“We created this Buddha Bar World Cocktail Festival to give our guests a magic bar experience from our global bar expertise and also give our different worldwide bar teams ideas for creation and new mixology techniques.” Matthais Giroud
Renowned French master mixologist Matthais Giroud created quite a stir in the capital last week, performing his own kind of special cocktail artistry at Barfly by Buddha Bar’s Cocktail Festival located at Venetian Village.Flamboyant Monsieur Giroud, worldwide executive head bar chef of the Buddha Bar franchise is no stranger to performing, even with his arms and fingers weighted down with heavy jewellery he was adept and concocting and presenting unique drinks with signature elements. An elaborate arts and crafts demonstration that included coloured wires, tiny pegs, flowers and foilage, different shaped glassware and household objects such as mirrors, copper saucepans and even fire in the preparation and presentation of the various drinks as part of the evening’s experience. Giroud’s innovative drinks are a journey for the senses using spices and exotic fruits from around the globe, everything hand prepared by him and his team.
The art theme continued with Giroud showcasing his ‘cocktail painting’ displaying three coloured mocktails on a white plate (his canvas if you will), adding decorations of fresh fruit and his own special flare to create a visual masterpiece which when viewed from above resembled a painting. The three non-alcoholic drinks were all equally delicious and refreshing, a deep red mixed berry combination of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, fresh basil and cranberry juice, a mango, passion fruit and artisanal Garam masala syrup and a grapefruit, yuzu, peach jam and tonic water.
The cocktails included the White Dream, vodka infused with timut pepper, aperol, fresh lemon juice, cucumber, sugar syrup and tonic water and the Le Jana served in a tin can, gin infused with saffron, vanilla liqueur, fresh mango and passion fruit garnished with poppadom cones filled with mango. The visual and fiery finale of the evening was the Fire Dragon Tiki Spirit cocktail, where Giroud cooked fresh pineapple with a special rum mix, brown sugar, cinnamon and yuzu in copper pans, juggling two flaming pans to cook the unique drink in a dramatic display.
The Barfly concept, part of George V Eatertainment group who created Buddha Bar, opened their first venue in Paris in 1996 (where Giroud started as a barman). The Barfly by Buddha Bar venue here in the capital is a glamorous two-storey location where Parisian chic meets the Middle East, offering guests a supper club, bar and restaurant with an international menu. The sumptuous interior decor is dark and sultry with a palate of black, red and gold adorned with large theatrical artwork and sculpture, outside is a waterside terrace area. The Abu Dhabi bar menu features fifteen signature cocktails grouped into five different families of three drinks, two alcoholic and one non-alcoholic in each family.Giroud has worked with Buddha Bar for twenty years and it’s clear that the presentation of his drinks is just as important as the way they taste and believe me they taste really good! Barfly is a welcome addition to the capital’s nightlife scene, I’m already a big fan of the Yakuza Royal cocktail and the vegetarian sushi is the best I have ever tasted!
Barfly by Buddha Bar
Location: Venetian Village at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Canal
Opening hours: 6:00pm till late
Telephone: 02 404 1951
I was invited to this event but the views are all my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2016. All rights reserved.
Read more about Barfly at the Venetian Village in my previous post Review: Venetian Village