail, anyone?) the answer by world-renowned mixologist Javier de las Muelas who was in town for the World Courmet Summit truly takes the cake.
"A customer who just returned from a trip to Brazil asked me to prepare a cocktail with tubers and plants of the Amazon jungle that he had brought with him,” explains Muelas. “It was not easy."
You don't say.
But if there's anyone who would be unfazed by bizarre concoctions and strange requests, it’s Muelas, who made a name for himself in the world of mixology with his two cocktail bars Gimlet and Dry Martini – the former known for its futuristic gin and tonics – in Barcelona, Spain.
When Muelas isn’t working his magic behind the bar counter, he's teaching courses and giving conferences at gastronomy forums and academic business schools.
One trend Muelas has recently identified is the rising popularity of the gin and tonic, in Europe and Asia, and he's got the products ready for it: his new line called Bitters by Javier de las Muelas. It’s a collection of 24 hand-crafted bitters that he hopes "will bring new hues to the art of mixology".
Next week however, Muelas has got an entirely different, and unprecedented, task. From 28 - 30 April 2012 as part of the World Gourmet Summit (WGS) series, Muelas will be starring as LeVeL33 Microbrewery’s special guest. He’ll collaborate with executive chef Jimi Tegerdine and resident brewmaster Christian Knoch to showcase specially concocted craft beer cocktails and craft beer mixology pairing, as well as share the latest trends and taste profiles from the world of mixology.
And what can participants look forward to at the three-day event?
"I always say that we're not selling cocktails, but rather enabling experiences and emotions,” says Muelas. “I hope [the participants] will enjoy the experience of sharing our creations, the pairing of beer cocktails and beer-infused dishes, and interacting with us!"
To whet your appetite ahead of the event, we convinced Muelas to share one of the beer cocktail recipes that he'd be showcasing. Try it out for yourself at home, or wait for the experts to show you how its done on 28 - 30 April 2012.
Fill a balloon glass with Pedro Ximenez 30 Years, brandy and cold stout beer. Gently stir, then perfume the edge of the glass by rubbing the grapefruit rinds around it. Add ground cloves.
33 cl stout
5 cl Pedro Ximenez 30 Years
2 cl Brandy or Cognac
Meet Javier de las Muelas, LeVel33's executive chef Jimi Tegerdine and resident brewmaster Christian Knoch at the three-day beer appreciation and pairing event, as part of the World Gourmet Summit 2012. The World Gourmet Summit 2012 will run from 23 April - 3 May 2012. For the full list of events and dinners and reservations, please visit www.worldgourmetsummit.com, www.chope.com.sg or call +65 6270 1254.
LeVeL33, 8 Marina Boulevard, #33-01 Marina Bay Financial Centre, Tower 1, +65 6834 3133