Restaurant Vr: This Cocktail Uses Virtual Reality To Create An Out-of-this-world Experience

Posted: Jul 26, 2017


Source: Pexels.Com

Forward by Go-Wine.Com: The importance of imersing your guests to provide them an emotional connection to your brand is critical to your business. This article from Forbes demonstrates how virtual reality can change the food and beverage experience.

Michael Fawthrop is on a roll. Last month, the beverage director with Baptiste & Bottle at Conrad Chicago created a cocktail with balloons to celebrate Takashi Murakami’s exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Fawthrop’s latest cocktail takes guests on a journey from acorn to glass through the use of virtual reality.

“At the Conrad Chicago, we always look for ways to be innovative and utilize technology in an interesting way that is also on brand and authentic,” says Fawthrop. “Working in a luxury hotel bar you get to meet people traveling from all over the world and have experienced a lot. Our challenge is to give them a memorable experience that they will take back home or to wherever they are traveling to next.”

Ever enjoyed a cocktail using Virtual Reality? Baptiste & Bottle, located in the Conrad Chicago, and The Macallan have joined forces to create the ultimate Rare Journey cocktail experience.

Fawthrop and his team at Baptiste & Bottle collaborated with Raquel Raies, The Macallan’s first female National Ambassador, to create a unique and immersive cocktail experience. The Macallan Rare Journey cocktail experience is a $95 cocktail that takes guests through each step of the experience tableside and encouraged to ask questions and learn more about scotch, sherry and The Macallan story.

As National Brand Ambassador for The Macallan, Raies is eager to bring The Macallan brand story to life and reach a coveted demographic: the “hashtag generation” which is always looking for the next new trend, she says. “This cocktail experience is very instagrammable and is meant to be shared and seen,” she adds, noting that women and younger generations haven’t been a focus of the scotch industry. Her goal is to change that dynamic and she believes this cocktail does that for the brand in a very tangible way. “We wanted to create an exciting experience that would touch all the senses, while being educational, fun and interactive.”

To her word, the cocktail comes with its own hashtag: #TheMacallanRareJourney.

The Macallan Rare Journey cocktail uses The Macallan Rare Cask, which is made using casks from the top 1% of all casks maturing at The Macallan distillery. The finished cocktail is a marriage of Bodegas Tradicion 30 year Oloroso Sherry and The Macallan Rare Cask.

The Virtual Reality Experience
How exactly do guests experience a cocktail through Virtual Reality?

According to the team at Baptiste & Bottle, guests start out with a shallow wooden box laid out in front of them. The box is filled with items that tell The Macallan story. Moss and vegetation are the base, which represent the European and American oak forests where The Macallan source the oak trees to make their oak cask. Three empty glasses await liquid and explanation.

To start, a staff member places an acorn in the forest as they detail how trees are key to the beginning of making this fine whisky. A taste of sherry is poured, while they explain the history of sherry and that vital in the seasoning of the Macallan casks, which in turn is the foundation of the flavor of the Macallan. Sherry provides not only 80% of the flavor, but also 100% of the color. This process all together takes up to six years to achieve.

Insider tip: The Macallan owns nine out 10 sherry casks in the world. The casks that are used to make the Rare Cask come from sherry houses that no longer exists, which is among the reasons this is such a rare experience for guests.

A taste of The Macallan Rare Cask is then poured as the guest is talked through the distillation process. In the miniature forest, there is a decanter modeled after The Macallan’s unique still. The Macallan has some of the smallest stills in the scotch whiskey industry, which creates a rich viscous spirit ideal for aging in the sherry casks.

At that point, guests will put on the virtual reality goggles. During the trip they will explore the oak forests and the cooperage then fly through vineyards to the sherry bodegas and ending at The Macallan distillery and Easter Elchies house, which is the spiritual home that appears on every bottle of The Macallan.

During the trip, the cocktail is created tableside and is poured into special glassware. This specially sourced glass was chosen to heighten the enjoyment of the spirit. When there is an ounce and a half of liquid guests can’t smell the alcohol vapors so they only get the pure aromas of sherry and scotch.

By the time the virtual trip is done, the cocktail is waiting for the guest to enjoy, along with side cars of Sherry and Rare Cask to sip on individually. This allows the guest to see how each spirit tastes on its own as well as together. The cocktail uses just three ingredients: Macallan Rare Cask, Sherry and Virtual Reality.

“The end result is an immersive experience that hits all of the senses and gives the guest a unique cocktail memory,” adds Fawthrop.

By Megy Karydes
July 25, 2017
Source: Forbes



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