Like food, so much of the drinking experience begins with aroma. Wine has its myriad glass shapes to capture bouquet, and spirits have master blenders nosing hundreds of samples before the actual alchemy begins. But what of cocktails? Aside from the occasional smoke and garnish, mixed drinks have always emphasised flavour over fragrance. But Tippling Club has just turned that notion on its head.
Head bartender Joe Schofield, who joined Tippling Club earlier this year, has created the Sensorium Menu in conjunction with International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), a company that specialises in creating sensorial experiences for clients. Since approximately 80 per cent of the flavours we taste come from our sense of smell, Schofield wanted the new menu to evoke emotions through memories – something smells do exceptionally well.
Each of the 12 cocktails was inspired and built around a specific scent and memory, so “Campfire” would wring out memories of starry nights and roasting s’mores, via a mix of marshmallow milk, burnt syrup, ash and gin. And maybe “Leather” (right) will remind you of your father’s study, with its notes of raisin, orange, vanilla and a whiff of leather. Garnishes are handled by the ever-inventive chef-owner Ryan Clift, so every drink will be as visually surprising as it is nostalgic.