When we talk about drinking trends, we usually talk about new booze, flavors or cocktail recipes. However, one of the newer trends we’re hearing about doesn’t necessarily involve what you’re drinking, but rather, the show leading up to that drink.
Many bars and restaurants have been developing fabulous cocktail menus that feature drinks made with fresh ingredients and a little extra special something. We typically taste how great a drink is, but we don’t usually get to see how they’re made and frankly, that’s half the fun. Some establishments are finally getting the hint and adding tableside cocktail service to their repertoire.
Although the tableside trend is universal, bars are implementing it in different ways through the U.S.
- Cafe L’Europe in Sarasota, Florida originally had tableside cocktail service when it opened 40 years ago, but stopped after a while when interest fizzled. Now that the trend is back in full force, they are bringing classic cocktails right to your table by rolling up the bar cart. They use extremely fresh ingredients and feel part of the whole experience is being able to smell everything they are using.
- The NoMad in New York City has put a deconstructed spin on tableside cocktail service. When you purchase bottle service for a crazy affordable (not) $250, they will wheel a custom-built cart to your seating area so that you can experiment and make your drinks by yourself, much like BYOC in London. The cart includes shakers, spoons, mixers, garnishes, and an insulated drawer that holds long-lasting ice cubes made from purified water that is all free to you with bottle service. Not really great at making your own drinks? You can ask the staff to help – they might even offer to teach you a thing or two.
- The Sugar Factory in Las Vegas adds that little bit of Vegas flair to their tableside service. They offer a variety of interesting cocktails, but any of them can also be made with the addition of liquid nitrogen. This creates an exotic “fog” as the cocktail is made and results in a semi-slushy drink. As the temperature rises, the drink returns to its normal liquid state.
Have you been anywhere with great tableside cocktail service? Tell us about it below.