Featured image: Illegalist
In summer 2019, Vida Rica Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Macau received two important awards in “Bar of the Year, Hotel – Macau” and “Bartender of the Year – Macau” at The Bar Awards Hong Kong and Macau. Moreover, the bartending team has spent time taking guest shifts in bars around the world and spreading the word about a cozy bar on the second floor of the luxurious hotel and its talented mixologists. To continue being a trendsetter in Macau and surrounding regions, Vida Rica Bar keeps introducing new creations and exciting collaborations. This season, they launch the second volume of the already renowned “Art in Mixology” cocktail menu. What is it about and why should you go check it out ASAP? Keep reading!
Art in Mixology Saga
“Art in Mixology. Volume 1 – Legends & Cocktails” is, no doubt, one of the main reasons the bar received two awards. With an original concept, signature cocktails with unique flavor profiles and stunning presentation, this menu was bound to succeed.
When it was launched, that “Volume 1” part made us wonder: is this the beginning of a long-lasting cocktail saga? Naturally, this curiosity raised obvious questions about what’s next only to get mysterious smiles from the bar team and a meaningful “You’ll see…” Vida Rica Bar definitely knows how to keep the audience intrigued! So once we finally got the news that “Volume 2” is coming, our excitement was raised to the maximum.
The previous menu united talented Macau artists and Asian legends, while “Volume 2” is dedicated to cinema and called “Movies & Cocktails”. For this project, Vida Rica Bar teamed up with Cinemateca Paixão (Cinematheque Passion), a cinema boutique founded by and for those who think of cinema as art, not just entertainment. Located right next to Macau’s main landmark, Ruins of St. Paul’s, this establishment is the place to visit if you like art house, independent movies, film festivals and films by local directors. Besides screenings, Cinematheque Passion features a video library, books, and journals about cinema.
“Movies & Cocktails” features 11 creations, all of them inspired by 11 films produced in Macau. Among them, are three mocktails, low alcohol, and stronger, full-bodied drinks. The concept was born when Vida Rica Bar’s team stumbled upon Cinematheque Passion’s screening of “Gin, Sake, Margarita”, a short film by Ms. Peeko Wong about three female artists, different yet united by art.
The story inspired a cocktail with three main ingredients–(surprise) gin, sake and margarita mix, balanced with lemon bitter. The presentation is simple but elegant–the cocktail is served in a flask that is meant to be poured in a glass. In contrast to the first volume, with monkey and elephant-shaped mugs and sophisticated forms, “Movies & Cocktails” presentation is rather minimalistic, yet remains impressive and stylish. The spotlight shines on the taste with a minimum of special effects.
Just like a director carefully casts actors for his movie, Vida Rica Bar’s bartenders thoroughly develop a cocktail’s flavor profile. There are no random ingredients in these cocktails as all of them are thought through and relevant. Most are made in-house, like the various infused liquors or non-alcoholic elements. Take Pundusina, a mocktail with clarified yogurt or “Yakut” which Vida Rica bartenders make in the bar. The movie that gave Pundusina its name is about family values and relationships. Hence, among other subtle flavors in the mocktail, you can feel that familiar sweet one of the drinking yogurt that Macau moms would have their kids drink.
From fruity and light, to bold and heavy, let’s fast forward to the next episode. Illegalist (see featured image on the top of the page) is based on a heart-aching short film about two illegal workers from mainland China struggling to make ends meet in Macau. Combining sour, sweet and smoky flavors of limoncello, whiskey and bitters, this cocktail leaves a longlasting complex aftertaste, just like the movie.
With some of the items on the menu, it is hard to imagine how the elements can harmoniously exist together. Let’s take papaya tequila and matcha syrup in Passing Rain. While it often happens with tequila-based cocktails, in Passing Rain, the liquor does not dominate and overpower other notes and goes surprisingly great with matcha. This must be the most controversial but at the same time, one of the most compelling creations in this “Art in Mixology” edition. Even if it’s not for everyone, true connoisseurs will appreciate the unique symphony of flavors.
By creating the second volume of the Art in Mixology project, Vida Rica Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Macau achieves two goals at once–introducing innovative creations to satisfy the cravings of mixology aficionados and supporting the arts in Macau. It is always heartwarming to see when big brands stand up for local talents. What is more, a part of takings from this project will support the “Richmond Fellowship of Macau”, a charity organization that provides help to people with mental health problems. Also, guests can purchase the “Movies & Cocktails” menu as a souvenir. A part of the profit will go to the Union of Cocktails Bartenders of Macau. And if you like a good cocktail with a captivating concept behind it, grab a friend and head to Vida Rica Bar!
How much: Each cocktail has its own price
For more info or bookings, call +853 8805 8928 or send an email to [email protected]